Albany, NY – Wanda Fischer, longtime host of WAMC-FM/Northeast Public Radio’s “The Hudson River Sampler,” will be honored on Wednesday, February 13, 2019 during the annual awards ceremony of the Folk Alliance International, to be held in Montreal, according to a recent announcement from FAI Executive Director Aengus Finnan. The show is heard every Saturday evening from 8-10 pm on WAMC and is also available on wamc.org at that time.
“The Folk DJ Hall of Fame recognizes radio DJs who have made an outstanding contribution to the preservation, presentation, and promotion of folk music, and who have demonstrated and inspired leadership in the broadcast field,” Finnan noted.
“We are proud of what Wanda has done for folk music here at WAMC,” said WAMC Executive Director Alan Chartock. “Her show began in September 1982 and has become a staple of our Saturday-night music programming. Every week she puts her heart and soul into her show, and this recognition by the Folk Alliance International speaks to that dedication.”
Fischer joins a select group that includes only ten other folk DJs from around the globe, including Fiona Ritchie, whose syndicated Celtic-inspired program, “Thistle and Shamrock,” is also heard on WAMC (Sunday, 7-8 pm), as well as Dick Pleasants, who was one of Fischer’s inspirations in taking up radio more than 40 years ago.
Fischer also credits her father, Giles Adams, who brought the music of the Carter Family and other traditional artists into their home from the time she was an infant. “My dad went to school with June, Joe and Jannette Carter,” she recalled. “That was the music we always listened to. He took me to my first coffee house in Boston—the Golden Vanity—when I was 11, in 1959, and to see Merle Travis at Symphony Hall in Boston. He also took me to the Grand Ole Opry when I was quite young. Then we listened to Pete Seeger, the Weavers, Joan Baez, and so many others together, as well as other traditional music.
“I attended my first Newport Folk Festival in 1966, then, in 1967, heard a young man named Arlo Guthrie perform a piece he called ‘Alice’s Restaurant’ while sitting on the ground, never thinking it would be an iconic moment in folk music,” she added.
Prior to joining WAMC in 1982, Wanda did a similar show on a small community station in Worcester, Massachusetts, for four years, giving her 40 years of broadcasting experience.
Joining her in being inducted on February 13 will be Matt Watroba of WKAR in Michigan and “Whispering” Bob Harris of the United Kingdom. Watroba was part of a CD Wanda recorded several years ago called “Singing Along with the Radio.”
Folk Alliance International will also be honoring folk music legends Joni Mitchell, Leonard Cohen and Buffy Ste. Marie during the course of the awards ceremony.
WAMC-FM Northeast Public Radio is an award-winning public radio outlet headquartered in Albany, New York, focusing on news and public affairs, with 28 broadcasting frequencies across the area:
WAMC, 90.3 FM, Albany, NY
WAMC 1400 AM, Albany, NY
WAMK, 90.9 FM, Kingston, NY
WOSR, 91.7 FM, Middletown, NY
WCEL, 91.9 FM, Plattsburgh, NY
WCAN, 93.3 FM, Canajoharie, NY
WANC, 103.9 FM, Ticonderoga, NY
WRUN-FM, 90.3 FM, Remsen-Utica, NY
WAMQ, 105.1 FM, Great Barrington, MA
WWES, 88.9 FM, Mt. Kisco, NY
WANR, 88.5 FM, Brewster, NY
WANZ, 90.1, Stamford, NY
W280DJ, 103.9 FM, Beacon, NY
W247BM, 97.3 FM, Cooperstown, NY
W292ES, 106.3 FM, Dover Plains, NY
W243BZ, 96.5 FM, Ellenville, NY
W271BF, 102.1 FM, Highland, NY
W246BJ, 97.1 FM, Hudson, NY
W204CJ, 88.7 FM, Lake Placid, NY
W292DX, 106.3 FM, Middletown, NY
W215BG, 90.9 FM, Milford, PA
W299AG, 107.7 FM, Newburgh, NY
W211CE, 90.1 FM, Oneonta, NY
W257BL, 99.3 FM, Oneonta, NY
W240CR, 95.9 FM, Peekskill, NY
W226AC, 93.1 FM, Rensselaer-Troy, NY
W225BM , 92.9 FM, Scotia, NY
W296BD, 107.1 FM, Warwick, NY