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The Hudson River Sampler
Saturdays, 8-10 p.m.

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The Hudson River Sampler first aired on September 18, 1982. Wanda Fischer began listening to the type of music she broadcasts more than six decades ago, at the feet of her father, who was a schoolmate of members of the famous Carter Family in southwestern Virginia. Although her father was from southwestern Virginia, her mother was a Bostonian, and she grew up in the Boston area.  In the 1960s, Wanda frequented a number of the now-legendary coffeehouses, such as the Club 47 (now Passim), the Unicorn, the Sword in the Stone and the Golden Vanity; and had the opportunity to see the budding careers of such folk music greats as Tom Rush, Tom Paxton, the Jim Kweskin Jug Band, Eric Andersen, James Taylor, and so many others.  In 1967, she attended the Newport Folk Festival and heard a young Arlo Guthrie perform a song about avoiding the draft called "Alice's Restaurant."

In 2019, the International Folk Alliance named her to its prestigious Folk DJ Hall of Fame, alongside some of the pioneers in folk radio, to recognize her more than 40 years of broadcasting, first in Worcester, Mass., and on WAMC’s airwaves.

Wanda is also a singer and sometimes songwriter in her own right and has recorded one CD, "Singing Along with the Radio" (what else could it be called?). She is often invited to MC folk music events and attends annual folk music conferences, such as the Northeast Regional Folk Alliance and the International Folk Alliance.

In 2005, the Capital District folk music organization the Pick 'n' and Sing 'n' Gather 'n' selected Wanda to receive its annual Lena Spencer award in recognition of her work to promote folk and acoustic music in the area. 

If you have questions about the music played on the show, or would like to make a request, please send Wanda an e-mail at wfischer@wamc.org.