Black Information Network/BBC Radio Six/John Allen resurfaces/ Schaap lives, by Dick Alexander

New York area radio map, circa 1990.
Taken from B. Elving’s FM Atlas

At Freq Amp we are often bemoaning the proliferation of white nationalist hate radio, right-wing republican propaganda, misinformation, disinformation and outright lies found across the AM spectrum. Lately  I have come across a recent addition to the AM dial that is the polar opposite of all of that and has a positive and uplifting voice. The Black Information Network (AM 1600) is an information station in the style of CBS 880 or 1010 WINS. As well as news from a Black perspective it also features uplifting stories about the positive feats of people’s lives. Thankfully a force for the good on a radio band that needs a lot more of that.

BBC Radio Six

On the internet radio front there have been a couple of great features recently on BBC Radio Six. The Specials played a great session on the occasion of the release of their new album “Protest Songs 1924-2012.” The session was recorded live for a special edition of the Steve Lamaq show at the BBC Radio Theatre in the heart of London. A brief interview was followed by a number of songs from the new album and three renditions of songs from their first two albums. 

Also of note recently on BBC Radio Six was an interview with Barry Adamson on Late Night Book Club with Gideon Coe, an occasional feature on his excellent radio show.

Adamson has written a memoir about his life: Up Above The City, Down Beneath The Stars,  which has been receiving very positive reviews. Adamson was a member of three of the most influential bands of the post punk era, Magazine, the Birthday Party and Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds. These days he is a solo artist, with many excellent records under his belt including an EP  “Broken Moments” which was featured on the show. In the interview he reminisces about his early years loving music and film, how seeing the original lineup of Buzzcocks at a bar changed his attitude towards actually making music himself. It was also a great window back into his time in Magazine, his being drafted into the Birthday Party, then as a member of the original line up of the Bad Seeds and later on playing bass for Iggy Pop. The highs and lows of these times including racist abuse and how he dealt with it. The interview also delved into his finding redemption in the making of his first solo album Moss Side Story. 

More info is available on Barry Adamson’s website.

Finally a reminder for football/soccer lovers, the Premier League and UK football in general, the hilarious and informative 606 is back on the air on Saturdays and occasionally on Sundays on BBC Five live at 1 pm eastern standard time. A call-in show that features fans returning from football games up and down the UK with hosts Chris Sutton and Robbie Savage. I have written about it in more detail here.

Available at

Schaap lives on WKCR

We are glad to report WKCR has been broadcasting archives of Phil Schaap’s Bird Flight show each weekday morning at 9. Phil Schaap who passed away at the age of 70 after a four-year battle with cancer was a broadcasting force whose passion for jazz and Charlie Parker in particular never relented in his 50 years broadcasting on WKCR.  He had an encyclopedic knowledge of Jazz  and a very matter-of-fact on-air microphone style. 89.1 FM,

Neither map nor territory.

John Allen resurfaces

We were glad to hear another Freq-Amp favorite who left the airwaves around the same time as Schaap, John Allen resurface for a welcome fill-in on WFMU. Allen’s JA in the AM had been broadcasting in the Friday 9 am to noon slot on WFMU (FM 91.1 for the last 4 years. His musical palette varied widely from obscure indie, electronic and funk to NY noise and beyond. Modern forms of jazz had been one of the staples of the show. His on-air style, extremely laid back with pauses to let the mellow jazz over which he spoke do the talking during mic breaks, eventually his voice grew to mean Friday morning for me.  “Up next, Johnny Allen” the chipper end-of-the-week Clay Pigeon would jibe. JA’s  show consistently took you to unexpected places, always bringing something interesting to the airwaves. Then awhile back, out of the blue, Allen announced he was doing his last show. We don’t know the circumstances behind Allen’s departure, but we fear his exit might have been a result of an on-air guest who dropped a few very blatant fucks and shits.

Whatever the cause of Allen’s sabbatical from WFMU, we hope JA will once again become a regular fixture on the airwaves soon.

Return to Freq-Amp homepage.

Published by Frequency and Amplitude, an NYC Radio Roundup

Surveying what's left of the analog NYC-area radioscape.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: