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Playlist: Dan Davis's Favorites

Compiled By: Dan Davis

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New Orleans Calling: "After The Flood" - How Community Radio Station WWOZ Was Saved In 2005

From Jamie Dell'Apa | 01:00:00

Ten years ago, there was a storm, and then there was a flood, and they changed New Orleans forever. Many stories from that time have been told, but not this one: how WWOZ went off the air and could have been lost forever, if not for the efforts of hundreds of different people who loved the music and culture of New Orleans. And we’re letting those people tell the story themselves, on this special episode of New Orleans Calling, hosted by George Ingmire.

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Ten years ago, there was a storm, and then there was a flood, and they changed New Orleans forever. Many stories from that time have been told, but not this one: how New Orleans radio station WWOZ, where New Orleans Calling is produced, went off the air and could have been lost forever, if not for the efforts of hundreds of different people who loved the music and culture of the Crescent City. And we’re letting some of those people tell the story themselves, on this special episode of New Orleans Calling.

In 2005, WWOZ’s studios had been in the “Treehouse” building in Armstrong Park in New Orleans for 21 years. It was right in the Treme neighborhood, the birthplace of jazz. The small community radio station had been on the air for 25 years, and had become a legend in New Orleans for its authenticity and its colorful personalities — and also around the world, due to the magic of Internet streaming. But when a Category 5 hurricane approached New Orleans and the station went off the air, and then the city flooded, nobody knew if WWOZ could ever return to the airwaves.

This episode of New Orleans Calling tells an untold story — how individuals across the country, determined to save this voice of New Orleans music and culture, brought WWOZ back to the Internet, and then back to the airwaves, and then home to New Orleans. Some parts of this story have been told before, but the whole story has never been, and not by so many voices of the people who made this happen.

Producers George Ingmire and Dave Ankers set out to capture these stories over an eight-week period. And we realized that telling the story as a montage of different elements would be in the spirit of WWOZ and community radio — a collaboration and celebration of many people and voices.

Homemade Stories: The Struggle is Real

From WBEZ | 54:00

In this one-hour special, Homemade Stories: The Struggle is Real, award-winning storyteller Shannon Cason (The Moth, Snap Judgment) takes us on a journey that finds hope in struggle. From navigating Detroit’s overwhelmed criminal justice system, to searching for work and finding closed doors, to being a father after failing in marriage, to finding anchors in a sea of uncertainty, Shannon's stories are heartfelt, heartbreaking and hilarious all at once. But above all else, his stories are honest. Shannon Cason is the real deal.

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With modern scoring and skillful sound design, Detroit-raised storyteller Shannon Cason brings us stinging and side-splitting stories of life in this one-hour special, Homemade Stories: The Struggle is Real . From navigating Detroit’s overwhelmed criminal justice system, to searching for work and finding closed doors, to being a father after failing in marriage, to finding anchors in a sea of uncertainty.

Not only are Shannon’s stories raw accounts of struggle and hope, they’re the stuff of stand-ups. He has the remarkable ability to be heartfelt, heartbreaking and hilarious all at once. But above all else, his stories are honest. Shannon Cason is the real deal.

He’s been featured on The Moth (he’s a Moth GrandSLAM winner) and Snap Judgment (he was their 2013 Performance of the Year) and he’s the host of Shannon Cason's Homemade Stories from WBEZ Chicago (a podcast that just wrapped its sixth season).  Hear more of Shannon’s stories at wbez.org/podcasts or shannoncason.com.