THE END OF AN ADVENTURE
KELLY FERJUTZ marks
the end of an era in
American classical music radio
Today, 29 June 2007, marks the end of an era. Actually, it's more correct to say the end of an adventure. For today marks the last regularly scheduled broadcast of Adventures in Good Music with Karl Haas.
It started in Detroit, in the spring of 1959, when radio station WJR -- no, actually, it started in Germany in 1920, when at the age of six, Karl Haas began piano lessons. Eventually, he would study with the great Artur Schnabel in New York, which should indicate the depth of his talent on the instrument. He had a marvelous and mellifluous speaking voice, in a pleasing bass/baritone range -- soothing even, especially when he was sharing one of his favorite puns. Among these were The Joy of Sax, No Stern Unturned and Baroque and in Debt.
His love of and for great music continued until his death in 2005, at the age of 91. He had been married twice, and had three children. One son, Jeff, is a talented jazz artist, who incorporates some of his father's favorite music into his own idiom.
For some thirty years, Adventures in Good Music was the most listened to program about classical music in the world, carried by stations in the US, Canada, Mexico, Panama, Australia, and the Armed Forces Radio Network. Beginning in 1970, it was syndicated for world-wide distribution by Seaway Radio, a division of Cleveland's classical radio station, WCLV-FM. 'It's still our highest-rated program', said Robert Conrad, president of WCLV-FM in Cleveland, at the time of Mr Haas's death.
Copyright © 29 June 2007
Kelly Ferjutz, Bantry, Ireland