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There are countless other stories of the vast appeal and influence of this truly warm and humorous gentleman who, on the occasion of his personal appearances, always drew a large and responsive audience, usually for the benefit of a local musical organization. Not a very tall man, he would come on stage, a large smile on his face as he greeted the audience. 'Hello, everyone', he would say and then just stand there, observing as he was being observed. Finally, he would say, 'I've always wondered what you looked like, too.' His in-person performances were very much like the radio programs: warm, explanatory in his easily understood way of speaking, humorous, and musical.

Robert Conrad tells of a specific recital-lecture given in Fort Wayne, Indiana. 'After the program, a gentleman who by his dress and windblown face was obviously a farmer, came up to him and said, "Dr Haas, I listen to you everyday on my tractor as I'm working in the fields. I don't know quite what you're saying, but I like the way you say it." Karl had the unique knack of being able to convey his love and knowledge of classical music to an audience that, for the most part, wasn't all that familiar with it,' Conrad says. 'But instead of bringing the music down to them, he brought them up to the music. He was like Leonard Bernstein in that respect.' An audience segment of which he was extremely proud was that of 'over-the-road truckers', or drivers of the huge eighteen-wheelers. He devoted many programs to their questions and comments.

Robert Conrad. Photo © Kelly Ferjutz
Robert Conrad. Photo © Kelly Ferjutz

The syndication was a joint idea of the two owners of WCLV -- C K Patrick and Robert Conrad -- although CK did most of the negotating. It was the third syndicated program originated by the station, after Music from Oberlin in 1964, followed by the Cleveland Orchestra in 1965.

Until 1982 when satellite distribution began, programs were distributed on reel to reel tapes. After broadcast, the stations would then return the reels to be re-used. In 1982, WCLV, with WFMT and the Concert Music Network, formed the Concert Music Satellite Network to distribute their respective programs to both commercial and non-commercial stations. They continued using satellite in one form or another until this past year when they switched to the FTP site. And within the past fifteen years or so, a number of stations, including the overseas outlets -- Australia, Mexico, Panama -- received the shows on CD.

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Copyright © 29 June 2007 Kelly Ferjutz, Bantry, Ireland


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