Wednesday afternoon The AIR brings you a special new episodes of Curtain Call and Beatles Blast, both of which are the first halves of two-part specials!  You can tune in at the website, or if you’re on a laptop or desktop, you could just stay right here and  listen to the convenient embedded radio player lurking elsewhere on this page.

At 2 PM Beatles Blast presents a themed show that, when I first thought of it, I thought was a dumb idea and there wouldn’t be enough songs to fill out an hour. I had the silly idea of doing an hour of Beatles songs (group and solo) about animals, or at least that mention an animal in the title. The Beatles were all animal lovers, so I figured it might be worth a shot.

Then I started compiling tracks for the show, and discovered that it’s going to be a two-parter. They had more animal songs than I realized. So come back next week for part two. Check out the playlist for part one below. I damn-near had enough songs about birds to give them a show of their own, but I decided to mix it up a bit.

Beatles Blast 087

The Beatles “Martha My Dear”
George Harrison “Baltimore Oriole”
John Lennon “Surprise, Surprise (Sweet Bird of Paradox)”
Ringo Starr “Bye Bye, Blackbird”
Paul McCartney “Long Tailed Winter Bird”
The Beatles “Free As A Bird”
Paul McCartney “All You Horse Riders”
George Harrison “Fish On The Sand”
John Lennon “Cold Turkey”
Ringo Starr “A Mouse Like Me”
The Beatles “Piggies”
The Beatles “Hey Bulldog”
Paul McCartney “Ram On (unreleased reprise)”
John Lennon “Hound Dog”
The Beatles “Blackbird”

Beatles Blast can be heard every Wednesday at 2 PM, with replays Thursday at 11 PM, Friday at 1 PM,  and Saturday afternoon.

At 3 PM on Curtain Call, Mel Larch salutes  25 years since the Broadway debut of the musical based on E. L. Doctorow’s Ragtime. Mel also want to pay her respects to Frank Galati, who directed the show, and who passed away on January 2.

Galati was a beloved director, writer, and actor. He was a member of Steppenwolf Theatre Company and an associate director at Goodman Theatre. He taught at Northwestern University for many years.

Ragtime featured music by Stephen Flaherty, lyrics by Lynn Ahrens, and a book by Terrence McNally.

Set in the late-period gilded age of the early 20th century, Ragtime tells the story of three groups in the United States: African Americans, represented by Coalhouse Walker Jr., a Harlem musician; upper-class suburbanites, represented by Mother, the matriarch of a white upper-class family in New Rochelle, New York; and Eastern European immigrants, represented by Tateh, a Jewish immigrant from Latvia.

The show also incorporates historical figures such as Harry Houdini, Evelyn Nesbit, Booker T. Washington, J. P. Morgan, Henry Ford, Stanford White, Harry Kendall Thaw, and Admiral Peary, an weaves its narrative around some of the true-life scandals and events of the day.

It’s a great show, and also a long one. Rather than just bring you highlights, Mel decided to spread Ragtime over two episodes of Curtain Call, so like Beatles Blast, you get to come back next week for part two.

Curtain Call can be heard on The AIR Wednesday at 3 PM, with replays Thursday at 8 AM, Friday at 10 AM, Saturday at 8 PM and Monday at 9 AM. A six-hour marathon of classic episodes can be heard Sunday evening starting at 6 PM, and an all-night marathon of Curtain Call episodes can be heard Wednesday nights, beginning at Midnight.

Also on The AIR, Wednesday at 11 PM,  The Comedy Vault gears up a new episode for the new year.  This time you get a solid hour of the weirdly comical music of Barnes & Barnes.  The Comedy Vault can be heard every Wednesday at 11 PM, with the featured episodes replayed the following Monday at 8 PM.