Locally produced “Three Song Stories” to replace popular NPR Saturday show

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Richard Chin Quee, Mike Kiniry and Tara Calligan. COURTESY PHOTO

After three decades, NPR’s Car Talk inherited the “antique” label status. Its final program aired on WGCU FM on Saturday, September 25. In its place, WGCU adds a local podcast-turned-broadcast program, “Three Song Stories: Biography Through Music”.

In a heartwarming twist, the first episode airing on 3SS on Saturday, October 2 will feature Doug Berman, creator and executive producer of Car Talk, and Wait, Wait… Don’t Tell Me! the signature news Saturday humor program.

“Three Song Stories” was premiered by Mike Kiniry and Richard Chin Quee of WGCU in February 2018. It features people sharing their life stories through the lens of three songs that have become linked to their memories. Laughter, tears and memories of life and music are the hallmarks of the show.

Show guests are asked to choose three songs to listen to while recording, and then they tell the story the songs bring them back to. The song choices were very varied: rock, classical, country, electronic, gospel, opera and more.

Former guests included bestselling novelist Nathan Hill, author and playwright Robert Hilliard, survivor Les Stroud, Joshua Johnson of MSNBC, David Brancaccio of NPR of “Marketplace Morning Report” and Jesse Thorn of “Bullseye.”

“What’s interesting is that because it’s a ‘biography through music’ we get to know a person and who they are not only through the stories they tell, but also through the songs. that she chooses. ” Mr Kiniry said. “Everyone handles it differently. “

Guests of the show are not allowed to speak about the song while it is playing.

Sometimes, however, they start to cry.

“We had maybe a dozen guests who were brought to tears listening to a song, remembering a deceased relative or a memorial song, things like that,” Kiniry says. “You have to decide which stories you want to tell, and some are more difficult than others. For people who make that choice, it’s serious radio, serious connection. Some have cried in surprising places. (It’s) the depth that music connects us.

“A number of guests have told me that preparing and implementing (the program) is like therapy. You need to be very introspective and use good judgment in your choices.

The show has a way of cajoling people’s stories and responses.

The hosts (while Mr. Kiniry is the main host, Mr. Chin Quee and online content producer Tara Calligan also take turns as the host chair) investigate the musical stories of the guests, learn about the music they heard growing up, what their parents listened to; their first concert; first album purchased; when music first moved them; which song they first danced slowly to.

“Sometimes you don’t even realize how intimate or revealing your stories are,” Chin Quee says.

And hearing other people’s memories related to songs now makes them think of those memories when they hear those songs again.

“There is a virality in the way music and memory spread,” says Kiniry. “I hope our listeners have the same kind of experiences with the songs and stories that we bring to them through the show.” ??

In the KNOW

The podcast version of “3 Song Stories” can be listened to on threesongstories.org, iTunes, Spotify, or wherever people listen to podcasts. The radio version, with full songs, can be listened to Saturday mornings at 10 am on WGCU 90.1fm / WMKO 91.7fm and on wgcu.org or the WGCU app; podcasts have truncated versions of the songs.


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