Something About the Women - Weekly Radio Featuring Women Artists

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Meet the DJs - Sue Edelman

DJ Sue EdelmanSince as early as I can remember, I've been a radio junkie. Born in central New Jersey (Exit 9, if you must ask!), I grew up listening to Top 40 on WABC-AM in New York City and WFIL-AM in Philadelphia. At about age 7, I began tracking what the stations played, paying attention to how often songs were played and weekly chart positions. In the 6th grade, when everyone in my class had to interview someone about their occupation, I trekked down to the local radio station, WPST-FM in Princeton, NJ, to interview the station manager. My report included detailed drawings of the broadcasting equipment. I guess I should have known then that I would grow up to not only love radio, but to actually do a show myself.

I got my love of music from my parents, especially my father, who in the '70s introduced me to the music of Carole King, James Taylor, Bette Midler, the Carpenters, Barbra Streisand and Peter, Paul & Mary. I listened to the radio constantly, making sure to tune in to specific shows the way other kids watched their favorite TV shows. I loved popular music, folk, rock and later jazz, thanks to a stint playing flute in the high school jazz band and a brother who is a jazz freak with his own record label, Sharp 9 Records. Summers were spent at summer camp, including eight summers at Camp Timber Tops, where I would sing for 2 months straight until my voice was an octave lower. We sang folk and popular songs of the '60s and '70s, by artists like Simon & Garfunkel, Joni Mitchell, Cat Stevens, James Taylor and Carole King.

I came to the Boston area in 1981 to attend Tufts University. While in college, I discovered the local folk music scene and the emerging "women's music" movement pioneered by Olivia Records and Holly Near's Redword Records, and propelled forward by artists like Cris Williamson, Meg Christian, Teresa Trull and Ferron. (Something About the Women gets its name from the Holly Near song of the same name from her 1978 Redwood Records album, Imagine My Surprise.) I was a frequent audience member at Passim in Harvard Square, drawn in by up-and-coming artists like Suzanne Vega, Shawn Colvin, Patty Larkin and my fellow Tufts student, Tracy Chapman. Artists like the Roches, Joan Armatrading and Bonnie Raitt caught my attention and my musical focus shifted almost exclusively to women artists.

I continued to be a radio addict and came across WMFO's Something About the Women in the mid-'80s. In 1988, after an on-air plea for new DJs, I got involved with the show, trained to be a DJ and have been doing the show ever since, with the exception of a 4-year hiatus between 1996 and 2000. My passions are finding new women artists to share with the audience, and uncovering rare cuts and live tracks that you don't hear anywhere else. I've enjoyed interviewing artists like Jonatha Brooke and Jennifer Kimball, Kristen Hall, Sonia, Barbara Kessler and Cris Williamson on the show. My favorite interview to date was with Terry Gross of the public radio show Fresh Air. Interviewing someone who is, in my opinion, one of the greatest interviewers of all time was initially intimidating, but she was easy to talk to and gave a great interview.

In my "real" career (meaning the one that pays the bills), I am a web producer and editor. Currently I am a Digital Content Manager at Greater Media Boston, which operates five Boston-area radio stations.

Sue's 10 Desert Island Discs

If she was stranded on a desert island, these are the discs she couldn't live without!

 

In no particular order:

Tapestry by Carole King
JT by James Taylor
Changer and the Changed by Cris Williamson
Swamp Ophelia by the Indigo Girls
Never Enough by Melissa Etheridge
Fat City by Shawn Colvin
1962-1966 by The Beatles
Pure Ella by Ella Fitzgerald
Absolute Torch and Twang by k.d. lang
Hairspray, The Musical (soundtrack)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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2005 Sue Edelman