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.
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.
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.
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.
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
no particular order:
Favorite Female Artists
In no particular order...
on links to buy CDs on Amazon.com
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support Something About the Women.
e-mail to Sue