America’s most successful Brazilian music radio show made its commercial radio debut 30 years ago, on July 25th, 1992.
The Sounds of Brazil and WNUA 95.5: For Chicago’s Smooth Jazz fans, WNUA grew to become a defining moment in our musical lives, and when the station signed on back in the summer of 1987, I became a fan, too.
by Scott Adams
Months before, I had experienced Rio de Janeiro for the first time and had returned with a suitcase filled with Brazilian albums.
To be honest, I knew none of the artist names or songs that had replaced most of my clothing on that April trip to Brazil – new friends met during that trip had picked them for me and I couldn’t wait to get them to a turntable and drop the needle on each one.
Within weeks, I began to scour Chicago’s record stores for more. Rose Records became my second home.
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On the radio, WNUA was breaking new ground with an eclectic mix of contemporary jazz, pop, and New Age music and I realized that a lot of the music I was discovering from Brazil matched up with what I was hearing on 95.5.
So, I picked up a notebook and got busy.
I joined the writing staff at JAZZIZ magazine and began to learn. More trips to Brazil meant more music and soon I was making mix tapes of my favorite songs and handing them out to friends.
Apparently, people liked them, because it wasn’t long before I was getting mix tape requests from people I didn’t know here in Chicago and other cities, like Miami and Los Angeles.
Talk about “social media”.
I decided that if there was this much organic interest in this music, then why not a radio show? Why not The Sounds of Brazil and WNUA 95.5?
Someday, I promise to tell the story of how I got the ear of WNUA’s Program Director Lee Hansen (thank you, Lee!) and captured his imagination with my idea.
That led to a meeting with GM John Gehron, who I am proud to work alongside today at AccuRadio.com, where I program AccuRadio’s Brazilian channels along with America’s only always live streaming station for Brazilian music and culture at Connectbrazil.com.
Thanks for listening!
The Sounds of Brazil And WNUA
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