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History of Philadelphia radio station 90.1 WRTI (Temple University)

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  • Discuss 90.1 WRTI Philadelphia

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    1. Posted at 11:39 AM on 7/17/2011 by Nadim Sulaiman Ali:
    I worked at wrti in the late 70's along with Samir ali Sadiq, Nasir Azim Abdullah, Umar A. Abdul-Hafez,and many others.

    2. Posted at 10:46 PM on 11/17/2011 by David Muhammad:
    AS-SALAAM-ALAIKUM(PEACE)ITS A pleasure to be corresponding to someone from 90.1 Wrti radio..when you all inspired me in the 70'S WITH INSPIRATIONAL JAZZ MUSIC.I often reflect on those times of listening,,when every communicator was playing good jazz music..I HAVE BEEN TRYING AND THINKING ABOUT A CUT THAT SAMIR ALI SADIQ USED TO PLAY CALLED JOURNEY TO Mecca..in particular..take care..peace

    3. Posted at 6:55 PM on 12/7/2011 by David Muhammad:
    TRYING TO LOCATE BRO.SAMIR ALI SADIQ..IN REF TO.THE ALBUM JOURNEY TO MECCA AND VARIOUS CALLS TO PRAYER PLAYED ON HIS PROGRAM IN THE 70"S ON THE POINT..WRTI RADIO..AND AS-SALAAM ALAIKUM TO YOU ALL,NASIR,UMAR,AND LAST BUT NOT LEAST BRO,NADIM..

    4. Posted at 12:58 PM on 5/9/2012 by Alex:
    Does anyone knows the name of the theme song of jazz Journeys hosted By Earle Brown (WRTI) around 1990s?

    5. Posted at 8:35 AM on 12/16/2012 by Gerry Hanlon:
    Greetings, brothers and sisters of the 70s and early 80s. I'm honored to have "grown up on the air" of WRTI from 1976 through '86, hosting Wednesday evening live jazz sessions (assisted by Brother Gil and numerous others) as well as Saturdays into Sunday starting at midnight. I well remember Samir Ali Sadiq, Brother Nasir (always a peaceful influence) and so many others to whom I'm grateful for the opportunity to have expanded my own musical horizons, as well as the many local musicians (Ted Gerike, I'm talkin' 'bout you) as well as C.T. Johnson, a regular guest who ran the Capricorn Club in South Philly for many years before his passing. Miss the glory days for jazz in Philadelphia, and though I moved on to WDCU in Washington in '86 for another ten year run, WRTI was magical. Yes, quite a few over-the-air lines were crossed in those days, but through all of it, jazz was on the air 24/7. When I come back to visit the magic of Philadelphia - seriously, do those of you who live there appreciate that great city? - I'm visiting great memories. And wouldn't it be wonderful if somehow, some forward thinking - or heritage conscious - university administrator somewhere in the Philadelphia area would revive all-day and all-night jazz radio for the many thousands of hipsters in the region who would support it? Ah well, one can dream. Thanks for the opportunity to let me share, then and now. Gerry Hanlon

    6. Posted at 6:07 AM on 11/1/2013 by Nadim Sulaiman Ali:
    Peace to you Gerry. I remember you well, and the fine taste in music that you offered the city for many years. I continued the tradition here in Atlanta for many years, but I have never forgotten my roots. Br. David the record that Samir(RIP) use to play was Journey to Mecca by Wali and the Afro Caravan

    7. Posted at 9:58 AM on 11/1/2013 by Warren Lubline:
    I became a listener in high school to Greg Ross, an enthusiastic guy that might have been named Dave or Kenny Anderson (still have a cassette of him breaking into a song saying "could someone please sign me up for the Down Beat broadcasters pole" during a fantastic piano solo - priceless)afternoon be-bop and later, the retrospective shows of Edgar Brown (still have some cassettes of his programs that he ended with "Revolution means change but not all change is revolutionary. Kwaheri." I wonder what happened to him. I met Steve Roland in a Sociology class, became friends and did demos to work on-air. This was a bad time for the station with Samir ali Sadiq packing the first half hour of his shows with calls to prayer, endless Malcolm X speeches, and finally the disappearance of a large amount of the station's jazz collection into the trunk of Sadiq's car. Still, it inculcated a life long love of the music and working at the station got me into lots of shows that I still remember in detail (Betty Carter, Ron Carter, Horace Silver, Quest. . . down at the old Bijou at Broad and Lombard), shows at Prince's Total Experience, the old and new Foxhall cafe, first in the basement of St. Mary's at the U of P and later at the Rittenhouse Square Ethical Society, and many other shows. I must have seen Philly Joe 30 times over the years, too. Sad to see the abandonment of the all jazz format but even more the loss of the presentation of the cutting edge of the music. Turning over prime time to the doddering BP with GM, already an elephant 35 years ago was unconscionable. Can anyone really understand his semi-senile ramblings? Edgar Brown could mumble with the best, but he was still an erudite broadcaster and put together great retrospective programs. It's all a long, long time ago. Kwaheri.Ludvig van Trek (what a name!) with his Point of Departure was the last really good program I listened to on my visits to town.

    8. Posted at 3:34 PM on 12/28/2013 by Charles:
    What was the name of Joe Hunters theme song when he was a disc jockey at WRTI? His show was called, "Night of the Hunter."

    9. Posted at 11:29 PM on 2/4/2014 by Rob Vaughn:
    Greetings all WRTI. It was my great privilege to start in this crazy business by going on the air one morning at WRTI to do a newscast. 1977 -- while studying at Temple. Samir Ali Sadiq was the jock -- didn't know me from Adam, or my name. But it was a start. Thanks, Samir, and thanks, WRTI.

    10. Posted at 2:36 AM on 11/10/2014 by Bill Breslin:
    Answer to 8. Posted at 3:34 PM on 12/28/2013 by Charles: What was the name of Joe Hunters theme song when he was a disc jockey at WRTI? His show was called, "Night of the Hunter." The music was from "the deadly affair" composed by Quincy Jones; I have a copy of the CD. Back around 1969-1971 I made a reel-to-reel recording of one of Mr. Hunter's broadcasts. Sadly, I recorded over this "treasure" and lost my only copy. Do you know if anyone has copies of his shows? Thank you, Bill Breslin. Home phone: 949-722-7042

    11. Posted at 10:23 PM on 3/10/2015 by gene:
    I have some old cassettes of Sister Aquilla.

    12. Posted at 11:24 AM on 9/8/2015 by James Dickerson:
    The Muslim influence on WRTI jazz seems apparent in this thread. My experience, however, is colored by the residence of Edgar Brown (RIP), Perri Johnson and Primus Robinson - who were all, incidentally, 1964 and 1965 graduates of Ben Franklin High School. Edgar Brown was known as "The Hawk" and preceeded Harrison Ridley as on-air jazz historian. Perri Johnson, who created the term "Muzak" and later became a personality on WDAS-FM, presented as his theme the haunting Pharoah Sanders version of Astral Traveling by Dr. Lonnie Liston Smith. Primus went on to work for Atlantic Records, I believe.

    13. Posted at 8:12 AM on 10/16/2015 by Brother Ujima:
    Unfortunately, Brother Samir passed. However, the name of the track was "Afro Journey to Mecca" by Wali And The Afro Caravan from the album "Home Lost And Found (The Natural Sound)" on the Solid State label released in 1070. They also used to play it on "Al Islam In America" based in New Jersey, which I listened to from New York.

    14. Posted at 6:53 PM on 1/7/2016 by Bill Cohen:
    First of all, I love this station (most of the time). I am principally a classical music listener, but do like to slip into a little jazz -- if its listenable. Second, after 10:00 p.m. the classical music programming format is really boooooring. 90 seconds of music and talk from Peter Van Dergrift (I don't know the spelling). He knows his stuff, but after that hour, please just music, no talk. I immediately turn it off and go to another station (e.g., Maine Public Radio which fits the bill. Third, B.P. is very good, but has such a sporadic play list at 6:00 p.m. That is the time for classic or cocktail jazz, not the fast paced be-bop that he slips in. Bob Craig knows what people want to hear when they are pouring a glass of wine before dinner. Keep B.P. but have him broadcast later. OK, that is what I have to say. Don't worry you will still get my (mola) support). Bill Cohen

    15. Posted at 11:51 AM on 3/3/2016 by Jim Greene:
    Answer to 8 and 10. The Sound track for "the Deadly Affair" had Stan Getz as a studio musician for the Verve label. I have the album in vinyl. I called the station back when I was pretty young so I could get a hold of the Sound track

    16. Posted at 2:49 PM on 5/1/2016 by edith maletsky RN MS:
    many years ago I did public health ed and became friends with Joe Hunter who was such a huge support system I have lost track of Joe does anyone know where he is and how he is? Shalom Edie Maletsky RN

    17. Posted at 7:16 AM on 5/9/2016 by Rasheeda Young:
    ASA, I'm trying to find a piece of which I have no idea of the title or artist(s). All I remember is that the Al-Fatiha was being sung with a rhythmic beat to it. I'm pretty sure it was a black group. Please help me...Allah'u Akbar *)

    18. Posted at 7:57 AM on 9/1/2016 by Nadim Sulaiman Ali:
    Sister Rashida The Artist is Abdullah Ibrahim. The song is called Ishmael: https://youtu.be/0xEmfQ-g4mc

    19. Posted at 9:29 PM on 10/12/2016 by Robert black:
    Still looking for answer to number 4

    20. Posted at 8:17 PM on 1/4/2017 by ray filipponi:
    I used to like a jazz host from the late 80s or early 90s on WRTI. Sunday mornings. Can't recall his name. Nice mellow music. Who was he? Thanks!

    21. Posted at 1:17 PM on 5/2/2017 by Michael D. Anderson:
    FROM A FORMER WRTI-FM STAFFER 1974-1984 During the late 60's and mostly 1970's, WRTI was known as "THE FREEDOM SOUNDS" and was the best station in the world to hear Jazz. The early 70's staff included people like Edgar Brown (The Hawk), George Cross, Camille Steed (Sunday Afternoon Magic), Bob Brown, Russ Musto, Buddy Korn, Allen Harris and a few others. They played the serious music. The music coming through the box from 'RTI was beyond incredible. Every show basically was a perfect continuation of the previous. At this time The NEW JAZZ of the 70's was taking the music to the next level with people like Doug & Jean Carn, Carlos Garrett, Woody Shaw, Charles Tolliver, Gary Bartz and Andy Bey, "The Visitors" (Earl & Carl Grubbs), Rahsaan Roland Kirkā€¦. You get my point. It was the shooby dot kiddies. During the day you could walk from Broad and Diamond Street where the station was originally located and walk down Broad to Vine Street and every news stand had "RTI on the box blasting. I know I walked that walk many a day. The music was everywhere. As a child at age 9, Sundays were very special for me because of the program called "Blues Graveyard" hosted by Bart Tatem Jr. The Graveyard is where you heard the roots of Jazz and Blues. When I was age 13, I called Mr. Tatem and he invited me to the station because I knew so much about the history of Black Swing & Big Band Music. Basically this knowledge came from my listening to his show. Shortly thereafter Mr. Tatem brought me in as his assistant helping choose music his show. I later took over the show (1975-1977) as a community music specialist prior to Harrison Ridley Jr. joining the station in 1976. In 1977 while I was a student at Simon Gratz High School I was offered a Saturday evening 12-4 AM after Jonathan Bey and a Wednesday afternoon 2-6 PM slot. My teachers who were students at Temple U. would laugh to realize I would cut school to do my show at 'RTI which they listened to. Ms. Roberta Millard, one of my teachers helped me a get student work program document. Sadly, in 1976 we lost Allen Harris (DJ) and Michelle Freeman from our news department due to them having severe asthma attacks while they were on the air. This is the same year I joined The Sun Ra Arkestra as one of his many drummers. By 1977 the 'RTI staff had changed and we became "THE POINT". The new people on staff were Jonathan Bey, Skip Jackson, Aqueelah Jamal, Geetu Sanger, Samir Ali Sadaak, Brother William from

    22. Posted at 7:01 PM on 9/19/2017 by Steve Rowland:
    Hey, I just found this list - very nice. Hey to Gerry, Mike Anderson, Felix & Karen, Bernadette Hicks, Homer, Greg Ross, Aqueelah, Justin, -- I have a lot to say - but I see this is not frequented too often. Peace, Love and Music to you all!

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