RADIO FREE AMSTERDAM Radio Free Amsterdam is a grass-roots internet radio station designed and directed by John Sinclair under the auspices of The John Sinclair Foundation since the radio station was founded in Amsterdam and initiated programming on January 1, 2005. Radio Free Amsterdam is dedicated to presenting a continuous stream of authentic blues, jazz, roots and world music presented by an all-star collective of contributing broadcast producers and program hosts on a voluntary basis. Radio Free Amsterdam is designed as a tribute to the classic American radio stations of the 1950s and ‘60s when the greatest recordings being issued could be heard on the radio airwaves hour after hour at no cost to the listener.
The music was selected by the program hosts guided by their intelligence and knowledge of the music. Accordingly, Radio Free Amsterdam has assembled a working team of independent broadcast producers who provide one or two hours of original programming each week. Each day two one-hour episodes are posted at www.radiofreeamsterdam.org, and all the programs are archived at the site for listening on demand. Additionally, the station provides a continuous music stream called “24/7” that plays back all posted programs in reverse order and is updated periodically with new broadcast episodes. This stream enables Radio Free Amsterdam to be heard around the clock like a traditional radio station. The Radio Free Amsterdam website was provided, funded and maintained by our project sponsors in Amsterdam since its inception.
Substantial additional funding was provided by a 75th birthday party in Ann Arbor for John Sinclair in 2016, generating sufficient funds to underwrite a complete technical update of our delivery system, upgrade our website for the first time in several years, and insure the future of the radio station. The Radio Free Amsterdam program hosts are radio veterans who produce weekly blues, jazz or free-form programs for college or community stations or expressly for Radio Free Amsterdam:
• John Sinclair produces our flagship program, The John Sinclair Radio Show, plus Ancestor Worship, Blues & Roots and other series exclusively for Radio Free Amsterdam. His first program appeared on November 22, 2004 produced by Larry Hayden and Hank Botwinik and he continues to serve as Program Director for the station. He is a veteran of WNRZ-FM and WCBN-FM in Ann Arbor, WDET-FM in Detroit and twelve years at WWOZ- FM, where he was voted most popular deejay in in New Orleans for the last five years of his residency there (1999-2003).
• Steve Pratt (Steve The Fly), deejay, drummer, record producer, writer and scholar extraordinaire spins his Fly By Night shows exclusively for Radio Free Amsterdam and oversees the day to day operations of the station.
• Bruce Pingree has hosted and produced The Blues Show on WUNH-FM in Durham, NH since the early 1970s and now has more than 400 episodes archived at the Radio Free Amsterdam site.
• Cary Wolfson created his award-winning syndicated radio program Blues From The Red Rooster Lounge more than 30 years ago and published Blues Access magazine until its demise at the end of the 20th century. His program is syndicated on several radio stations in the U.S. and appears weekly on Radio Free Amsterdam
• Leslie Keros hosts and produces programs for WDCB-FM in Chicago, and has contributed series titled Messin’ With The Blues, Mood Indigo, Chicago Bound, Blues Edition, and Crossroads: Where Jazz Meets Blues now archived at the Radio Free Amsterdam site, along with her current series Jazz At Daybreak.
• Bob Putignano mixed soul, jazz, funk, blues, blues-rock and more with a steady dose of musician interviews and conversations with industry insiders for years on WFDU-FM in New York City and created his current program series for taintradio.org, now heard every week on Radio Free Amsterdam as Sounds of Blue.
• George Klein created The Groove Yard show on WEMU-FM in Ypsilanti MI in the 19802 and ‘90s and its successr, Beyond The Groove Yard on taintradio.org. The original Groove Yard programs are currently aired weekly on Radio Free Amsterdam.
• Lucille Mancini, a popular club deejay known in Italy as Lucille DJ, produces The Soul Lucille Show for controradio-fm in Florence, Italy and features a Radio Free Amsterdam guest spot from John Sinclair each week. The music for her program is drawn from her vast collection of vinyl, CDs and other musical media.
• Tino Gross, under his nom de radio Martino D’Lorenzo, produced and hosted the Big City Blues Cruise program for WEMU-FM in Ypsilanti MI from 1982 through 1998, playing 78s, 45s, and LPs from his extensive record collection. Tino is a drummer, guitarist, singer and recording artist in his own right who served as lead singer of the Howling Diablos as well as president and producer for Funky D Records. More than 150 hours of his classic Big City Blues Cruise program have been digitally transferred. From cassette and aired on Radio Free Amsterdam.
• Linda Lexy, producer of the Party Train show, is a veteran Detroit deejay on the radio and in the clubs who is also a principal in Funky D Records. She recently received her 7th Best Deejay in Detroit citation at the Detroit Music Awards.
• David Kunian is Jazz Lunatique in residence at WWOZ-FM in New Orleans and an award-winning broadcast program producer, a music journalist and director of the Jazz Archive at the Louisiana State Museum.
• Don Paul & Maryse Dejean of New Orleans contributed a program series in 2019 titled Roots & Branches with programs centered on New Orleans civil rights leader Lolis Edward Elie, musician/composers Sarah Elizabeth Charles and Christian Scott aTundé Adjuah, guitarist and composer Leo Nocentelli, Kidd Jordan, Kirk Joseph and Roger Lewis. Don is a poet, editor and producer from San Francisco who settled in New Orleans after Katrina, and Maryse is a native of Haiti long resident in the Crescent City and on the staf of WWOZ radio, where she hosts the Jazz from the Park show.
• The late Tom Morgan, a veteran of WTJU-FM (Bartender’s Bop) in Charlottesvill who settled in New Orleans after Katrina, and Maryse is a native of Haiti resident in New e, Virginia and WWOZ-FM (Jazz Roots, New Orleans Music Show) in New Orleans, has contributed several program series including Diggin’ The Roots to our broadcast schedule.
• The late William Levy is the legendary author, journalist, editor and literary figure who produced and hosted The Dr. Doo Wop Show for Radio 100 in Amsterdam around the turn of the 21st century. Almost four dozen of his programs from the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s were digitally transferred from mini-disks and cassettes and broadcast on Radio Free Amsterdam during 2016-2017.
• Renowned blues journalist, former editor of Living Blues magazine, and co-director (with Jim O’Neill) of the Blues Landmark series for the State of Mississippi, created his series titled Highway 61 for Mississippi Public Radio and provided a year’s owrth of episodes to be aired on Radio Free Amsterdam. This cast of musical characters who contribute their programming to Radio Free Amsterdam can be heard every week in regular rotation and in reverse sequence in the continuous “24/7” stream on our website. Radio Free Amsterdam issues a monthly Program Guide listing programs for the coming month with short descriptions of each offering, published on our website on the first of each month.
–John Sinclair. 2021.