So, I'm curious, do you listen to Blues Valley? If so, how'd you discover the Professah and his music?
I was introduced to Blues Valley by my husband, Charlie (back before he was my husband) in the summer of 1990. We lived in Amherst County and both worked for the Virginia Center for Creative Arts, which meant we had absolutely no "discretionary income" to fling about having fun on Saturday nights.
When I first met him, Charlie lived in a tiny, deep-country house, stuck between corn fields and woods. So, on Saturday nights, I'd go over, he'd aim the radio out the window, turn up Blues Valley, the two of us would dance around the back yard, and I'd think: Who needs money? You can't have more fun than this.
Now, before Professah Blues was Professah Blues, he was known simply as Greg Versen and was a much-loved and highly-regarded JMU professor of social work. So how'd Greg Versen morph into Professah Blues?
This, straight from the blues-loving, Mississippi-born Professah Blues, his ownself:
I believe that a DJ needs a memorable name to which people can relate. Being in academia, and a social worker by profession, I was very careful to not be unethical in my name selection. There are lots of blues DJs who call themselves Dr. Blues. Well, I don't have a doctorate but I am a professor, so it became Professah Blues. It seems to have been a good choice.
Blues Valley's first official on-air date was January 4, 1985. And to reiterate: This Saturday, from 8 p.m. until midnight, WMRA is opening our doors, turning up the music, serving barbecue catered by Hank's Smokehouse and Southern Grillery, and inviting you to come celebrate the Professah and his music at a free, 4-hour Blues and Barbecue Bash! Please do come!
I don't know about you, but I plan to dance my little toes off. It's still my opinion that you can't have more fun than dancing the night away to Professah Blues and Blues Valley!
Tomorrow: Professah Blues talks about himself, his show, and, very personally, about the Blues.