Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Come on over to WMRA Saturday night and celebrate!

Who-wheeee! Blues Valley has been on the air for a quarter of a century! And you're invited to help celebrate this indubitable reality on Saturday night, from 8 p.m. until midnight, as WMRA hosts a Blues and Barbecue Bash at our studio, 983 Reservoir Street, Harrisonburg.

Professah Blues

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 often features live music. Above, guitar maestro Bob Driver, August 8, 2009.

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.


  1. Great party idea, Martha! Wish I were not stuck in a blizzard up north. BLUES VALLEY is a fine radio slot, as good as any, anywhere.

    Check out the February issue of BLUEGRASS UNLIMITED for my article on Lexington's Freddie Goodhart -- another key music man in the Valley.

  2. Thanks for the invitation! I'm so ignorant about the Blues that I'd feel like a party crasher, but I look forward to tuning in tomorrow to listen to the Professah!

  3. There are NO party crashers to a Blues event. Anyone willing to have a good time belongs. And the party is Saturday night, not tomorrow. Tomorrow they'll just be part two of this blog post. MW