Update From 2015 Ralph J. Gleason Award Winner Doug Wendt
We were pleased to receive this note from Doug Wendt, recipient of the 2015 Ralph J. Gleason Award.
This is to confirm that on Monday February 23 I received your letter and the much-needed, much appreciated Ralph J. Gleason Award. Mr. Gleason was a huge inspiration to me when I first moved to San Francisco in 1968 to get my Masters Degree in film making at the SF Art Institute. I am extremely honored, humbled, and happy to be recognized and assisted in my life’s passion in this way. Plans are gelling in how to best use this opportunity to stabilize and improve my artistic instincts and endeavors, something that’s become increasingly difficult as ways to subsist in the arts have been severely undermined by an internet and economic system that shows little value in music and art.
Reggae and World Beat represent a renewed dignity, purpose, and influence to their respective fields not seen since Ralph was in his heyday. Like the re-opening of Cuba illustrates, doing things the same way with limited success calls for a fresh approach. The radio and music industries would do well to re-invigorate the whole scene with the power of the world. There’s a little radio station in the East Bay that took up my very popular worldbeat mix shortly after its 1988-1994 run at The Kennel Club in SF. My current Native American, World Music, Deep Sixties, and Reggae radio programs air as part of KECG’s amazing 24 hour schedule http://worldoneradio.org/kecg-radio/. They also mount an annual World One world music Festival. The station is run on fumes by Corey Mason, a Spanish teacher at El Cerrito High School, from which our signal is broadcast on two small towers out of Richmond and Berkeley, while being streamed world-wide.
[Because of this grant], I will be able to carve up some free time to finally make fresh programs for World One while I master and digitize vintage radio shows, video presentations, live tapes, band demos, and so forth from my extensive archive.
As an artist I’m driven to tap the muse no matter what. Heck, I just started my own band Ghost Town Sound (vid link below) in a terrible environment for music sales or viability.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Forward ever, backward never.
Ghost Town Sound “Ohtahku” music video