Keith Weston

Web Producer & Back Porch Music Host @keithweston

Keith Weston was born and raised in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. He attended UNC-CH  where he earned a BA in English and Philosophy in 1984. His family (both sides) can trace roots in NC back to the 1770s and 80s.

Keith has always had an interest in radio. He built an AM transmitter from a Radio Shack kit when he was 7 and began broadcasting to his neighbors.  For more than 12 years, Keith also ran an alternative music on-line radio station, Deeper Into Music.

Keith Weston listening to a record player in his parents' living room circa late 1964/early 1965.
Credit Pat Weston

  Since then he's worked in both commercial and non-commercial radio - from classic rock to country music - landing at WUNC in 1987.

Keith hosted classical music and co-hosted the afternoon mix of jazz, classical, folk, and news on WUNC until 2001. Since then he's been a producer/director for The State of Things and currently is the station's web master and Back Porch Music host on Sunday evenings.

In his early teens he collected QSL cards by listening to shortwave stations broadcasting from Holland, Australia, USSR, South Africa, Canada, China, and dozens of other locations. He still dusts off his shortwave set from time to time to try to pull in a distant station.

Here's a video of Keith pulling in Radio Australia one morning in his home office:

Keith is interested in a wide range of music, from Gyorgi Legetti to Yo La Tengo and collects obscure 1960s psychedelic recordings. He owns a guitar - but hasn't yet fully captured the nuances of "Smoke on the Water."  He admits to being an Internet addict, reads too much E. A. Poe (his favorite) and likes watching movies by his distant relative, Oliver Hardy (of Laurel and Hardy fame).  

Keith's radio resume includes stints spinning adult contemporary hits at WCHL (Chapel Hill), playing hot country music at now-defunct WRBX (Durham), spinning "North Carolina's BEST rock" at WKZL (Winston-Salem), college radio DJing for WXYC (Chapel Hill). He also briefly played classical music at WFDD (Winston-Salem) and spun tunes at college radio station WXDU (Durham).

Personal website

Postcard: To Granny From Skylar

Sep 22, 2017

Postcards from Madison County is a special series from WUNC and The Partnership for Appalachian Girls' Education that features personal storytelling from a unique summer program for Appalachian youths.

Skylar Shelton is entering 6th grade at Madison Middle School. She is from the Spillcorn community in Laurel. Skylar’s digital story is about her love for her Mamaw, and its title is "My Whole World."


Postcard: Trucking With Dad

Sep 21, 2017

Postcards from Madison County is a special series from WUNC and The Partnership for Appalachian Girls' Education that features personal storytelling from a unique summer program for Appalachian youths.

Preslea Harwood is entering 6th grade at Madison Middle School. She is from the Marshall community. The title of Preslea’s digital story is "Coming Back Home."


Postcard: Blueberries For Papaw From Megan

Sep 20, 2017

Postcards from Madison County is a special series from WUNC and The Partnership for Appalachian Girls' Education that features personal storytelling from a unique summer program for Appalachian youths.

Megan Anderson is entering 6th grade at Madison Middle School in Marshall. She lives in the Laurel community. The title of Megan's digital story is "For Papaw."


Postcard: "Happy Feet" Clogging With Katlyn

Sep 19, 2017
Katlyn Lewis in Western North Carolina
Mikalah Creasman

Postcards from Madison County is a special series from WUNC and The Partnership for Appalachian Girls' Education that features personal storytelling from a unique summer program for Appalachian youths.

Katlyn Lewis is entering 6th grade at Madison Middle School in Marshall. Katlyn’s digital story, "Happy Feet," is about clogging and her relationship with her brother, Shane. She has always looked up to him and the two have watched SpongeBob SquarePants together since they were little.


American Songster Radio Episode 15
Diádoco / Flickr

When Dom Flemons visited a legendary fried chicken joint in Nashville, inspiration struck him like a wave of cayenne heat:

Wrenn Treadway
Mikalah Creasman

Postcards from Madison County is a special series from WUNC and The Partnership for Appalachian Girls' Education that features personal storytelling from a unique summer program for Appalachian youths.

Our first story is by Wrenn Treadway. Wrenn is from the Walnut community in Madison County, and is entering 7th grade at Madison Middle School in Marshall. Wrenn’s story is about keeping alive one of her favorite family traditions. It’s called "Our Family Secret." It involves doughnuts and a family recipe.


Alice Gerrard
Alicegerrard.com

We're back On The Lawn for another free concert at American Tobacco in Durham. Join us for a music double bill under the Lucky Strike tower starting at 6 p.m., June 29.

Tellico & Skylar Gudasz in concert
Tellico / Skylar Gudasz

WUNC's Back Porch Music On The Lawn series continues Thursday evening with exceptional North Carolina-based artists.

Front Country band
Big Hassle

Grab your picnic blanket and round up the kids because it's time for the start of Back Porch Music on The Lawn at American Tobacco in Durham.

Thursday night Front Country rolls into town with their genre-busting brand of roots music.  This is the first of eight in a series of concerts. 

Friday night at the Carolina Theatre in Durham, the Cat's Cradle presents the North Carolina premiere of the concert film "Thank You, Friends." The movie's name comes from a Big Star song from Third (the band's third album). The movie documents an on-going, star-studded tribute to the band.

On Episode 8 of American Songster Radio, host Dom Flemons speaks with his recent musical collaborator, the legendary English guitarist Martin Simpson. 

Dom Flemons and Martin Simpson have worked together since 2014, when the pair received a joint commission from the English Folk Dance and Song Society. Since then, they’ve completed multiple duo tours and released Ever Popular Favourites, an album that celebrates the longstanding mutual influence of British and American music.

Jake Fussell Playing Guitar
Brad Bunyea

Jake Fussell didn’t have to look far for musical inspiration in his home state of Georgia.  Even before he picked up a guitar, he was surrounded by some of the region’s most storied performers and committed documentarians.  Fussell grew up in the town of Columbus, GA, the son of parents whose passion was studying, teaching, and presenting regional culture.  For Fussell, an American folk song like “Raggy Levy” isn’t just an archival find.  It’s a part of his lived experience. 

Dom Flemons with good friend and mentor Bill Ferris
WUNC

Meet Bill Ferris

On the first Sunday of every month, Bill Ferris attended an African-American church on the farm where he grew up. Over time Ferris, a white child, became a routine presence at the church. He especially loved participating in the church’s communal singing. "I learned the hymns, and I just felt very emotionally close to that world," Ferris tells American Songster Radio host Dom Flemons.

While still a very young person, Martin Fisher fell in love with a very old machine. It was Christmas in Tennessee, and Martin's parents kept pestering him to submit his list. Martin remembers that his quirky, nine-year-old self wasn't all that interested in gifts. But his parents persisted, and Martin came up with a response: "I finally said, 'Ok. I'm gonna call their bluff.' And I said, 'have the elves hook up a cylinder player.'"

North Carolina-based Balsam Range raked in the second-most nominations for IBMA Awards Wednesday night.
Balsam Range

This week we're welcoming the IBMA's World of Bluegrass back to Raleigh with music highlights heard between our news stories.

Over the last year, Chapel Hill-based songwriter and producer Chris Stamey has been working on a narrative song cycle set in Manhattan in the early 1960s. Called Occasional Shivers, it centers around a circle of jazz theater performers and their experiences.

IBMA Logo
IBMA

You're invited to join WUNC in Raleigh when the banjos and fiddles return to downtown.

WUNC will host one of the seven stages at this year's World of Bluegrass free StreetFest. Over 100 bands are scheduled to perform on the downtown Raleigh stages along Fayetteville Street.

Dom Flemons with Valerie June
Vania Kinard

Before Valerie June had ever written a song of her own, she was busy putting up show posters for artists like Bobby Womack and Prince. You might say June was born into the music business.

"My dad had a promotion company called Music Makers Production, and he put all of us to work!" the singer told Dom Flemons in their interview for American Songster Radio.

Valerie June’s whole family pitched in on bringing national acts to their home town, Jackson, Tennessee.

American Songster Podcast host Dom Flemons with Bill Ferris in the WUNC Chapel Hill Studios
WUNC

Bill Ferris is an author and scholar and former chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Currently, he's Senior Associate Director of the Center for the Study of the American South, professor of history, and adjunct professor in the Curriculum in Folklore at UNC-Chapel Hill.

Dom Flemons and Ketch Secor
Ketch Secor: Michael J. Farrand

American Songster Radio is a monthly look at the roots of American Popular music. It’s hosted by world renowned musician and folklorist Dom Flemons who playfully refers to himself as The American Songster.

For Episode 1 Dom calls on Ketch Secor of Old Crow Medicine Show fame for a chat about their shared passion for music and about being  "hardcore Bob Dylan fans."

The program also features Dom playing  two Leadbelly Tunes: "Poor Howard" and  "Goin Dig A Hole to Put the Devil In."

Meet Dom Flemons: American Songster Radio Podcast Episode 0

Jul 4, 2016

Welcome to WUNC's new podcast called American Songster Radio. Every month host Dom Flemons, a.k.a. The American Songster, will present a new take on traditional music.

Dom, a co-founder of the Grammy Award-winning Carolina Chocolate Drops, will be inviting a variety of guests to join him in a journey of discovery through the worlds of traditional folk song.

We're back On The Lawn June 16 with another evening of music and family fun at American Tobacco in Durham. 

Billy Strings plays bluegrass with the energy and vigor of a grimacing, growling, full-on raging punk rock band.  It’s acoustic music that shreds.   He’s joined by the straight ahead, hard-driving Carolina bluegrass band Town Mountain.   

Songs from both performers:

The Old Ceremony
Daniel Coston / http://www.theoldceremony.com/

WUNC's Back Porch Music on the Lawn series kicks off another season of free concerts at American Tobacco in Durham with Thursday night's show featuring The Old Ceremony and The Backsliders. The concert is at 6 p.m. and is family and pet-friendly.

IBMA World of Bluegrass Raleigh
IBMA / IBMA

Tonight's the night the spotlight shines on the best and the brightest from the world of bluegrass music.

IBMA World of Bluegrass Raleigh
IBMA / IBMA

You might notice a slightly different sound during Morning Edition, Here and Now and throughout the evenings this week on WUNC.  With all the bluegrass flurry happening in Raleigh this week we thought we'd sprinkle in just a bit of bluegrass with the music interludes we play during announcements and between programs this week.

This month's Movies on the Radio is a live event at the Hunt Library at North Carolina State University.  The State of Things host Frank Stasio will join Marsha Gordon of NC State University's Film Studies department and

Nicole Kibert / elawgrrl / Flickr

Two bands from the Triangle take to the Lucky Strike stage Thursday evening in the next-to-last double-bill  of our summer concert series. The free Back Porch Music on the Lawn concert begins at 6 p.m. Concert-goers are welcome to bring a picnic and coolers, but please leave any glass at home.

American Aquarium

An image of Sammy Bananas playing at Moogfest in Asheville, 2014
Moogfest

Cue the electronic swishes, fanfares, musical washes and swirly sounds, as Moogfest announces that it will be held in Durham, NC, next year. 

Leaders from civic organizations, cultural institutions, government and business announced on Tuesday that Moogfest, a festival of music, art and technology, will be hosted in Durham  in May 2016.

Kicking Off The Final Round of "Mad Men Mondays"

Apr 7, 2015
Mad Men Mondays
John W. Hartman Center, Duke University Rubenstein Library

It's time again for "Mad Men Mondays," a series of observations, reviews, and reflections on AMC's Mad Men series published by folks from the Hartman Center. A part of Duke University's Rubenstein Library, the Hartman Center studies advertising history, and each Monday they dig through their archive to find ads for items referenced in the latest Mad Men episode.

File this first one under "better late than never" as we go to press on Tuesday with this next installment of Mad Men Mondays.

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