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.
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).
On Episode 8 of American Songster Radio, host Dom Flemons speaks with his recent musical collaborator, the legendary English guitarist Martin Simpson.
Listen to American Songster Podcast Episode 8 with 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 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.
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.'"
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
The free concerts run May through September on the lawn under the Lucky Strike water tower.
The shows start at 6 p.m. and most feature two bands. Picnics and coolers are welcome, but no glass, please. Food and beverages are available at American Tobacco restaurants that surround the American Tobacco Amphitheater.
Award-winning Canadian hip-hop artist Shad (aka Shadrach Kabango and Shad K.) is the new permanent host of Q, the arts and culture program from the CBC. The show airs Monday through Thursday at 9 p.m. on WUNC. Shad will take over as the new host on April 20.
Shad has released four albums and numerous singles and EPs since his recording debut in 2005. His lyrics have been critically praised for their focus on social issues and for their humor.
President Obama is renewing his support for Muslim-Americans in the wake of the shootings that killed three students in Chapel Hill last week. The White House is hosting a three-day summit on countering violent extremism. The President said yesterday the country continues to face challenges to its security.
The President says the nation is not at war with Islam, but at war with terrorists.
Forty-six-year-old Craig Stephen Hicks has been charged with three counts of first-degree murder for the killings of Deah Barakat, a second-year student in the UNC School of Dentistry and his wife, Yusor, who had planned to begin her dental studies at UNC in the fall. Yusor's sister, Razan, a student at NC State University, was also killed. We will continue to update this story as information becomes available.
Updated Monday, February 23, 10:15 a.m.
AtlantaMuslim.com has created a map of vigils and gatherings related to the shootings and the hashtag #OurThreeWinners
Updated Thursday, February 19 10:30 a.m.
President Obama includes the Chapel Hill shootings in an address at the White House during a summit on violent extremist. Here's a video of the full address:
Updated Thursday, February 19 7:00 a.m.
Much of the discussion about the motive behind the Chapel Hill shooting is whether it was a hate crime. Many in the Muslim community and on social media say it is, but police have not. Jorge Valencia filed this report today about the decision the police face, and the intricacies of a legal hate crime designation.
Updated Monday February 16 5:10 p.m.
A grand jury has indicted Craig Stephen Hicks in the murder of three young Muslims in Chapel Hill, reports Jorge Valencia. Hicks turned himself into authorities last week, just hours after the shooting of Deah Barakat, Yusor Abu Salha and Razan Abu Salha. Now a grand jury believes there's enough evidence to pursue a felony case against Hicks. He's charged with first-degree murder and discharging a firearm into a dwelling. Chapel Hill police are still investigating and say Hicks may have been motivated by a parking dispute. Family and advocates around the world say Hicks was acting out of a bias against Muslims.
Updated Monday February 16 10:50 a.m.
Qatar students and community hold solidarity walk for Chapel Hill victims. The march was Sunday and began at the Hamad Bin Khalifa University.
"Yesterday, the FBI opened an inquiry into the brutal and outrageous murders of Yusor Mohammad Abu-Salha, Deah Shaddy Barakat, and Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. In addition to the ongoing investigation by local authorities, the FBI is taking steps to determine whether federal laws were violated. No one in the United States of America should ever be targeted because of who they are, what they look like, or how they worship. Michelle and I offer our condolences to the victims’ loved ones. As we saw with the overwhelming presence at the funeral of these young Americans, we are all one American family. Whenever anyone is taken from us before their time, we remember how they lived their lives – and the words of one of the victims should inspire the way we live ours."
“Growing up in America has been such a blessing,” Yusor said recently. “It doesn’t matter where you come from. There’s so many different people from so many different places, of different backgrounds and religions – but here, we’re all one.”
Thursday evening, the FBI announced it is looking into the murders. In a statement, the FBI said it has opened a "parallel preliminary inquiry". They're looking to determine if federal laws were violated. Agents will assist local police to process evidence from the triple-homicide.
Update Thursday February 12 2:58 p.m.
Frank Stasio joined Dr. Omid Safi, director of Duke University's Islamic Studies Center to talk about the events on the nationally syndicated program, The Takeaway. Listen to the audio here.
"If these acts happen in your community, then they are a part of your community, they are a part of your legacy." - Dr. Omid Safi
"You can't see where the crowd ends" at the vigil to honor the three slain students, reports Jorge Valencia.
Update Wednesday February 11 6:00 p.m.
There is a vigil this evening at 6:30 p.m. at the UNC "Pit." Prior to the vigil, at 6 p.m., a prayer service will be held in the Great Hall of the Carolina Union. Parking will be available in the Bell Tower lot.
Update Wednesday February 11 5:31 p.m.
Nada Salem was best friends with the two young women who died. The 21-year-old Muslim woman told reporter Reema Khrais that she strongly believes the crime was motivated by hate.
Salem points to something that happened a few months ago. She had gone over to the couple's house for dinner.
After she went home, her friend Yusor texted to say that their neighbor, Hicks, had come by, complaining that that young people had been "really loud and disrespectful."
And then, Yusor texted, Hicks "pointed to his gun and his pocket and he said 'I don't want this to happen again.'"
Salem had plans to attend UNC School of Dentistry with Yusor. She says not too long ago the couple gave her her first Carolina Dentistry sweater. The two women wanted to wear the sweaters to school at the same time.
"So that we can be matching and we can tell everyone we got in together; and two days ago she texted me again with [the sweater] picture saying that she can't wait for us to start again…together at dental school," says Salem. "It's like a daze for me, personally, I just don't want to believe it."