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).
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."
Russell Moore's bluegrass career has included a stretch as a member of Doyle Lawson's Quicksilver band and as the leader of IIIrd Tyme Out since 1991. Born in Texas, he moved to North Carolina and later Georgia to follow his bluegrass dreams. Moore has been named IBMA Vocalist of the Year five times and the band has claimed Vocal Group of the Year seven consecutive times.
It was a grand night for banjos and fiddles and song. On Wednesday October 1, 2014, during Raleigh's Wide Open Bluegrass event, WUNC hosted four bands on the Daily Planet stage at the Museum of Natural Sciences.
Concurrently with the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) week-long World of Bluegrass, WUNC produced a special live broadcast with WAMU's Bluegrass Country in Washington, D.C. The program was hosted by Katy Daley of WAMU's Bluegrass Country and featured exclusive performances from three IBMA Award nominees:
What music critics have said for years about The Velvet Underground could easily apply to Big Star, too: they were much more influential on later bands than the sum total of all the records they sold. Bands ranging from R.E.M. to Wilco to Cheap Trick to Teenage Fanclub to Dum Dum Girls all cite the influence of and appreciation for Big Star. A cover version of Big Star's "In The Street" served as the theme song for the popular TV sitcom That '70s Show.
Some thirty musicians (including Mike Mills of R.E.M. fame) are banding together Friday night in Carrboro, NC, to pay tribute to this seminal band by staging orchestrated versions of two of their albums.
Where: Cat’s Cradle, 300 E. Main St. Carrboro, NC.
When: Friday August 22 Doors at 8 p.m. Show at 9 p.m.
Bombadil, a trio from Durham, NC, are tonight's headliners for Back Porch Music On The Lawn. The band, whose name comes from a character in J.R.R. Tolkien's "The Lord of the Rings," is kicking-off a late summer East Coast and Midwest tour in their "hometown."
WUNC's Back Porch Music on the Lawn series back on the lawn under the Lucky Strike tower in the heart of the American Tobacco Campus. The free concerts are on Thursday nights from May to September. The series is part of the 10th Anniversary Celebration of the American Tobacco Campus.
Even the most informed citizens sometimes lose track of all the chatter that’s going on in the General Assembly. Fights between Republicans and Democrats, the Governor and fellow Republicans, teachers and legislators – at some point, for even the most insatiable news junkie, it devolves into just so much noise.
Beginning Monday evening, June 30, and for the next three nights following, you have the opportunity to enjoy an evening of classical music at home when you tune in for the North Carolina Symphony broadcast concerts series. The hour-long concerts, hosted by David Hartman, begin each evening at 9 p.m.
This week WUNC is partnering with The Beat Making Lab in Chapel Hill on a free summer camp for high schoolers where students take existing WUNC news stories, remix them, and set them to a hip-hop beat. Called Re-Mixing The News, the camp runs through June 20.
John Howie, Jr. started off playing drums, but it wasn't long before he switched to guitar and began making some hard-core honky-tonk music, first in the Chapel Hill-based Two Dollar Pistols and now in his current band, The Rosewood Bluff.
The latest album is called "Everything Except Goodbye." It's chock full of heartbreak, pedal steel, upright bass and John's baritone voice.
Last night’s episode featured references to loafers, Buick, Barbie, Fondue pots, among other things. Enjoy our selection of highlighted ads that reflect the brands and themes that Mad Men characters interacted with last night.
Update: 12:28 p.m.Southern Culture on the Skids to has been rescheduled for Thursday May 22 at 6 p.m.
Update: 12:06 p.m.Due to the weather, the concert tonight with Southern Culture on the Skids and the Letter Jackets has been canceled. We're hope to reschedule -- stay tuned for details. We'll post updates on the main Back Porch On The Lawn Concerts page.
North Carolina-based bluegrass band Steep Canyon Rangers follow up their 2013 Grammy Award-winning Nobody Knows You with their second recording for Rounder Records, Tell The Ones I Love. The group’s profile has been raised in recent years by their collaborations with Steve Martin and this new recording showcases their many strengths.
Working with producer Larry Campbell at Levon Helm’s Studio in Woodstock, NY, the band continues with their blend of bluegrass, country and folk-pop, adding just a bit more percussion on this outing. They are fine instrumentalists and have a great vocal blend. And the songwriting of Graham Sharp and Charles Humphrey is first rate as well. A train song, “Tell The Ones I Love,” kicks off this collection of a dozen original compositions and is a highlight. Other notable selections include “Camellia,” which brings to mind Helm’s group, The Band, the shuffling “Mendocino County Blue,” and the somewhat melancholic “Boomtown.”
This weekend people in Surry County remember a radio pioneer and North Carolina broadcasting legend, Ralph Epperson. A special WPAQ broadcast of the long-running "Merry Go-Round" program and a screening of "Broadcast - A Man and A Dream" documentary are scheduled for Saturday morning and afternoon at The Earle Theater in Mount Airy, NC.
Alert Carolina sirens sounded on the UNC Chapel Hill campus following reports of an armed and dangerous person on or near the campus. Additional email and texts were sent to campus staff, students and faculty encouraging area residents to remain inside. According to reports, a man displayed a knife or knives near the campus area known as "The Pit."
This is the first in a series of Back Porch Music album reviews that Freddy Jenkins and I will be writing periodically. We'll feature new and significant historical releases worth mentioning. You'll hear some of these and hundreds of other CDs every week on the program. Leave your comments below.
One of the best parts of working at Back Porch Music is sampling all the music that comes our way from remarkable artists and sharing these artists with you. Here's a look at three that are well worth your time.
In an after-school project called "Re-Mixing the News" a group of middle and high school students from Chapel Hill and Carrboro, NC, take WUNC news reports and add inspiration: beats, sound effects, and music. They create a fresh, new take on traditional journalism in the Beat Making Lab.
WUNC is teaming up with renowned beatmakers and educators Pierce Freelon and Stephen Levitin (aka Apple Juice Kid) for this special project that will engage young people in Chapel Hill over the next several months.