The 2016 broadcast premiere of WUNC's holiday special "Occasional Shivers" was heard in New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, St Paul/Minneapolis, Cleveland, Raleigh and more than 100 other public radio markets across the country. The show was produced in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, by WUNC and was distributed by American Public Media.
"We were very happy with the mix of stations," said Connie Walker, WUNC's President and General Manager. "It was a fun show to produce and one that really celebrates the vibrant music community in North Carolina. Clearly it resonated with stations and listeners."
The radio drama tells the story of two young musicians trying to make their way in the 1960s jazz scene. Using a new song cycle written by Chris Stamey as the backdrop, the lead characters fall in and out of love with one another and with the creative muse that drives the music.
"Occasional Shivers is a throwback to the 1960s," said Caitlin Wells, who directed the show. "Just in its format, the fact that it's a radio play, and the style of the music has a kind of sweetness, an innocence to it that harkens back to the movie version of the 1960s."
The cast for the show included Branford Marsalis, Nnenna Freelon, Marshall Crenshaw, Django Haskins, WUNC's Eric Hodge and featured the radio debut of singer Millie McGuire. She's a student at Carrboro High School who caught the ear of composer and producer Chris Stamey.
Production and distribution of "Occasional Shivers" was made possible with support from RTI International, Lenovo, Yep Roc Records and with the monthly contributions of sustainers to North Carolina Public Radio WUNC.