KVMR 89.5 FM Tuesday Morning Show host Paul Emery was in a traditional jazz groove a couple shows ago, having a ball as usual.
“That was a Mose Allison song called ‘Your Mind Is On Vacation and Your Mouth Is Working Overtime’,” he told his 7-10 a.m. listening audience with a wry look on his face.
Before you knew it, Jack Sheldon from the Merv Griffin Show was singing “Everybody knows you left me, it’s the Talk of The Town.”
Then Chet Baker got seasonal with “My Funny Valentine”, which made Emery expound “Now that’s the ultimate cool jazz voice of the of the ’50s.”
Emery’s been doing (and will continue doing) his weekly morning show since last century — well over 20 years now — but this was the first Tuesday since 2010 or so that he wasn’t coming back in the afternoon to work producing and directing the 6 p.m. KVMR Evening News.
After way over 2000 newscasts and 350+ annual interviews, the 76-year-old veteran broadcaster has stepped down from his news duties and will be honored by KVMR on his continuing morning radio show and throughout “Paul Emery Day” next Tuesday (Feb. 16) during the final day of the station’s “You Turn Us On” winter membership drive.
“We’re going to have some fun with Paul that day and our listeners can participate,” says KVMR Membership Director Adriana Kelly. “If you’d like to contribute a memory, something humorous, or say thank you to Paul, we’ve got the hotline for you at 530/264-4160 where you can record your story for possible airing on KVMR.”
“Throw a penny in the well and send a sweet wish to Paul,” suggests Adriana.
Copies of a “best of” Backwoods Jazz recording (one of Paul’s favorite musical projects) will also be available as thank you gifts that Tuesday.
Incidentally, Emery will continue producing two news features on the Evening News: interviewing hydrologist Steve Baker on water issues and former Federal Reserve Bank analyst Gary Zimmerman on the economy.
It’s definitely been awhile since Paul spent a couple years as KVMR’s Program Director, where “my top priority was starting the news department my first year in 1996.” And, duh, he did.
Later, he was executive director and artistic director at the Center For The Arts in Grass Valley, leaving in 2008. Emery has also been a tireless local concert and theatrical producer, actually for nearly five decades, particularly at the Nevada Theatre in recent years, as well as doing sound engineering at events and concerts.
Back in the Morning Show Studio, he tries to get the Montana jazz group Big Sky Mudflaps vinyl flowing, but there’s a snafu. “Oh, I can be better than that,” Emery tells his audience.
Don’t worry, he’s successfully got King Mutt & His Tennessee Thumpers’ “The Nuthouse Stomp” cued up from the LP “Jazz, Skiffle and Jug Style Music Chicago 1924-29” As it starts to play, there is this wide grin across Paul’s face.
Plus, he’s got Kansas City Frank and the Foot Warmers on deck.
“I like doing music from different eras, different genres, and bringing a historical perspective. The skill is to mix it up and pull it together,” according to Emery. “When you discover something from the ’20s, then it’s just like new music.”
“You never know where it’s gonna take you.”
Emery says his “original intent” was to step down from the KVMR News earlier because “I was looking forward to producing more (live) shows. The coronavirus came along and wiped all that out” for now.
“So I built a recording studio at home and am now getting that up and going.”
Emery heaped praise on fellow news producers Felton Pruitt and Charlotte Peterson.
“I couldn’t have done it without them. We backed each other up. We had a really great team,” Emery said pensively.
“I really appreciate having this job all these years…”
Another big smile. “Time for other ventures…”
Oh, and that show on Tuesday mornings, 7 to 10 a.m., continues, too.
On The Air is a regular look at Nevada City’s non-profit community radio station, which is holding its “You Turn Us On” winter membership drive Friday through Tuesday, Feb 12-16. Donations can be made at kvmr.org
KNOW & LISTEN
WHAT: KVMR-FM’s “You Turn Us On” Winter Membership Drive & “Paul Emery Day”
WHEN: Friday through Tuesday, Feb 12-16, with “Paul Emery Day” Feb. 16, starting on his Tuesday Morning Show 7-10 a.m.
WHERE: KVMR 89.5 FM, 105.1 FM Truckee, kvmr.org worldwide
HOTLINE: Memories, stories, thank yous and best wishes can be left for Paul as voicemail by calling 530/264-4160 anytime and will be aired on KVMR during the drive.
INFO & DONATIONS: kvmr.org and 530/265-9555 (7am to 6pm, plus Saturday evening, Sunday and Monday to 8 p.m.)