Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Appreciation for the Blues

By Jim Santella, WBFO/AM 970 Blues Host 

It was a collision of cultures, between WBFO’s favored Blues fans at The Sportsmen’s Tavern and the plates of caviar, shrimp and Nickel City finger food served up hot and tasty.

My signature “Are you ready for the blues” resonated from the stagejim_santella_anita_west followed by Anita West’s warm welcome to the 100 invited Blues loyalists. Some came from as far as Cincinnati and Toronto to shower Anita with tokens of love and esteem.

Singer Gretchen Schultz and guitarist Doug Morgano (pictured below) kicked off the musical portion of the evening with Bill Withers’ “Use Me.” The three hour blues, booze and food fest gave station employees Chris Jamele, Eileen Buckley and Jim Ranney as well as Jim DiMino, Gordon Bayliss and Al Wallack an opportunity to let their hair down and relax with colleagues. (Unfortunately, my own hair was AWOL)

Gretchen Schultz_Doug MorganoOther notables in attendance were the ever charming Radio Broadcast Hall of Famer Doris Jones, the ebullient Brian J. Walker and the Sportsmen’s own Kenneth Biringer. Anita and I were kept busy all night talking with “Appreciative Listeners.”

Not only was the evening a celebration of WBFO’s commitment to the Blues, but it was also a rare opportunity for us to spend valuable one-on-one time with our listeners. Was it a success? I thought so!

Were you in attendance for the event?  Feel free to comment below.


  1. Peachess WNY Said:

    I was...and it was an absolute pleasure & honor to have gotten to meet you Mr Jim! I truly enjoyed every bit of the night and although it was called The Listener Appreciation Party...I think it was much more of a Mutual Appreciation...on both sides! As Listener's, we have loved & appreciated all that Yourself & Anita do for all of us...with every show, every single weekend. We LOVE the Blues...and without a doubt We also Love it's Buffalo home at WBFO!

  2. Great post Mr Santella ! As one of the honored attendees, I must say that it was INDEED an enjoyable evening !
    Hopefully the very high turn out for this lively event will show everyone the level of support and appreciation that this community has for WBFO and it's Blues programming !
    While many of the attendees know one another from various on-line communities, most notably the Anita West Bobblehead Buddies ( BTW, WHERE is the Jim Santella counterpart? )many were also the average listeners and this beautifully organized evening helped to not only cement existing friendships and relationships but, also to build new ones !
    That is not only the spirit of the Blues at large, but, also THE VERY SPIRIT of Public Broadcasting AS IT SHOULD BE !
    If Public Broadcasting is to be truly successful , the community must be not only informed,and entertained , but, it's various communities brought closer together .
    THAT, my friend, is what Public Broadcasting should do !
    Many kind Thanks to all from WBFO who helped meet those lofty goals by supporting and planning this great event !

  3. Brian J. WalkerMay 9, 2012 at 7:30 PM

    It was a great event, and it sold out in two days. Sportsmens Tavern did an excellent job of hosting, and WNY Public Broadcasting got to meet some of the multitude of Blues fans. Gretchen Schulz & Doug Morgano, backed by The Willie Schoellkopf Band are among Buffalo's best musicians. Jim and Anita on stage were frosting on a very tasty cake. Thank you, WNYPB.

  4. yes i was just wish i could of got the chance to chat with you Jim..Tunes were Great and the night was just right for the Blues..peace man..