Afterglow is a weekly one-hour program of vocal jazz and popular song from the Great American Songbook, hosted by Mark Chilla. Each week, Mark highlights the best of vocal jazz and popular song from the 1930s to today, exploring a new topic about the greatest jazz singers. Whether it’s the unlikely friendship between Frank Sinatra and songwriter Jimmy Van Heusen, the times trumpeter Clifford Brown worked with vocalists, or songs all about love, Afterglow tells the stories of the Great American Songbook.
Afterglow airs on WFIU every Friday at 8 p.m and on WFIU2 every Sunday at 7 p.m. It’s also available for subscription via PRX.
If your station is interested in carrying Afterglow, please contact us for details.
The origins of Afterglow are rather misty now, but dogged detective work based entirely on an offhand reply from creator Dick Bishop leads us to believe that the program debuted on WFIU sometime in the late 1970s.
Dick took the title of the show and his theme from a Marian McPartland composition; all of the rest—the elegance, the passion, the laidback expertise, the congenial charm, and the delivery with a “martini moon” quality to it—came from Dick himself.
In addition to his considerable knowledge and love for the jazz and American popular song that he played every Friday evening, Dick also drew on his personal relationships and encounters with many of the performers that he featured.
Dick signed off on his last Afterglow program in January of 2005, turning the show over to David Brent Johnson, who also hosts WFIU’s Night Lights. In February of 2015 David passed the baton to Mark Chilla.
The theme music you hear each week at the beginning of the show is the 1933 Will Hudson, Irving Mills, and Eddie DeLange tune “Moonglow,” performed by Oscar Peterson 1956 Verve album Pastel Moods. Another version by the Benny Goodman Sextet sometimes shows up at the end of the show.
In the Dick Bishop years of the show, the theme was by Marian McPartland, a song called “In the Days of Our Love,” although it used to have a different title before Peggy Lee added lyrics to it. The title of the original instrumental tune was, appropriately, “Afterglow.” The recording used is by McPartland off of her 1993 album In My Life—McPartland gave Dick Bishop special permission to use this tune.
Afterglow is brought to you in part by the generous support of WFIU listeners and our corporate supporters. Please consider making a small contribution to help us keep bringing the program to you each week, or if you’d like to learn more about sponsorship opportunities, contact us.
Questions or Comments?
We love to hear from our listeners. If you have a question, comment or a suggestion for a future program please don’t hesitate to contact us and let us know what’s on your mind.