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Sunday, 30 September 2012 18:39

'Radio Unnameable' should be named terrific

Bob Fass at WBAI, NYC, April 1968 with Abbie Hoffman Bob Fass at WBAI, NYC, April 1968 with Abbie Hoffman facebook.com/RadioUnnameableMovie / © Robert Altman 2007
Written by Diane Carson
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About this Media...

  • Director: Paul Lovelace and Jessica Wolfson
  • Dates: October 5-7, 2012

Since 1963, legendary radio host Bob Fass has calmly and confidently provided commentary and entertainment to listeners tuning in to New York's WBAI (99.5 FM) from midnight to 5:00 a.m. In the vanguard of those at listener-sponsored stations, Fass contributed to and participated in events over the decades, as chronicled in Paul Lovelace and Jessica Wolfson's fine documentary "Radio Unnameable."

His mesmerizing voice still mellifluous and lovely, Fass talks about the ups and downs of his years dissipating listeners' loneliness, helping so many get through the night. Contributing to that endeavor were those who dropped in to sing live, a who's who of the greats: Arlo Guthrie, Charles and Joni Mitchell, Jose Feliciano, Bob Dylan, July Collins, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Grateful Dead and more. Fass also served as a clearinghouse of sorts for community activism and happenings, what today we'd call flash mobs. Interviews and events included Abbie Hoffman, Paul Krassner, Robert Downey, Sr., and Allen Ginsberg.

Organized chronologically, the film guides us through the decades with well-chosen archival video and still-photo footage. Appropriately and expertly, it is anchored by a candid and open Fass and intercut with contemporary interviews with devoted friends and workers. Pleasantly paced with just enough detail to bring experiences and events to life, "Radio Unnameable" presents an amazing chapter in radio, even U.S., history.

The St. Louis premiere of "Radio Unnameable" will be at Webster University’s Winifred Moore auditorium at 9:30 p.m. on Friday, October 5th and at 7:30 on Saturday, October 6th and Sunday, October 7th. Directors Paul Lovelace and Jessica Wolfson will be on hand for a Q&A following the 9:30 p.m. screening Friday and the 7:30 p.m. screening Saturday. For more information, you may call 314-968-7487 or go to: Webster.edu/filmseries.

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