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Meet the Staff

Greg Freerksen

Greg Freerksen Email: FreerksenG@wdcb.org
Program: Blues Edition
Greg was born in Iowa and raised in Illinois. He graduated in 1969 from Oak Park-River Forest High School which is where his interest in blues began at the tender age of 15. As a young man Greg was able to hear many blues legends in person, great artists including Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, Otis Rush, Big Walter Horton, Willie Dixon, Luther Allison, Mighty Joe Young, Hound Dog Taylor, Johnny Young and J.B. Hutto and many, many others who were active on the Chicago Blues scene in the late 1960s. He remembers with particular fondness the time and kindness shown to him by Big Joe Williams, Jesse Fuller, Big Walter Horton, Odetta, Ramblin' Jack Elliot, Honeyboy Edwards and Luther Allison. They all spent a some time with Greg who listened to them tell about their lives and their music. Those early experiences fueled Greg's life-long appreciation for blues and help him spread the feeling for the blues over the air to the Chicago metropolitan audience. Greg says that all the old time blues legends say, 'The blues is a feeling.' Greg wants the listeners of Blues Edition to get 'that feeling' when they listen to the show. You really can't talk about the blues or write about them. A person must listen to the blues to get 'that feeling'. Every song Greg plays on Blues Edition is designed to give the listener 'a feeling for the blues.' Greg's radio style is influenced by that of the gravel-voiced Big Bill Hill of WOPA-AM who broadcast his show 'live' from his blues club on Roosevelt Road on Chicago's west side in the 1960s. Big Bill Hill knew all the Chicago blues legends of the era and played them on his show. He often would spin an Elmo James or Muddy Waters selection two or three times consecutively. The repetition was perhaps caused by Bill's imbibing whiskey in his tavern. Big Bill was supported by one sponsor who sold used cars with easy payments to buyers who had 'good credict, bad credict or no credict at all.' While Greg was fascinated by those cheesy commercials, he is so very glad to be part of listener supported WDCB public radio and not have to deal with such commercial sponsorship.

Plays guitar and harmonica. Has a day gig as an attorney with a Chicago Loop law firm.
 
 
Song Travels