The best of Listen in, Michigan
Welcome to the 25th episode of Listen in, Michigan. In celebration of the miracle that I have actually survived making 24 of these podcasts, no small feat for a print journalist working alone in a recording studio, I have cut together some of my favorite snippets from the podcast so far. If you haven’t listened or subscribed yet, I hope you will. As you’ll hear, I have a lot of fun with my subjects.
Let’s start with Episode 15, featuring Jerry Bilik, BMus ’55/MMus ’61, a composer and musician who began arranging with the Michigan Marching Band in the ’50s under William Revelli. He created arrangements for the band when he was just a sophomore — arrangements that fans still hear today. In this clip, Jerry harkens back to the first time he saw music come alive in Michigan Stadium. Literally.
Next up is Lucky No. 13. This episode features alumna Gail Offen, BGS ’78, co-author of a book titled Iconic Restaurants of Ann Arbor. Gail talks about Ann Arbor restaurants with undeniable passion. She will take you back in time to the diners, dives, and pubs that made your college experience so memorable. You can practically taste that orange sauce at Pizza Bob’s as she describes it.
Meanwhile, we have a clip from Episode 20 with sports writer and alumnus John U. Bacon, BA ’86/MA ’94. He released a book of some of his favorite essays last year: The Best of Bacon. He’s got tales about Bo Schembechler, Ernie Harwell, and other local luminaries. Some of his nuttiest experiences – a la George Plimpton and Paper Lion – make for colorful copy as he tries out for various sports teams with disastrous results. The podcast gave me the perfect opportunity to let John tell his own stories in his own voice.
Speaking of voices, I had to get Ralph Williams on board for Episode 6, simply because he has the most elegant and beautiful way of speaking. This award-winning and beloved professor covers a wide range of topics in our interview, from the meaning of life to his own talent for reading upside down.
Then we come to an interesting one from Episode 21. We’ve got photographer/filmmakers Andy Sacks and Jay Cassidy on the phone (so please forgive the audio quality). These two alumni worked as staff photographers at The Michigan Daily in 1968 when Robert F. Kennedy came to Detroit prior to announcing his candidacy for president. It was the first time the young photojournalists had ridden in an open-air motorcade, taking photos alongside seasoned professionals representing Life, Time, and more. Their images are among the last photos taken of RFK. He was assassinated three weeks later.
And finally, we play you out on a clip from Episode 23 with alumnus and filmmaker Dan Chace, BA ’83, who recently completed the documentary Football’s Valhalla about super-enthusiastic Wolverines football announcer Bob Ufer. Fans will remember his quirky “Ufer-isms” and wacky turns of phrase that added so much color to his radio broadcasts. Chace has some entertaining stories to share about his experience making the film. He even teared up once while we chatted.
So, here’s to Episode 25! Thanks for listening.