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Chris Teskey speaking into a microphone.

Program Director

Chris Teskey

Chris is pleased to return to Bluegrass Country after a two year hiatus. “Returning to Bluegrass Country is a dream come true for me. It is my musical home, and it feels like I never left,” Chris said in an interview recently. In addition to his Program Director duties, Chris hosts the morning program from 7–10 am, Monday through Friday, on Bluegrass Country.

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Al Steiner bio picture.

General Manager

Al Steiner

Al has been in radio production on a free-lance basis since 2010 and since then has produced programs on Charlie Poole, Joe Val and Keith Whitley for WAMU’s Bluegrass Country. Al can also occasionally be heard filling in for Bluegrass Country hosts. He now hosts the weekly Al Steiner Show.

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Jeff Ludin playing banjo.

President

Jeffrey Ludin

Jeff Ludin has been a fan of Bluegrass music since he was an undergraduate at American University in the 1970s, where he worked in the studio building. He is president of the Bluegrass Country Foundation, the organization responsible for keeping Bluegrass Country Radio on the air.

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Chief Engineer

Dick Cassidy

Dick Cassidy has been a broadcaster for over 50 years and has specialized in broadcast technical management and consulting. For the past fifteen years at WAMU in Washington, DC he spearheaded the inauguration of WAMU 88.5’s successful bluegrass Internet radio station, BluegrassCountry.org which is now heard on FM and HD.

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Image of Lee Demsey

Host

Lee Michael Demsey

Lee Michael Demsey has worked at WAMU for the past thirty-seven years. Since 1990, he’s compiled the Bluegrass Unlimited National Bluegrass Survey, a monthly chart of the most popular bluegrass songs according to disc jockeys all across the country. He then turns it around and produces a countdown show for WAMU’s Bluegrass Country, including interviews with some of the recording artists.

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Gary Henderson behind a microphone.

Host

Gary Henderson

Gary Henderson, 1999 IBMA “Broadcast Personality of the Year”, has been involved in bluegrass programming at WAMU since July, 1967. In June 1974, Gary inaugurated the first four-hour Sunday program of Stained Glass Bluegrass.  SGBG is now the second longest continuously running program on WAMU-FM.

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Dick Spottswood headshot

Host

Dick Spottswood

Author and musicologist Dick Spottswood continues to host his musical radio show on Bluegrass Country Radio, drawing from his extensive knowledge of vintage music. Spottswood has contributed to hundreds of reissue recordings. He is an expert on bluegrass music, (having co-founded Bluegrass Unlimited magazine in 1966) and on the history of recorded ethnic music of the early 20th century.

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Ivy Sheppard broadcasting photo

Host

Ivy Sheppard

Ivy’s name is rapidly becoming synonymous with exciting, informative radio shows featuring rare and obscure music and musicians. Even obsessive fans of bluegrass, old-time, and gospel know that if Ivy Sheppard is on the air, they are going to be pleased and amazed at what they hear.

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Brad Kolodner playing banjo.

Host

Brad Kolodner

Representing the next generation of old-time musicians, Brad Kolodner is leading the charge as a performer, teacher, DJ for WAMU’s Bluegrass Country, jam leader, community builder and ambassador for old-time and bluegrass music. He signed on at WAMU’s Bluegrass County as host of The Brad Kolodner Show in the summer of 2013. Starting in the winter of 2017, Brad also hosts Old Time Jam.

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Mike Kear at a microphone.

Host

Mike Kear

Mike hosts the show Foggy Hollow. Mike welcomes emails about the show at foggyhollow@bluegrass.org.au. Feel free to request tunes, interviews, or comment on any aspect of the show.

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Headshot of Ramona Martinez.

Host

Ramona Martinez

Ramona Martinez got her start in radio as an intern at NPR at the Washington Desk. She discovered bluegrass in college when she was recruited to put her classical bass skills to (better) use, and has been in love ever since.

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Image of Joe Bussard

Host

Joe Bussard

Bussard's collection of more than 15,000 records, primarily of American folk, gospel, and blues from the 1920s and 1930s is believed to be one of the largest (and best quality) in the world. He has gleefully shared his collection, which includes many only-known-copies of records (not to mention best-known-copies) with numerous reissue labels as well as with individuals for whom he has taped recordings from his collection for a nominal sum for decades.

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