Bill Pearce

Music Producer and Host

Bill was born and raised in a sod hut on the Kansas plains.

And then he graduated with a degree in clarinet performance from Simpson College in Indianola. While in Iowa, Pearce worked at a commercial radio station playing pop-like music records and reading news. 

After college, he returned to Wichita and began a career in photography. He worked for KWCH, at a commercial photo studio and later for Cessna. Pearce got back into radio when he found a job at the now-defunct Friends University station. He played classical music during the week and hosted his own jazz show on Saturdays.

For the past eight years, Pearce has read magazines like Sports Illustrated and Entertainment Weekly for the Wichita Radio Reading Service, which is in the same building as KMUW. That’s how General Manager Mark McCain found him. Straight No Chaser features mostly instrumental jazz, from early music to recent recordings. Also listen for the record labels, names of all the musicians involved, and when the recording was made.

Ways To Connect

Sunday, October 11

Tonight, a great recording of a big band fronted by Bud Shank, and a classic from Zoot Sims, with new releases from jazz pianist and organist Mike LeDonne and saxophonist Eric Alexander.

Sunday, October 4

Tonight we listen to new releases from Bruce Lofgren's Jazz Pirates (really!), Cyrus Chestnut and Joe Lovano and Dave Douglas. Older things include a classic from Chick Corea, Stan Getz and Bill Evans, Miles Davis at his early peak and Phil Woods.

Sunday, September 27

We mine the Mosaic Records vaults for great historical documents, including ones from American jazz musician Jimmy Smith, Jazztet and alto saxophonist Johnny Hodges.

Sunday, September 20

Straight No Chaser features a total trip in the wayback machine, with Teddy Edwards, a great American jazz tenor saxophonist and Houston Person, best known for his soul jazz style. Also Charles Earland, J. J. Johnson, Bill Evans and Buddy DeFranco.

Sunday, September 13

Tonight we hear from many new releases, the most important being Joe Lovano and Dave Douglas, the Temple University Jazz band, and Sammy Figueroa, to compare with great oldies from Freddie Hubbard, Crutis Fuller and George Cables.

Sunday, September 6

We have a mix of new and old tonight, with the latest from trumpet player Nicholas Payton and Kenny Barron, and classics from Gene Ammons, Canonball Adderley and jazz saxophonist Gerry Mulligan.

Album Cover Art

Sunday, August 30

Straight No Chaser closes out the old month with new music from the Larry Douglas & Jorge Pineda Alltet, The Motor City Jazz Octet, and tenor saxophonist George Garzone with Esperanza Spalding.

Also hear the latest from Mike LeDonne's Groover Quartet. The group features prolific organist and pianist Mike LeDonne, and has been the featured Tuesday night band at Smoke jazz club in New York City for several years. 

Album Cover Art

Sunday, August 23

It's a night of all-new issues, including the latest releases from jazz artists J.D. Allen, Jeremy Pelt, George Cables, Cyrus Chestnut and Joshua Breakstone. We'll also feature the newest album by the Todd Marcus Jazz Orchestra, Blues for Tahrir. This jazz nonet presents original music with hints of Middle-Eastern influences that reflect the bandleader Marcus's Egyptian-American roots.

Sunday, August 16

Tonight Straight No Chaser features a few pairs of instrumentalists. First we'll hear from saxophonists Phil Woods and Stan Getz, followed by Ray Bryant and Roger Kellaway-- both multi-talented pianists and composers.

Sunday, August 9

Tonight we take a listen to more significant reissues from Mosaic Records' Limited Edition series. We will hear the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Orchestra, Woody Shaw, Johnny Hodges, J.J. Johnson and Gerry Mulligan and the Concert Jazz Band. 

Mulligan formed the Concert Jazz Band in 1960 as his own experiment with the personnel of a traditional big band. Several legendary musicians passed through the band over its short lifespan including Thad Jones, Doc Severinsen, and Zoot Sims.