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, December 7:

Straight No Chaser will feature Christmas music through the first three Sundays of December. Listen for festive tunes from the likes of Dexter Gordon, Matt Wilson and more.

Web extra: Matt Wilson and his band perform a holiday "tiny desk concert" on NPR music.

Sunday, November 30

We conclude our celebration of Adolphe Sax’s birthday tonight on Straight No Chaser. Hear from alto saxophonist Art Pepper, plus Ken Peplowski, Plas Johnson and Gerry Mulligan. Tonight's program also includes the Four Altos: Phil Woods, Gene Quill, Hal Stein and Sahib Shihab.

Sunday, November 23

The celebration of Adolphe Sax and the saxophone continues tonight on Straight No Chaser. Hear from tenor saxophonist Houston Person, brothers Cannonball and Nat Adderley, plus Bud Shank, Gene Ammons with his big band, Ike Quebec, and Pete Christlieb with Lou Levy.

Sunday, November 16

If you haven't heard yet, the saxophone was invented by Adolphe Sax. This month marks his 200th birthday, and we're celebrating all November long. Tonight we hear Ben Webster and Johnny Hodges, Stan Getz, Dexter Gordon, Zoot Sims and Supersax. And don't worry, next month we aren't going to tell you it's the birthday of trumpet inventor, Donald Trump.

 Sunday, November 9:

We continue our celebration of Adolphe Sax’s birthday with more, more, more saxophones. Tonight, we'll hear from jazz alto saxophonist Julian Edwin "Cannonball" Adderley, plus The Tenor Trio - made up of Pete Christleib, Ernie Watts and Rickey Woodard.  Al Cohn and Zoot Sims, and Illinois Jacquet also join in.

Sunday, October 26:

New stuff from Gerry Gibbs, Larry Goldings, Charlie Hayden and Jim Hall and the Cookers mingles with older things by Clifford Jordan Big Band, Miles Davis, Benny Green and Bill Evans as Straight No Chaser continues to blend early jazz with recent recordings. 

Album Cover Art

Sunday, October 19:

We'll hear a mix of old and new music tonight on Straight No Chaser. The new comes from jazz pianist Larry Fuller and his self-titled September release. Plus plenty of old from Bob Florence, Art Blakey and Miles Davis.

Sunday, October 12

We straddle the lines between swing, blues and bebop this week on Straight No Chaser. Hear selections from American jazz saxophonist and flutist Frank Wess, plus music from Ray Bryant, Art Pepper, Joe Beck, Gerry Mulligan and Lou Donaldson. 

Sunday, September 28

We'll hear some great BeBop tonight on Straight No Chaser, with music from pianist Cedar Walton and the legendary Miles Davis. We'll also hear from Horace Silver, one of the most enduring names in jazz, along with saxophonist Stan Getz.

Sunday, September 7

On tonight's Straight No Chaser, we hear new music from jazz alto saxophonist Phil Woods, plus the latest from Bill Goodwin, Pat Bianchi, Adam Niewood and Chris Higgins of the Bill Goodwin Quartet. 

We'll also hear from the always popular Sonny Stitt, Ahmad Jamal, Zoot Sims and Al Cohn.

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