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 6

Straight No Chaser spreads more good cheer tonight with Maynard Ferguson and your only chance to hear his vocal stylings with the band, and more from Bobby Timmons and Don Patterson.

Sunday, November 29

Thanksgiving has passed, and it's time to begin playing holiday music on Straight No Chaser. The tsunami of holiday cheer begins with Tom Kubis, Dexter Gordon, Jimmy Smith and the Ray Brown Trio.

Sunday, November 22

Tonight we hear an even split between new and old. New albums from Lionel Loueke, Joey deFrancesco, Kenny Burrell and others go along fine with classic older hits from  Miles Davis and Benny Carter.

Sunday, November 15

Tonight on Straight No Chaser we hear from clarinetist Mort Weiss and organist/pianist Radam Schwartz. A prolific recording artist, Schwartz is committed to creating live music by hosting weekly jam sessions at the Crossroads in New Jersey for professionals and amateurs alike.

Up next is pianist Cedar Walton and the multi talented Gerry Mulligan, among others.

Sunday, November 8 

Tonight we'll hear great historic recordings from Ahmad Jamal, Stan Getz and Chico Hamilton. Up next is Jeff Hamilton (no relation) and the Jazztet.

Sunday, November 1

Tonight we hear more new recordings from jazz vocalist and Grammy nominee, Denise Donatelli, as well as pianist Cesar Orozco. Up next, more from pianist and doctor Herb Silverstein.

Sunday, October 25

Tonight on Straight No Chaser, we feature new recordings from saxophonist Scott Hamilton and drummer Jeff Hamilton -- no relation!-- Joe Lovano and Dave Douglas, and Mike LeDonne. Plus we'll highlight some older favorites from Nat Adderley and J.J. Johnson and remember saxophone great Phil Woods who died last month.

Sunday, October 18

Tonight on Straight No Chaser we climb back into the time machine where we are given gentle advice from Hank Mobley, playing his original "Don't Get Too Hip". Later in the show we hear from Bob Florence Big Band and Tommy Flanagan's Trio.

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.