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, July 19

This week on Straight No Chaser we open with a brand new, just-unwrapped recording from tenor saxophonist Harry Allen. Allen has put out multiple recordings in 2015: a collaboration with the Swedish Jan Lundgren Quartet, and a tribute to George Gershwin, Cole Porter and Duke Ellington.

We'll continue with selections from jazz greats Jimmy Smith and Ahmad Jamal. Also hear Stan Getz as he performs with  trombonist J.J. Johnson and with pianist Bill Evans.

Sunday, July 12

This week Straight No Chaser features new selections from Cyrus Chestnut and trumpeter and producer Jeremy Pelt. Pelt's most recent recording, Tales, Musings and Other Reveries, was released in January of this year and features tracks about recent national issues and Pelt's own personal relationships. We'll also hear great stuff from the Modern Jazz Quartet, Paul Desmond and Groove Holmes with Gene Ammons.

Album Cover Art

Sunday, July 5

Not enough fireworks this weekend? We can help with some musical sparklers on Straight No Chaser.  Tune in for new tracks off Enigmatix from Roberto Magris, selections from Russel Malone, and the latest from trumpeter Terell Stafford as heard this week on Fresh Air.  Also hear great classics from legendary artists Gerry Mulligan, Maynard Ferguson, Miles Davis and Art Blakey.

Sunday, June 28

Tonight on Straight No Chaser, we hear some classics from a range of jazz greats including Jimmy Smith, George Shearing, Don Menza and his Big Band, and Oscar Peterson.

Also listen for some selections by trumpeter Jack Sheldon. In addition to his prolific performing career, Sheldon's recordings have been featured in documentaries and television. He also appeared on The Merv Griffin Show and voiced some of the best-known segments on Schoolhouse Rock! including "I'm Just A Bill". 

Revisiting The Masters

Jun 16, 2015

Sunday, June 21

This week on Straight No Chaser, we take another trip in the wayback machine to hear from jazz masters Dexter Gordon, Jimmy Smith and Horace Silver. All three musicians made significant contributions to the evolution of bop. Silver, a pianist and composer, used his background in a variety of genres such as gospel and Latin American music, as well as his family ties to Cape Verde, to influence his compositions. 

Sunday, June 14

Straight No Chaser highlights a mix of old and new music tonight. We'll hear a new release of a previously unissued recording of guitarist Pat Martino and all new  recordings from Jim Snidero and Russell Malone. Snidero's latest album was released in January of this year. It features several original compositions performed by a young and enthusiastic quartet with his flawless sax tone at the forefront. We'll also revisit some older, but always welcome hits from Stan Getz and Jimmy Ponder.

Sunday, June 7

Tonight we revisit jazz from the not so distant past with saxophonist Phil Woods, the Clayton Brothers, and the rarely heard Roger "Buck" Hill. We'll also hear organist Jimmy Smith, who had several albums on Billboard, and Alan Broadbent.  Broadbent is active as a pianist, arranger and conductor around the world and has won several accolades including a Grammy and the New Zealand Order of Merit

Sunday, May 31

Tonight we hear from trumpeters Clifford Brown and Kansas City native Carmell Jones. We also feature bebop great Dexter Gordon and the unique sound of saxophonist Stan Getz.  Getz is best known for introducing Americans to the bossa nova style in the 1960's.

Sunday, May 24

Tonight we cover several more sets from Mosaic Records, the jazz record label that specializes in recordings that had fallen out of print. We'll hear from Thad Jones and the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Big Band, plus Woody Shaw and stuff from Bob Florence and Phil Woods. 

Mosiac Reissues

May 14, 2015

Sunday, May 17

On tonight's Straight No Chaser, we will spend the better part of the evening listening to things on the Mosaic Records label. Mosaic has been in business around 25 years, and has received many accolades for their reissue sets. Their staff visits record libraries, storage rooms, closets, and basements to find original tapes of important groups. They reissue selections in well researched and impeccably remastered box sets. We will hear examples by Blue Mitchell, J J Johnson, Buck Clayton, Johnny Hodges, and more.