One of the great things about WEMU is that we have passionate and loyal fans/listeners/supporters. Some of them are so passionate that they just have to get involved. This is what led today's featured staff member to WEMU. As of last year, Daniel Long has been handling hosting duties on The Groove Yard. He continues a long tradition of audiophiles, passionate about sharing their passion for jazz, working for you on the airwaves of WEMU.
What's your current position and how did you get there - My name is Daniel Long, and I am the host of The Groove Yard, Sundays from 1 until 3. I originally started as an "Intern Producer" for From Memphis to Motown, back when it was on Sunday nights. I was then offered the position of Sunday Morning Jazz host, which I took, and switch to producing for Michael Jewett. When we had to cut weekend mornings, I continued to produce for Michael Jewett, and did some copy-editing in the news department, occasionally guest-hosting.
Where were you born and raised - I was born at St. Joe hospital, and grew up on the east side of Ypsilanti. While my neighborhood was originally part of the West Willow subdivision, those of us who lived there called it Sugarbrook, after a park in the neighborhood. I attended and graduated from Willow Run Community Schools.
Where did you attend college - I graduated from Eastern Michigan University after a long and not-so-distinguished undergraduate career. I entered the University in 1999; I finally completed in 2014.
What was your major - I graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in Literature. While it is an undergraduate degree, I tend to focus on American Literature of the 20th century.
What's your place to have a "treat" meal - I have two children under the age of 5; I haven't been out to dinner in 3 years. However, when I get the rare opportunity, I love Yotsuba Japanese restaurant on Hogback Road.
What WEMU shows can't you live without - When I first started listen to WEMU, I was a fan of The Sunday Best, 89.1 Jazz (it never mattered if it were Saturday morning, Sunday morning, or during the week with either Linda or Michael), The In-Crowd, and The Roots Music Project. After working in all capacities at WEMU, I have grown to be a fan of every locally-hosted program we offer.
How did you find WEMU - I was initially drawn to WEMU because I was 19, I was exposed to jazz through the literature I was reading, and it was the only radio station I found on the dial that played the jazz I liked. I never liked "Smooth" jazz, and it was refreshing to hear real jazz on the radio.
What I do daily at work: For WEMU, I come in, pull my weather and pull my discs for the day's show. Then after I sign off the air, I prep the entire show for the next week. At my day job (and this may change in the next month), I copy-edit business reports for a local market research firm.
What tune can you not get out of your head - Currently, I have "Face Down" by the rock band The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus. Which is odd, because I haven't heard the song in probably 4 months, and it's been in my head for almost a week.
Define the perfect "you must hear this" album - One of the greatest albums I think of is either Reachin' (A New Refutation of Time and Space) by the 1990s hip-hop group The Digable Planets. Either that or the debut album from hip hop artist Nas, titled The Illmatic.
Where do you like to shop - Literati bookstore, Sam's clothing (on Liberty), and Underground Sounds.
What's your favorite vacation desintation - Ireland. My wife and I went there for our honeymoon, and I've wanted to go back ever since.
Whom do you follow on social media - Ryan Reynolds; he is hilarious. For good insight, I like following Robert Reich, as well.
What's the last movie you saw - Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens
Is there a WEMU memory that really sticks out - Getting to meet Mavis Staples when she played the Ark's birthday party back in 2010 (or maybe it was 2011)
What is it about public radio that's so darn awesome - Public radio takes diverse, sometimes disparate voices, and blends them, brings them together, and speaks to each one on his or her own level. No where in commercial radio will I be able to find a station that plays fantastic jazz, rippin' blues, and great roots sounds.