Join the Shaker Historical Society and Shaker Heights Public Library for “Bill Randle in Cleveland: From Electric Elvis to The Shakers” with Roger Lee Hall on Thursday, September 21 from 6:30–8:00 p.m. via Zoom. This program is based on a new book by Roger Hall, “The Bill Randle Chronicles: From Electric Elvis to The Shakers” (PineTree Press, 2nd ed, 2023) available now as an ebook at https://www.americanmusicpreservation.com/thebillrandlechronicles.htm. Hall is the Director of the Center for American Music Preservation (CAMP) and a former disc jockey. His program is being presented to commemorate the centennial of the birth of Cleveland radio personality, William (Bill) Randle (1923-2004) and will focus on his life from the 1950s to 1970s. This event is free. Register today at bit.ly/bill-randle.
Bill Randle was born in Detroit, but spent most of his career working in Cleveland as a popular disc jockey, first on WERE, then later for other stations including his last radio host job at WRMR. As a Cleveland disc jockey on WERE radio, Randle was called “Top Jock in America” by TIME Magazine in 1955. He was an early promoter of many singers like Harry Belafonte, Tony Bennett, The Crew Cuts, and Elvis Presley, who he had filmed in 1955 at a Cleveland area high school for a planned Universal movie short that was never released. Besides his disc jockey work, Randle also spent his own money to produce recordings. In 1961, he produced a 10 LP record set about America’s oldest communal sect and he titled it: “The Shaker Heritage.” This extensive record set featured Shaker women speaking about their long history with subjects on their religion, their industries and inventions, their cooking, poetry, and music.
This program will highlight Bill Randle’s many years of work in music. From the 1950s and his early radio days in Cleveland to his later work as producer of the 10 record LP set about the Shakers in the early 1960s, to Randle’s popular music course taught by Roger Hall in the 1970s. Besides speaking about Bill Randle’s career on radio and teaching, Hall will include audio clips including a rare air check from a 1955 radio broadcast where Randle reads letters from young fans of Elvis and there will be some examples of singing by Shaker women from New Hampshire and Maine from the Rounder Records 2 CD set, “Let Zion Move: Music of the Shakers.”