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24-7 Coltrane on WKCR

WKCR-FM’s exhaustive, 24-hours-a-day radio salute to saxophonist John Coltrane was supposed to go down in September ’03, but transmitter malfunctions made it impossible to broadcast the tribute. Fortunately, the Columbia University radio station rescheduled the program for broadcast in March.

From midnight on Mar. 11 through March 24, the station will pre-empt all regular programming to bring listeners John Coltrane’s entire recorded legacy, some 200 hours of music. This will mostly be studio-recorded, officially released Trane material, but we have been told that some rare, archival footage will get on the air.

The festival affords you the opportunity to listen to Trane’s entire discography, from start to finish, or vice versa. Those who want to hear the saxophonist’s story beginning with his earliest recordings should tune in daily from 5 a.m. to 1 p.m. If you’d rather hear Coltrane de-evolve, tune in from 4 p.m. to midnight. If you just want to hear some Trane, tune in anytime. From 1 to 4 p.m. WKCR will broadcast interviews and special programming with expert jazz DJs who will offer presentations of various facets of Coltrane’s legacy, including many conversations with Coltrane’s surviving musical and personal associates. In the overnight hours the station will present more thematic presentations of Coltrane’s music. If all that data makes your head spin, here’s the daily schedule:

Midnight-5 am: Overnight specials

5 am-1 pm: Chronological discography

1-4 pm: Interviews and special programming

4 pm-Midnight: Reverse discography

If you’re local to New York City, dial in 89.9 FM on your hi-fi to listen, otherwise head over to and listen via Internet stream. Additionally, if you tune in a couple days early, you can catch daylong birthday salutes to Ornette Coleman (on Mar. 9) and Bix Beiderbecke (Mar. 10).

Originally Published