WGL-AM airs Catholic news show Religion: The weekly program aims at journalistic integrity along with a faith-based perspective.

On the Air

June 30, 1996|By Chris Kaltenbach | Chris Kaltenbach,SUN STAFF

Catholics whose hunger for news stretches beyond the pulpit, even beyond the weekly Catholic Review, now have themselves a friend on the radio.

"Catholic News Radio," an arm of the Review, Baltimore's weekly Catholic newspaper, debuted June 22 on WLG-AM (1360 in Baltimore, 1330 in Havre de Grace). The show, airing noon-1 p.m. every week, features news of the Archdiocese of Baltimore (as well as the rest of the world), plus interviews and a chance for listeners to phone in and talk to the news makers.

Saturday's guest,for instance, will be Mary Ellen Russell, the archdiocese's associate director for education. Listeners can dial (410) 821-1360 if they have questions, comments or whatever.

Christopher Gaul, a former Sun reporter, one-time broadcast journalist on WBAL, Channel 11, and a member of the Review's editorial board, will serve as host for the program. Theresa G. Giardina, the Review's director of development and public relations, will produce.

"We want to bring to the program journalistic professionalism and integrity," says Gaul, perhaps best known for his stint as the health reporter at WBAL. "We must always keep in mind, though, the perspective of 'Catholic News Radio' as one based on our Catholic faith."

The weekly format will remain essentially the same, opening with news, followed by editorial comments from Daniel Meddinger, associate publisher and editor of the Catholic Review, and ending with the guest interview and listener call-in.

Movie musicals

Fans of the great movie musicals may have trouble ripping themselves away from the television set this week, as American Movie Classics' annual Film Preservation Festival showcases some of Hollywood's greatest singing and dancing extravaganzas.

The fun begins tonight with a personal favorite, the film version of Meredith Willson's "The Music Man." This story of a charming con man who sets his sights on the residents of turn-of-the-century River City, Ind., only to lose his heart to the local librarian, has got not only a great heart, but also some of the most clever lyrics ever composed for Broadway.

(Yeah, I know the movie's probably not as good as the original Broadway version, but hey, I wasn't even born when Robert Preston first brought the role of Professor Harold Hill to life. I'll take what I can get.)

Even better, the film is being shown in its original wide-screen format, an immeasurable improvement over the pan-and-scan version made to accommodate the squarish world of the TV picture screen. Because the movie screen is so much wider than it is deep, the ends of the picture have been invisible to TV audiences. No longer, for instance, does Robert Preston serenade an off-screen Shirley Jones, or a barbershop quartet appear on-screen as a trio.

AMC's celebration isn't restricting itself to the traditional musicals, however. The week-long film roster includes the Beatles' "A Hard Day's Night" (tomorrow, 10: 30 p.m.-12: 15 a.m.) and "Help!" (Tuesday, 10: 45 p.m.-12: 15 a.m.) and Elvis Presley's "Love Me Tender" (tomorrow, 9 p.m.-10: 30 p.m.) and "Loving You" (Tuesday, 9 p.m.-10: 45 p.m.).

Several films featuring legendary African-American artists are also being shown, including Lena Horne in "Stormy Weather" (today, 11 a.m.-12: 30 p.m.); Nat "King" Cole in "St. Louis Blues" (tomorrow, 2: 15 p.m.-4 p.m. and 12: 15 a.m.-2 a.m.); and jazz shorts featuring Louis Armstrong (Friday, 4: 30 p.m.-4: 45 p.m.) and Duke Ellington (Friday, 9 p.m.-10 p.m.).

But the real treat may come Thursday, with a solid day of Rodgers and Hammerstein -- all seven of their Hollywood films, including "The Sound of Music." That film, one of the most popular movies ever made, is being shown through the largess of NBC and 20th Century-Fox, which own the rights to the 1965 Oscar-winner.

Not that "Sound" is the best of R&H. In fact, it may place only third or fourth -- well behind, as far as I'm concerned, "The King and I" and "Carousel."

Still, it's hard to go wrong with any of the seven. The fun begins at 2 a.m. Thursday with "State Fair," followed by "Oklahoma!" at 3: 45 a.m., "Carousel" at 6: 15 a.m., "The King and I" at 8: 30 a.m., "South Pacific" at 10: 45 a.m. and "Flower Drum Song" at 1: 30 p.m.

The cycle begins again at 3: 45 p.m. with "State Fair," followed by "Oklahoma!" at 5: 30 p.m.

Then the big-movie-on-campus rolls into town, with "The Sound of Music" beginning at 8 p.m., followed by "The King and I" at 11 p.m., "Carousel" at 1: 15 a.m. Friday and "South Pacific" at 3: 30 a.m. The documentary "The Sound of American Music" will air at 6: 05 a.m., followed by "Flower Drum Song" at 7: 45 a.m.

Again, all the films are being shown in their original wide-screen format.

Best advice: Don't miss any of them.

NPR looks at voting

National Public Radio will explore some of the intricacies of voting, 1996-style, in a multi-part series of broadcasts beginning tomorrow during its "Morning Edition" program.

The series will examine such questions as why more Americans don't vote, what issues are most important to immigrant voters, how various groups are being targeted to increase voter turnout and will Generation X'ers be going to the polls.

"Morning Edition" airs locally at 6 a.m. on WJHU-FM (88.1). The "Voting in America" segments will air daily during the program's first hour.

Sci-Fi picks up series

Fans of "Mystery Science Theater 3000" should be dancing in the streets, thanks to the Sci-Fi Channel's announcement this week that it is picking up the popular series that had been dumped by Comedy Central.

New episodes of MST3K, in which a captive space traveler and his robot buddies are forced to watch awful sci-fi films as part of a deranged scientist's mad experiment, will air on Sci-Fi beginning next February.

Until then, fans of the series can enjoy the repeats that still air occasionally on Comedy Central.

Pub Date: 6/30/96

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