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

May 14, 2017

In hour one we'll hear Bill Evans on piano and Clifford Brown on trumpet.

Hour two features Red Garland on piano and Jimmy Smith on the B3 organ.

Sunday, December 18

Have you had your fill of Mel Torme and Bob Well’s “The Christmas Song?” Sorry, there is more:   

1. Jimmy Smith and Don Patterson on the B-3 Organ

2. Louie Bellson on drums and Dexter Gordon on tenor sax

Sunday, April 10

Tonight we'll hear a variety of pianos and trumpets with the talented Norman Simmons, Woody Shaw and Bobby Shew.

Sunday, April 3

Tonight we hear from musicians with big names and some less well known. We'll hear the Gerald Wilson Orchestra, pianist Stefan Scaggiari, Zoot Sims and Jimmy Smith. 

Sunday, March 27

Tonight on Straight No Chaser we'll hear more recent recordings from clarinetist and tenor saxophonist Ken Peplowski, guitarist Russell Malone, and tenor saxophonist Houston Person.

Sunday, March 20

Tonight we hear recent CD's by a variety of artists: pianist Kenny Barron, vocalist Denise Donatelli, saxophonist Adison Evans and trumpeter Jim Rotondi.

Sunday, March 13

Tonight we feature many keyboard players including Kenny Barron and Charles Earland, plus Ross Tompkins' earliest recording. After that we'll hear Thelonius Monk, Eric Reed and Horace Silver.

Sunday, March 6

On this weeks Straight No Chaser, we hear new recordings from Dr. Lonnie Smith and Ken Peplowski. Then, we'll jump into the way-back machine to hear from Gerry Mulligan, Red Holloway and Clark Terry!

Album Cover Art

Sunday, February 28

Tonight we'll hear many things from jazz's storied past. We start the show with two tribute groups taking on Lee Morgan. Later we hear Johnny Mandel's theme from the 1958 movie I Want to Live! - a movie about the first woman to die in California's gas chamber.

Susan Hayward won an Oscar for her memorable performance of bad girl Barbara Graham. Mandel wrote the full score, including orchestral and smaller group arrangements played by Gerry Mulligan. This is considered the first movie with a complete jazz score. 

Sunday, February 21

Tonight we'll hear mostly older recordings, with Jimmy Smith, Groove Holmes with Gene Ammons and Oscar Peterson. Up next is a recent CD from George Garzone.