Throwback Thursday: YourClassical MPR hosts share goofy gaffes, memories

YourClassical MPR hosts Jeff Esworthy, left, and John Birge share time together at the Minneapolis Central Library's grand opening in 2006. Luke Taylor/MPR

February 09, 2022

As MPR’s Winter Drive begins to pick up steam, the hosts at YourClassical MPR share memorable moments and goofy gaffes of their many years at Minnesota Public Radio. From colleagues who are no longer with us, to fun stories on and off air, they hope to remind you of the legacy we’ve created together through classical music. Enjoy!

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Julie Amacher at the MPR booth at the State Fair
Julie Amacher hosting the live performance by the Dolce Wind Quintet at the MPR booth at the Minnesota State Fair.
MPR photo/Nate Ryan

Julie Amacher - “Crann and Sheldon”

Julie Amacher reminisces about her first months at Classical MPR, learning the ropes under the tutelage of renowned hosts Tom Crann and Mark Sheldon.

Julie Amacher - Crann and Sheldon

John Birge
John Birge
MPR

John Birge - Arthur Hoehn

John Birge talks about meeting and getting to know his hero, classical host Arthur Hoehn, whom he had listened to for years during his time in Cincinnati.

John Birge - Arthur Hoehn

Andrea Blain
Classical MPR host Andrea Blain
MPR photo/Nate Ryan

Andrea Blain - Bob Christiansen

Andrea Blain remembers one of her favorite YourClassical MPR colleagues, Bob Christiansen, and the many topics they would talk about together.

Andrea Blain - Bob Christiansen

Scott Blankenship at Classical Kids Storytime, Rock the Cradle 2020.
Scott Blankenship at Classical Kids Storytime, Rock the Cradle 2020.
Helen Teague/MPR

Scott Blankenship - The Mars Rover

The Mars Rover began landing on Mars on Aug. 6, 2012, during Scott Blankenship’s overnight shift. He remembers the music that accompanied him that night and the connection he felt with audiences near and far.

Scott Blankenship - Mars Rover

Jeff Esworthy
Jeff Esworthy
MPR

Jeff Esworthy - Fenwhuuut?

Host Jeff Esworthy fondly remembers the day a listener gently corrected him for something he said on-air. Every day is an opportunity to learn something new!

Jeff Esworthy - Fenwhuuut?

Valerie Kahler
Valerie Kahler
MPR

Valerie Kahler - Bloopers

Do radio hosts make mistakes? Of course, they’re only human! Host Valerie Kahler talks about why she loves bloopers and shares some of her favorite ones so far.

Valerie Kahler - Bloopers

Host Mindy Ratner
Host Mindy Ratner
MPR

Mindy Ratner - Radio Lady

Mindy Ratner shares a memory from back in the day, when she was one of only two women on the entire YourClassical MPR staff. She recalls a wonderful encounter with a grandmother and her grandchild that she still holds dear in her heart.

Mindy Ratner - Radio Lady

Steve Staruch-02
Classical MPR host Steve Staruch
James Napoli/APM

Steve Staruch - Holst’s Jupiter

Steve Staruch retells a wonderful story of a mother and her two grade-school daughters as they listened to Jupiter, by Gustav Holst, during his shift. Imagination and shenanigans ensued!

Steve Staruch - Holst's 'Jupiter'

Bob Christiansen
Bill Morelock, left, and Bob Christiansen created the nationally syndicated "Bob and Bill," winner of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting Gold Award for excellence in programming.
MPR

Bill Morelock - Bob Christiansen

Host Bill Morelock looks back on this memories alongside the late Bob Christiansen, with whom he became good friends and created unforgettable and acclaimed content together.

Bill Morelock - Bob Christiansen