Philadelphia’s Gene Shay — the voice of a music community for over 50 years, a celebrator and curator of folk music on the airwaves and an eager supporter of it from the stage — has passed away at age 85 from complications surrounding COVID-19. Shay debuted on Philadelphia radio in 1962 at WRTI, and hosted the Folk Show on WXPN from 1995 to 2015.
The impact and influence of that show cannot be overstated. Joni famously wrote her song “Both Sides Now” during downtime when she was playing two nights at Sansom Street venue The Second Fret, and premiered it with an acoustic performance for Shay and his listeners on the WDAS airwaves. [-John Vettese].
You can read a series of interviews with Gene and Joni here.