James Baker | Texas Public Radio

James Baker

Producer, Host: Classics a la Carte

James first introduced himself to KPAC listeners at midnight on April 8, 1993, presenting Dvorak's 7th Symphony played by the Cleveland Orchestra. Soon after, he became the regular overnight announcer on KPAC.

If pressed to describe himself, James will say he is a musician who hosted classical music.  For over 40 years, he has worked as a professional French horn player, holding posts in the Austin Symphony, San Antonio Symphony, Orquesta Filarmonica de la Ciudad de Mexico, Orquesta Sinfonica del Estado de Mexico, and Orquesta Sinfonica de Xalapa, the oldest orchestra in Mexico. 

James also is an avid marathoner.  Look for him running the streets of San Antonio with his three rescued border collies.

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David Amram

When HemisFair '68 opened its gates on April 6, 1968, scores of dignitaries, world leaders, and A-list entertainers passed through San Antonio over the next six months. Not all were invited as performers. Percussionist George Coleman came, not as a participant in the fair, but as a street performer, a busker.


Although writer Carol Hoff was born in Tucson in 1900 and spent her first eight years outside of Texas, she was a true Texan. Her great-grandparents came to Texas as pioneers in 1834, settling in what eventually was the town of Yorktown, the important mid-point along the immigration and trade route from the ill-fated port of Indianola to San Antonio.

Public domain

Ragtime was an American musical style which enjoyed popularity between 1895 and 1918. It had its origins in African-American circles, bringing fame and publishing contracts to many Black American composers of the era.

In November, 1970, pianist Joshua Rifkin released the first of three recordings of rags for the Nonesuch label. "Scott Joplin: Piano Rags" went on to become Nonesuch's first million-selling release, marking the beginning of a ragtime revival.


Greg Gorman / Los Angeles Grand Opera

UPDATE (10/16/17): Placido Domingo's concert at the Alamodome has been postponed until further notice. The promoters and venue are working on an alternate date for his appearance in San Antonio.  

On this week's "Art of American Popular Song" we seek new songs to add to the venerable Great American Songbook. We also look to put to rest the belief by some that the craft of great song and lyric writing died somewhere around 1955. After all, that's what the American composer, writer, and commentator on popular song, Alec Wilder, said in his book "American Popular Song: The Great Innovators." But is it really so?