Occasional Shivers

A picture of Chris Stamey playing guitar.
Gardner Campbell / https://www.flickr.com/photos/gardnercampbell/8554646232/

Songs We Love is a series and a podcast that looks at the stories behind some of the songs we're playing on our new music discovery station, WUNC Music.

There was a time in our history when families gathered around the radio to listen to stories and music. WUNC produced a show from a couple years back that tries to rekindle that spirit. It's called 'Occasional Shivers' and was written by Chris Stamey. On this episode of the podcast we focus on the song that inspired the show.

A reimagining of the language of the Great American Songbook, where jazz meets pop against a backdrop of a 1960s Manhattan love story, returns this year with a new ending, new songs and new performances in Chris Stamey's "Occasional Shivers."   Here's a preview of the program and the podcast.

In which Bags Benmont, leader of the Satin and Sparkle orchestra, encounters a surprising figure in front of NY’s Plaza Hotel, on a snowy New Years Eve day, 1963.

In which Bags and newcomer Will Cassidy arrive at Birdie McDavenish’s holiday party and meet a group of unusual characters. A song is commissioned, and a scuffle narrowly avoided.

In which legendary songwriter Paul Carter expounds on the whys and wherefores of "In-tox-cho-cli-fi-ca-tion."

In which songstress Jennifer Delancey’s casual remark in Central Park inspires Will; a late-night phone call then reveals a concern.

In which Paul details some ancient history. Then all protest a threatened calamity.

In which Will and Paul explore the nature of the muse, a secret is discovered, and a rainy-night visit to the Village Vagabond illuminates the theft of a song.

In which life grows complicated for the young lovers, at a meal at the Palm Court. Several letters arrive, followed by a mass dissolution and a sad separation.

In which a year has passed. Famed radio show You Pick the Hits’ winter song contest unveils the top three winners for 1965, with unexpected consequences.

In which Bags sets out for another party as snow blankets the city. A song is heard in the distance.

The podcast concludes with the full radio edit of Occasional Shivers.

A reimagining of the language of the Great American Songbook where jazz meets pop against a backdrop of a 1960s Manhattan love story returns this year with a new ending, new songs and new performances in Chris Stamey's "Occasional Shivers."

And, this year, you can experience the story and songs in this radio musical as a podcast with bonus songs and scenes.  Check out this preview video:

WUNC Special Broadcast On 118 Stations Nationwide

Dec 13, 2016

The 2016 broadcast premiere of WUNC's holiday special "Occasional Shivers" was heard in New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, St Paul/Minneapolis, Cleveland, Raleigh and more than 100 other public radio markets across the country. The show was produced in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, by WUNC and was distributed by American Public Media.

Over the last year, Chapel Hill-based songwriter and producer Chris Stamey has been working on a narrative song cycle set in Manhattan in the early 1960s. Called Occasional Shivers, it centers around a circle of jazz theater performers and their experiences.