MTPR to mark 25 years of Musician’s Spotlight in pledge drive

By Missoula Current

The award-winning Montana Public Radio program, “Musician’s Spotlight,” will celebrate 25 years on the air with a pledge week special broadcast set for 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 6.

During his weekly half-hour program, host John Floridis has featured hundreds of local and national musicians – everyone from B.B. King and Mary Chapin Carpenter to Lyle Lovett and John Oates.

Then there’s the Cowboy Junkies, Patty Griffin and Daryl Jones of the Rolling Stones.

“It’s been a fabulous experience to meet and talk with these outstanding artists about their music and their inspirations,” said Floridis, a noted musician in his own right. “We’ve made it a priority to feature Montana musicians of all styles in amongst the multiple Grammy Award-winners, Rock and Roll Hall of Famers and national touring artists.”

The MTPR spring pledge week special will feature a variety of clips of Floridis’ favorite guests. He and MTPR program director Michael Marsolek also will talk about the origins of the program.

Marsolek started “Musician’s Spotlight” in 1992 when he was a volunteer DJ at the station. In 1997, he handed the program off to Floridis and Brian Kopper.

Floridis took over producing the program by himself in 2009.

“‘Musician’s Spotlight’ has become a respected and signature program celebrating music and musicians in the region,” Marsolek said. “We’re happy to be able to have the program as part of our Montana-made radio lineup.”

“Musician’s Spotlight” received the 2015 and 2016 E.B. Craney Award for Outstanding Non-commercial Radio Program from the Montana Broadcasters Association and the Greater Montana Foundation.

The program airs regularly at 7:30 p.m. Thursday on Montana Public Radio. It’s also available as a podcast. Montana Public Radio is a service of the University of Montana in Missoula.