Returning to My Roots

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Last week, I launched a new radio show in New York City. The show, “Bagels and Broadway with Valerie Smaldone” kicked off on July 7th with fun interviews with beloved stage and screen performer Brenda Vaccaro, and radio star-turned- theatrical producer Leslie Gold. I so enjoyed my conversations with these two fabulous women! (Listen above.)

But I also took a moment to reminisce about my very early days in radio. When I was broadcasting as a college student at WFUV in the Bronx,

I had the opportunity, at the very nascent stage of my career, to host a show called “Showstoppers,” featuring original cast albums from Broadway shows and movie soundtracks. I mentioned this experience on my new program, and that I didn’t know it then, but hosting “Showstoppers” was truly my happiest time on radio…till now. Although I am not playing original cast albums or scores, I am talking about theatre and food and entertainment on the radio in my hometown. And that makes me very happy. 🙂

I also reminisced that, in those days, as a novice broadcaster, I invited Broadway composer Charles Strouse to be on my show. Charles didn’t call in. He actually came to the studio and sat with me, as we talked about Bye Bye Birdie, and his new Broadway production at the time, Annie.

Charles was doodling in the studio, as we listened to soundtracks together, and he gave the drawings to me.

He also signed the score to Annie.


It’s a truly special and magical memory that I am happy to share with you. I hope you’ll  listen to this podcast  and tune in every Saturday morning from 9-10 on AM970 for “Bagels and Broadway.”


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