Alan Farley

In Memoriam (1936-2012):  KALW lost an important voice for the arts in the Bay Area, our senior announcer, Alan Farley, in October of 2012.  Alan’s diagnosis and subsequent passing of pancreatic and liver cancer was sudden, and a shock to all of us here at KALW. 

Alan Farley was born in Idaho in 1936 and spent his formative years in Seattle, though he finished his high school career in Southern California in 1953.  Farley attended Caltech as a mathematics undergrad, and went on to pursue graduate degrees at the University of Michigan and the University of California, Berkeley.  He served as Chairman of the Mathematics Department at Morehouse College in Atlanta from 1964-1969.  He has also been a faculty member at Merritt College.

As a music aficionado, Farley served as guide and head guide to the Boston Symphony Orchestra's Berkshire Music Festival during the summers of 1958, '59 and '60.  He's also been a Road Manager to Richard Pryor.

And as a radio lover, Alan has been a volunteer and staff member at KPFA, until he transitioned to KALW in 1975, where he was founding host and producer of Book Talk, My Favorite Things, Open Air, Explorations in Music, the Berkeley Symphony broadcasts and various performing arts specials, and continues to provide a "Noel Coward Entr'acte" between My Word! & My Music each Friday evening at 8:30.

You can find information about all of Alan's programs in 2012 below.  Click here for information about his shows from 2011 and before.



Tue June 26, 2012
Book Talk

Book Talk July 1, 2012

Frank Deford

Alan talks with Frank Deford about his memoir, "Over Time - My Life as a Sportswriter.


Tue June 26, 2012
Open Air June 28

Open Air June 28 at 1 PM

Nathan Gunn

Alan talks with baritone Nathan Gunn, who is singing Papageno in the San Francisco Opera's current production of "The Magic Flute," with Michael Gene Sullivan, who has written the S. F. Mime Troupe's new show "The Greater Good, or the Last Election," which opens on July 4, and with Maestro Giuseppi Finzi, Resident Conductor of the San Francisco Opera about the Schwabacher Summer Concert of the Merola Opera students, taking place on July 5.


Wed June 20, 2012
My Favorite Things

My Favorite Things 25 June 2012

Noel Coward

Alan presents a rebroadcast of a special reconstruction of Noel Coward's appearance on the BBC's "Desert Island Discs" in 1963. This was first heard on the annual Noel Coward birthday special in 2007. Paul Whitworth plays Coward and Alan plays Roy Plomley, the series host.

Coward's playlist:


  1. Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor, Third Movement – Sergei Rachmaninov, piano, with Leopold Stokowski and the Philadelphia Orchestra

  2. All the Way – Frank Sinatra with Nelson Riddle conducting the orchestra

Read more


Tue June 19, 2012
Book Talk

Book Talk June 24, 2012

Dan Ariely

Alan talks with Dan Ariely about his new book "The Honest Truth About Dishonesty: How We Lie to Everyone - Especially Ourselves."


Tue June 19, 2012
Open Air June 21

Open Air June 21 at 1 PM

Michelle DeYoung

Alan talks with mezzo Michelle DeYoung, who is singing in "Bluebeard's Castle"at the San Francisco Symphony this week, and wirh Steven Haines, Executive Director of the Stern Grove Festival, which is celebrating its 75th season, which opens on Sunday.