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.



Sat June 16, 2012
my Favorite Things

My Favorite Things 18 June 2012

John Mangum

Alan's guest is John Mangum, Director of Artistic Planning for the San Francisco Symphony.

His playlist:


  1. Mozart: Symphony No. 41 in C, K. 551 (Jupiter), last movement - Sir Neville Marriner and Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields

  2. Beethoven: Ninth Symphony, excerpt from last movement – Leonard Bernstein and the New York Philharmonic Orchestra

  3. Berlioz: Romeo and Juliet, excerpt – Colin Davis and the London Symphony Orchestra

Read more


Mon June 11, 2012
Book Talk

Book Talk June 17, 2012

Chis Ballard

Alan talks with Chris Ballard about his new book, "One Shot at Forever - A Small Town, an Unlikely Coach and a Magical Baseball Season."


Mon June 11, 2012
Open Air June 14

Open Air June 14 at 1 PM

Dael Orlandersmith

Alan talks with playwright and performer Dael Orlandersmith, who is appearing in her new play, "Black n Blue Boys/Broken Men" at the Berkeley Repertory Theatre, and with baritone Quinn Kelsey, who is appearing in Verdi's "Attila" at the San Francisco Opera.


Thu June 7, 2012
My Favorite Things

My Favorite Things 11 June 2012

Hana Baba

Alan's guest is Hana Baba, co-host of Crosscurrents at KALW News.

Her playlist:


  1. We All Sing with the Same Voice – Sesame Street

  2. Minnie the Moocher – Cab Calloway, from Blues Brothers soundtrack

  3. Batwannis Beek – Warda

  4. Stir It Up – Bob Marley

  5. A Change Is Gonna Come – Sam Cooke

  6. Jump Rope – Blue October

  7. Nothing Compares to You – Prince

  8. Mickey's Monkey – Smokey Robinson and the Miracles

Read more


Tue June 5, 2012
Book Talk

Book Talk June 10, 2012

Keith Byerman

Alan talks with author Keith Byerman and artist, writer and poet Clarence Major about Byerman's biography, "The Art and Life of Clarence Major."