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 5, 2012
Open Air June 7

Open Air June 7 at 1 PM

Mark Jackson

Alan talks with playwright Mark Jackson, who is directing his new play "Salomania" at the Aurora Theatre in Berkeley.


Tue May 29, 2012
Open Air May 31

Open Air May 31

David Robertson

Alan talks with conductor David Robertson, who is leading the San Francisco Symphony this week, and with Susi Damilano, who is directing Martin McDonagh's "A Behanding in Spokane" at the S. F. Playhouse.


Tue May 29, 2012
Book Talk

Book Talk June 3, 2012

John Irving

Alan talks with John Irving about his latest novel, "In One Person."


Tue May 29, 2012
My Favorite Things

My Favorite Things 4 June 2012

Nathaniel Stookey

Alan's guest ic composer Nathaniel Stookey, playing some of his favorite music.


His playlist:



  1. Prokofiev – Symphony #5, last movement – Leif Bjaland and the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra

  2. Handel – Theodora, Excerpt from Act 1 – Nicholas McGegan and the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra

  3. Puccini – Aria from “Suor Angelica” - Lucia Popp

  4. Bach – Goldberg Variations, Theme – Glenn Gould, piano

  5. Stookey – Junkestra, excerpt

Read more


Tue May 22, 2012
book Talk

Book Talk May 27, 2012

Anne Perry

Alan talks with Anne Perry about her new novel, "Dorchester Terrace," the latest in her Charlotte and Thomas Pitt series.