When one of the Windy City’s beloved icons is on the verge of huge, national exposure, it’s not unusual to experience mixed feelings. While you are thrilled for their success, there is still a moment of selfishness to know you have to share them with the rest of the world. It’s similar to when your favorite local indie band suddenly goes mainstream – you feel as though you are letting go of something very special.
I’m going through these bittersweet emotions upon hearing the news that one of best Chicago television shows, JBTV, will begin broadcasting nationwide on February 18, 2012.
Hosted by the popular and personable Jerry Bryant, JBTV is Chicago’s longest-running independent television program, and it spotlights up-and-coming local and national bands and performers. The show first started airing in 1984 and has featured musicians like Smashing Pumpkins, Ministry, Radiohead, Wilco, Lisa Loeb, Ezra Furman and the Harpoons, Bowling for Soup, Local H, and many others.
JBTV Hits the Rock ‘n’ Roll Big Time
“JBTV will be seen each Saturday night at 10:00 p.m. in Chicago, New York City/north New Jersey/Connecticut, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco/San Jose/Bay Area, Dallas/Fort Worth, Miami/South Florida, Philadelphia, Delaware, Washington D.C., Maryland and Northern Virginia. The NBC ‘Nonstop’ digital sub-channel is available free over-the-air and via digital television, and through national cable carriers Comcast, Time Warner, WOW!, Cox, Verizon FIOS and RCN,” according to the website of our pals at Chicagoland Radio and Media.
Passion for the Music
Whether interviewing bands, introducing videos, or discussing music and other interests, Jerry Bryant and his team of JBTV co-hosts are always smart, entertaining, passionate about music, and respectful of the artists and their creative vision.
For fans and music lovers like me, one of the highlights is actually attending a live show at JBTV studios. When you first enter the facility, you get to meet the cool, down-to-earth staff while you gaze at their impressive collection of posters, autographed album covers, and pictures of music icons that fill the walls. And of course the adorable, stuffed Jerry Bryant doll that you see on TV is perched by the front desk, smiling and welcoming visitors to the studio.
Getting to be in the audience for the actual taping of an upcoming show while you enjoy an intimate, live concert is exhilarating. Just recently, I had the opportunity to see three amazing groups live in concert at JBTV – Smoking Popes, Anti-Flag, and J.C. Brooks and the Uptown Sound. Each band put on an exciting, powerful show, and with a small, state-of-the-art studio, we were able to really connect with the performers and crowd to feed off the high energy and love of the music.
Loving Every Rockin’ Moment
When you check out the JBTV website, you’ll find plenty of fun things like band videos, previous show episodes and interviews, info on the artists, upcoming live tapings, and an online store.
My heartfelt congratulations to Jerry Bryant and the talented crew at JBTV on your latest success, and thanks for all the awesome music and 27 years of Chicago TV memories! As you embark on your exciting, new adventure, we will be right there with you, watching and loving every rock ‘n’ roll minute.
Patricia Batson has worked in television and film productions as a background extra in Hollywood, California, and Chicago, Illinois, as well as for local advertising agencies, TV, and radio stations. Her resume includes “The Chicago Code,” “Glee,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” “The Dilemma,” and “Get Him to the Greek.”