Baltimore Hit Parade Q&A With Sam Sessa

On Tuesday Jan. 21, 89.7 WTMD is hosting the first ever live taping of Baltimore Hit Parade, broadcast live on-air with a studio audience.

The free hour-long show features the radio debut of Kentavius Jones, a soul singer/songwriter. Also: the Baltimore Rock Opera Society will perform songs from “Grundlehammer,” Ed Schrader has tips on “How to Live Cheaply,” Elena Fox of Charm City Cakes attempts to make a delicious dessert in 3 minutes or less and Michael Bowen presents 10 Dirty Secrets of The Ottobar. Doors open at 8:30 p.m. and the show is at 9 p.m. sharp at 1 Olympic Place in Towson.

You probably have a ton of questions. Thankfully, Sam Sessa, host of Baltimore Hit Parade, is here to not only ask these questions, but also answer them.

Who is this Sam Sessa guy? Didn’t he work for the Midnight Sun or something?

That’s me!! I used to blog about Baltimore nightlife for The Baltimore Sun. Then one day I woke up, looked in the mirror, and all these lines in my face were getting clearer. The past was gone, I realized. It went by like dusk to dawn. Isn’t that the way? I mean, everybody’s got dues in life to pay. So I did some other stuff at The Sun for a few years and left to work at 89.7 WTMD.

Wait, so, what is this?

It’s a free show, with music and comedy and stuff, that’s going to be live on the radio. Like back in the 1930s, when men talked fast, smoked unfiltered cigarettes and buckled their pants up past their belly buttons. But … cool. Like Don Draper from seasons 1&2 of “Mad Men,” before all the booze and womanizing poisoned his soul.

Who is Kentavius Jones?

KJ fb

Good question. I’m afraid the true answer is cloaked in intrigue. Kentavius Jones was born in the year 75 A.D., near the peak of the Roman Empire. Falsely imprisoned, he was offered a chance to fight for his freedom in the coliseum. He emerged bloody and bruised, his body nearly broken but his spirit intact, and would go on to write a killer soul song – “Never Let Me Down.” He now resides in Easton, Maryland.

Is he related to Septimius the Great?


Who are these other people?

You may know Ed Schrader from his time as host of The Ed Schrader Show, or his music with Ed Schrader’s Music Beat, or his David Bowie impression, which fooled The Onion AV Club. Elena Fox is one of the women behind the man behind “Ace of Cakes.” Michael Bowen runs one of the coolest live music clubs in town. And do I really need to explain the Baltimore Rock Opera Society or “Grundlehammer?”

What’s a grundle?

Google it.

Am I supposed to drive to the show? Where is it?

It’s at the new WTMD performance studio, 1 Olympic Place off the circle in Towson. I know, it’s not downtown, so if you normally use public transportation, you might have to bum a ride. I would drive you, but I have to get there early for the rehearsal, and you probably don’t want to sit around for 2-3 extra hours. But dude, this new studio is pretty sweet.

How much is it?

The show costs as much as a single tear, or a hearty laugh that catches in your throat and makes you cough blood onto the sleeve of your new dress shirt. Yes that’s right, it’s free!

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