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Hoosier History Live is an independently produced new media project about Indiana history, integrating podcasts, website www.HoosierHistoryLive.org, weekly enewsletter, and social media. Its original content comes initially from a live with call in weekly talk radio show hosted by author and historian Nelson Price. You can hear the show live Saturdays from noon to 1 pm ET at WICR 88.7 fm or stream the show live at the WICR HD1 app on your phone, or at our website.


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March 23, 2024

Lives of musicians post-Indiana Avenue heyday

Although the heyday of the Indiana Avenue jazz music scene in Indianapolis has been explored frequently – including on Hoosier History Live shows – one aspect is seldom discussed. What happened to the lives of the musicians during the 1970s, '80s and '90s? Where did they perform after the Indiana Avenue nightclubs closed?

Those are the questions we will explore when Nelson is joined by a well-known Indianapolis musician and producer who worked with, was influenced by and befriended many of the jazz notables who, earlier in their lives, had performed on "The Avenue". The heyday of the Indiana Avenue jazz scene generally is defined as stretching from the 1940s through the mid-1960s.

Bill Myers, 58, who is best known as a bass player (although he has played several other musical instruments), began meeting former Indiana Avenue headliners as a 12-year-old. He eventually went on to play an array of gigs with everyone from the legendary Slide Hampton (1932-2021) to saxophonist Jimmy Coe (1921-2004). Bill Myers thinks he has the distinction of being the only male to ever play bass with the popular Hampton Sisters after one of them, Virtue Hampton, their bass player, suffered a stroke.

So Bill Myers, a past president of the New York-based African American Jazz Caucus, will share insights about all of them and others as Nelson's studio guest. A 1984 graduate of Broad Ripple High School, Bill has enjoyed a multi-media career that has included extensive work as an actor and speaker; in the late 1980s, he was a regular on an ABC-TV soap opera, Loving, which was filmed in New York. Here's a sampling of his insights about some of the musicians who drew crowds at Indiana Avenue's nightspots:

  • Larry Ridley: "My mom introduced me to (the jazz bassist and educator) when I was 12 . . . Larry has been like a father and always encouraged and supported me."

  • Pookie Johnson: "He provided me with sage advice on the bandstand" during a gig when Bill was performing with the well-known saxophone player. During our show, Bill will describe the sage advice.

  • Jimmy Coe: "He was a genius, a great player, a mentor to me, and a gifted arranger."

  • Les Taylor: As a jazz artist-in-residence for Indianapolis Public Schools, the bandleader encouraged young Bill to pursue dual paths as a musician and an actor "when many other music mentors tried to discourage my acting interest".

The biggest star of the Indiana Avenue jazz scene, Grammy Award-winning guitarist Wes Montgomery, had died in 1968 when he was preparing to tour Japan. So Bill didn't perform with him, but he did have gigs with Wes Montgomery's brother, Buddy Montgomery (1930-2009).

Although Bill will be discussing his performances (and interactions) with jazz musicians during our show, he is associated with a wide range of genres. He often performs with a band, Bill Myers & The Trash Collectors.

Just as jazz music is known as improvisational, the gigs at nightspots in which Bill played with many of the former Indiana Avenue stars were spontaneous, he recalls. The gigs often happened suddenly and lasted for one night only when, in his case, a bass player was needed quickly. The performances live on only in the memories of those who were there that night.


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March 02, 2024 - Carnegie Libraries in Indiana Click here for podcast.

For a complete list of show podcasts and show enewsletters, please go to ARCHIVES on our website.

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Your contributions help keep Hoosier History Live on the air, on the web, in your inbox, and in our ARCHIVES!


What Hoosier History Live continues to do for you

  • As a small, independent production group, Nelson Price and Molly Head and their wonderful colleagues still work very hard to bring you the Hoosier History Live new media project.

  • We put on a new live with call in radio show whenever we can!  (We are sometimes pre-empted, but hey, it’s not our radio station and we don’t pay the station’s operating costs. WICR 88.7 fm the Diamond is owned and maintained by the University of Indianapolis. And we sure appreciate the opportunity to do a live broadcast!)

  • We are still making all of our show podcasts available to all, without a paywall. (Though we publish them every few weeks or so to keep our editing costs down.)  And our Hoosier History Live podcasts are basically copies of our live radio show.  

  • Yes, we DO pay for all of our own research and editing, before and after live broadcast. This includes our newsletter, website, podcasts, and social media. Yes, everything we do does come with an expense, including enewsletter, website, and podcast software and we absorb those costs ourselves.

  • So when we ask for money to go into our production company’s budget, this does not mean that we are evil people!

How does Septuagenarian Molly stream the live show or listen to podcasts?

She goes to her phone with a Google search bar and a microphone and says "Play WICR HD 1" and the live show comes up right away. She can do this from noon to one Eastern time on Saturdays to listen to the live show. No radio needed.

She also goes to her phone with a Google search bar and microphone and says "Play Hoosier History Live podcasts" and a list comes up, also like magic. Or she says something like "Play Hoosier History Live Latino Hoosiers" (this was a recent show we did) and the podcast comes up.

By the way, "streaming" is listening to or watching something online, rather than listening to a broadcast on a traditional television or radio. As an example, if you have a smart tv, you might watch "streaming news" rather than news that comes over the air or via cable subscription. All in all, new tech CAN in fact make history more fun and accessible!  


Trivia prizes sought

Our "History Mystery" on air contest continues to be very popular!  If you are an organization or business that would like to contribute tickets or admissions, please contact our host Nelson at nelson@hoosierhistorylive.org or our producer Molly at molly@hoosierhistorylive.org for instructions.

Prizes must fit in a standard business envelope. Hoosier History Live prefers to "snail mail" prizes to our trivia winners. And If prizes are time sensitive, they need to be offered well in advance of the event so that we can get them out in time.


We'd like to thank the following recent individual contributors who make this show possible. For a full list of contributors over the years, visit  Support the Show on our website.

  • Bruce and Julie Buchanan  
  • Sandra Hurt
  • Chuck and Karen Bragg
  • Ken and Luan Marshall
  • Tom Swenson
  • Mike Freeland and Sharon Butsch Freeland
  • Dr. William McNiece
  • Serita Borgeas
  • Richard Stroup in memory of Robert W. Stroup
  • Bill Connor
  • Ann Frick
  • Charlotte Ottinger
  • John and Florence Stanton

Molly Head, executive producer (317) 506-7164 
Nelson Price, host and historian
Corene Nickel, web designer and tech manager

Richard Sullivan and Ryan DeRome, tech consultants
Pam Fraizer, graphic designer

Please tell our sponsors that you appreciate their support!

Facebook logo links to the Hoosier History Live! page.Acknowledgements to WICR-FM, Fraizer Designs, Monomedia, Henri Pensis, Maddie Fisher, Austin Cook, and many other individuals and organizations. We are independently produced and are self-supporting through organizational sponsorship and through individual contribution, either online at our yellow button on our newsletter or website, or by U.S. mail. For organizational sponsorship, which includes logos, links, and voiced credits in our podcasts and in our show, please contact Molly Head at (317) 506-7164 or email her at molly@hoosierhistorylive.org.

Donate button.

Your contributions help keep Hoosier History Live on the air, on the web, in your inbox, and in our ARCHIVES!

© 2024 Hoosier History Live. All rights reserved.

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