Home | LISTEN NOW! | Show Archives | Playlists
Schedule | Programming | Pledging | Underwriting Info | About WFDU | Bumper Stickers

Bill Hahn

Ron Olesko

Specialty Programs
Anything Goes
Que Viva La Musica
Sunday Simcha
VA Healthcare Advantage Radio
On The Record
The Group Harmony Alley
The Imagination Parade
The Beatles: 2 by 4
In Sight
Polka Party


Traditions with Ron Olesko & Bill Hahn

Sundays, 3:00PM to 6:00PM Eastern Time

Traditions was conceived and started by Ron Olesko in 1980. The idea has always been to share the unique and expansive world of folk music. The longest running program on WFDU, Traditions offers a diverse playlist. Spinning songs and bringing a myriad of artists to the microphone, Traditions is full of wonderful music, historical perspectives, and always a surprise or two.

Here is a small sampling of guests that have appeared on Traditions over the years:

Eric Andersen

Julie Gold

Leon Redbone

Les Barker

John Gorka

Tom Rush

Eric Bogle

Jack Hardy

Cathie Ryan

Oscar Brand

Kim & Reggie Harris

Peggy Seeger

Dave Carter & Tracy Grammer

Richie Havens

Pete Seeger

Tom Chapin

Christine Lavin

Richard Shindell

Karan Casey

Jez Lowe

Schooner Fare

Judy Collins

Rod MacDonald


Antje Duvekot

Mad Agnes

Chris Smither

Full Frontal Folk

Rod MacDonald

Bill Staines

Mary Gauthier

Tommy Makem

Cyril Tawney

Ronnie Gilbert

David Massengill

Dave Van Ronk

Vance Gilbert

Ed McCurdy

Suzanne Vega

Eliza Gilkyson


Sloan Wainwright

Steve Gillette & Cindy Mangsen

David Olney

Peter Yarrow

In addition to artist appearances, Traditions has produced shows on the music of Lead Belly, Harry Chapin, Woody Guthrie, the Holocaust, the Irish Rising, and also celebrated numerous holidays. From Thanksgiving to Australia Day--from current events to historical events--they have all been commemorated and celebrated on Traditions. One of the annual highlights takes place the Sunday before Christmas-the annual Traditions Christmas Party has become a cherished event for many listeners.

While Traditions puts an emphasis on the traditional, the "new" traditions are also showcased. Traditions continues it's long "tradition" of introducing new artists to it's audience. Now with the Internet, that audience is no longer limited to the NYC area. Join Ron & Bill every Sunday afternoon for a unique musical experience.


Bill Hahn arrived in this country as a tiny tot and growing up in the WW II years made a great impression on his outlook towards life, politics, and where one has roots. Like all his peers growing up, Bill was fed a steady diet of great radio programming. From the serials( Happy landings, Captain Midnight!) Bill was hooked on the concept of radio as theater of the mind. While a student at CCNY, he first heard a group of musicians that would make a lasting impression - The Weavers. Talk about love at first sight. Bill still thinks they influenced more than just a few folks.

As the years rolled by Bill became enmeshed and attached to folk music. During the 1980s Bill produced a series of benefit concerts for the Orangeburg NY Public Library featuring artists like Tom Chapin. In need of an emcee, Bill turned to another voice he had been listening to on the radio, Ron Olesko. Bill met Ron back in 1980 at a benefit concert for Sing Out! Magazine (their 30th anniversary!). The two have remained friends sharing a common love for folk music.

Ron Olesko 's connection to folk music goes back to childhood and Captain Kangaroo. At the height of the folk boom, Ron has vivid memories of hearing and being captivated by songs such as "Sloop John B.", "There's A Hole In The Bucket," and other songs that he would later realize were folk tunes. As the years went by Ron's interest grew. First, artists Bob Dylan and Simon & Garfunkel, and then in the mid-70s he began paying more attention to the music that influenced those artists. At the same time Ron enrolled at Fairleigh Dickinson University. On a fateful day in 1975 he walked up the steps to check out the radio station, and they can't get rid of him! Ron started as a DJ playing alternative rock until a day in 1976 when he picked up the phone and called Marjorie Guthrie, the widow of one of Ron's musical hero's, Woody Guthrie. From that point on folk music became the centerpiece of Ron's radio work. In 1980, just after he graduated from FDU, Ron began a show which he called Traditions. Ron had every intention of moving on with his career, but the station director at the time approached Ron and a few other individuals with the idea of changing WFDU's format to one that would celebrate traditional music - folk, blues, bluegrass, and ethnic music - weaved in a format that would be called Music America. Traditions was the perfect fit. The show continues to honor and explore our folk traditions.   In addition to his work on Traditions, Ron is the chairperson of the formal showcase committee for the Northeast Regional Folk Alliance, and he maintains a website for folk music news - RonOlesko.blogspot.com

E-mail: wfdutraditions@aol.com

In Sight