Host Profile: Xavier B
This is the first in a series of profiles we'll be doing on members of the on-air staff at WKUF.
What's the name of your show? The Retro Mix
What's your show about and when does it air? I play a wide variety of music from the 1940s through the mid 2000s. Each week's show is based on a particular theme, artist, genre or era of music. I play artists as diverse as The Temptations, R.E.M., Nina Simone, Public Enemy, The Andrews Sisters, and Garth Brooks. Although I enjoy playing hits, I also love to feature songs/artists that don't get a lot of airplay. My show airs Saturdays from 6-9 PM.
Is there a story behind your on-air name? Xavier is my middle name and "B" is the first letter of my last name.
How long has your show been on the air? Since January 2005, which makes it the longest-running show on WKUF. It was originally called Spin City. The name was changed to The Retro Mix in April 2008.
Tell us about a funny incident that happened during your show. On 8/13/10, my niece Pam co-hosted a show with me where we featured lesser-known Motown songs. She ripped many of her song selections to a CD and I seem to recall watching her do it. However, due to either a faulty disc or bad files, only a few of the songs made it to the CD. Unfortunately, we didn't discover this until we were on the air. Suffice it to say, there were quite a few holes to fill. For about 5-10 minutes, I was sweatin' like Shaq trying to fill those holes! Although it was chaos for a bit, the audience had no idea.
What do you like to do in your spare time? What the hell is spare time?! Seriously, I like to spend time with family/friends, listen to music (surprise, surprise!), travel, watch movies & TV shows on DVD/VHS/online (I cut the cable cord in November 2012), follow politics and sports, play cards/board games, stay active on social media, read Entertainment Weekly, and workout.
Have you gotten any funny calls during your show? Once, a young lady called to request something by a contemporary artist. When I told her I was playing all 80s music, her response was "Oh, you're doing oldies". Another time (when my format was 70s, 80s, and 90s) a guy called and said, "Since you're doing oldies, can you play something by Alice in Chains?" Although I was amused because I consider "oldies" to be music from the 50s and 60s, I couldn't correct them because the term "oldies" means different eras to different people.
If you knew you were going to be stranded on a desert island and could choose only 10 songs, what would they be?
- Rock Around the Clock by Bill Haley & his Comets
- Do You Believe in Magic by The Lovin' Spoonful
- Loneliness Made Me Realize (It's You That I Need) by The Temptations
- Johnny B. Goode by Chuck Berry
- You Get What You Give by New Radicals
- Beat It by Michael Jackson
- Lights by Ellie Goulding
- Cry by Johnnie Ray
- Lose My Breath by Destiny's Child
- Happy Together by The Turtles
What is one of your most memorable concert experiences? In November 2014, I saw Stevie Wonder at the Palace of Auburn Hills as part of his "Songs in the Key of Life" mini-tour. The show was scheduled to start at 8 pm, but it didn't begin until around 9:15. Reportedly, Stevie delayed starting the show in order to wait for people arriving late due to the bad weather conditions in metro Detroit. That was a cool thing to do. Stevie was walked out onstage by a woman who looked familiar. I said to my sister, "I think that's India.Arie" and that's who it was! She served as a backup singer during parts of the show and dueted with Stevie on "Have a Talk with God", "Saturn" and “Ngiculela – Es Una Historia – I Am Singing”. As expected, his band was tight as hell. The same goes for his back-up singers, which included his daughter Aisha (who's also the subject of his song from the album "Isn't She Lovely") and Keith John (the son of R&B legend Little Willie John).His musical director was Greg Phillinganes (who played on the "Songs in the Key of Life" album). Due to the title of the tour, I was only expecting to hear them perform tracks from that album. It's great to be wrong sometimes because we were treated to a mini-concert afterward. Stevie transformed himself into his alter ego "DJ Tick Tick Boom" and teased us by playing snippets of the studio versions from some of his greatest hits (including "Part Time Lover", "Higher Ground" and "Uptight"). He, his band, and back-up singers (including India) then did medleys of "Do I Do", "All I Do", "For Once in My Life, and "Master Blaster". They closed the show with full-length versions of "Superstition" and "My Cherie Amour".
Tell us something about yourself that people might find surprising. I am a huge Three Stooges fan.
In the movie "WKUF: The Untold Story", who would you cast as yourself? Mekhi Phifer