Today they’re household names, but it started with a leap of faith: “I do enjoy Jewish music, but really my love is for radio. There’s such a connection between host and listener"
here are people who claim to have recordings of me mimicking a radio show host when I was five, but it was my mother a”h who was able to envision the perfect fit for my skills and talents and pushed me in that direction. In 1981, I was going to work in Camp Morasha, a summer camp affiliated with Yeshiva University, before entering YU in the fall. As I was leaving, my mother said, “When you get to Morasha, ask people about the radio station at YU. I think it’s something you’ll enjoy.”
I listened to Mom, and I explored the job opportunities at the university radio. I remember standing there on line, applying for a slot, with a paper application in my hand. You had to check off what kind of show you wanted, and the guy in front of me asked me what I was applying for. I told him that I had written “popular music show.”
He said “not such a good idea, because everyone wants to do that. You have maybe a 20% chance of getting the job. But if you write ‘Jewish music show,’ you’ll get it, 100%.”
I heard that and crossed out “popular,” changing it to “Jewish”.
They hired me. I started my Jewish music show that Thursday night.
(Originally featured in Mishpacha, Issue 830)
I actually didn’t know much about Jewish music at all. Luckily, my roommate was the son of a big chazzan, so I begged him to come along with me and teach me about Jewish music. The first program went fine, but when he couldn’t make it the second week, I just played the same selections again. After that I started to explore, to get my own feet wet checking what was out there. Soon, I was spending a lot of my time at the studio, and two years later I became general manager of YU radio.
On the day before Erev Rosh Hashanah in 1983, someone from the JM in the AM show called the office of the head of student activities at YU, asking if he knew anyone who could take over hosting their show. I walked into his office just then, and he offered it to me. Erev Rosh Hashanah was my first show, and this September 18th was its 37th anniversary.
I do enjoy Jewish music, but really my love is for radio. There’s such a connection between host and listener. We’ve always been vibrant, but COVID-19 has taken both JM in the AM and my own Nachum Segal network off the charts. With such a lack of social events, people have clearly chosen to gather together daily on the radio to feel part of a listening community.
Nachum Segal has been hosting the radio program Jewish Moments in the Morning (JM in the AM) since September 1983. He also serves as president of the Nachum Segal Network
Oops! We could not locate your form.