Mistress of the Mix: Martini Music

I’ve got a situation. As some of you public radio fans out there may know, Jefferson Public Radio has been holding it’s Spring membership drive for the past week. It’s that moment when the entire staff puts our lives on hold,  dedicating ourselves to reminding listeners that it’s called ‘listener supported public radio’ for a reason…because it’s financially supported by its listeners (except for that whopping 12% of our budget which is supported by CPB grants which comes from the federal coffers, which means taxpayers). It’s a long 8 days that leaves everyone emotionally exhausted and strangely high on adrenaline at the same time. I’m happy to say that it was all worth it, because last night we actually ended our fund drive early on all 3 services of JPR*. I can’t remember the last time that happened. It’s extremely affirming when people across what I like to call the mythical State of Jefferson come together to voluntarily offer money to keep their favorite radio station on the air just because they like it.

I digress.

I do have a situation.

I have pretty much done nothing for the past week except get up, drink coffee, go to work, drink more coffee, get on the microphone and talk for 7 hours about why it’s important to support public radio, go home, make dinner, watch The Voice and get up off the couch at 10pm when I realize I nodded off some time ago, and shuffle off to bed. My house is a mess, I’m hosting my book club dinner party meeting tonight, and I have a column due in about 10 minutes and no idea what this week’s playlist is going to be about.  I thought about putting together a playlist of all the music I’ve been turned on to by listening to JPR over the years, but the thought of going through my iTunes, scouring it for songs like Lucinda Williams’ “Honey Bee” and “Come Undone” by Isobel Campbell with Mark Lanegan is just so time consuming that I think I’ll put that one off until the Fall membership drive if it’s okay with you. I have simply run out of time.

And then there’s the other situation… coming up with the perfect playlist for tonight’s gathering of my book loving gals so that we’ve got the perfect music wafting through my kitchen while we sip on  martinis and discuss our book d’jour, the 1960’s time traveling novel by Stephen King, 11-22-63.

Oh. Of course.

Hold the princess phone.

I’ve already got a playlist for that ready to go.

Years ago, when I first downloaded iTunes and started importing all my music, I created a special genre called Martini Music for all the songs I imagined listening to at a martini-soaked retro 60’s dinner party that so far, until tonight, I’ve never actually had.

So…um, never mind. Situation handled.

Well, although I’ve only got enough chicken alfredo and caesar salad for 8, feel free to join our little dinner party virtually by whipping up a batch of gin & grapefruit juice martinis (delish with a twist of lime) and streaming today’s Martini Music playlist. Just click on the play button, and enjoy!

*P.S. Even though our on-air fund drive is over, you can still join the ranks of JPR’s 10,000 members throughout the region via a tax-deductible contribution at the JPR website. I was really really really hoping to get an online membership from someone aboard the space station this drive (just to prove that we can be streamed in space over the internet), but I’d be willing to settle for a retired astronaut at this point, or even anyone who has ever worked for NASA, or has even been to Space Camp, so if you know anyone….

Valerie Ing-Miller has been the Northern California Program Coordinator for Jefferson Public Radio in Redding for nine years and can often be found serving as Mistress of Ceremonies at the Cascade Theatre. For her, ultimate satisfaction comes from a perfect segue. She’s the mother of a teenage daughter and a 7-year-old West Highland Terrier, and can’t imagine life without them or music. Valerie wakes up with a song in her head, she sings in the shower and at the top of her lungs in the car.
A News Cafe, founded in Shasta County by Redding, CA journalist Doni Greenberg, is the place for people craving local Northern California news, commentary, food, arts and entertainment. Views and opinions expressed here are not necessarily those of anewscafe.com.

Valerie Ing
Valerie Ing has been the Northern California Program Coordinator for Jefferson Public Radio in Redding for 14 years and can often be found serving as Mistress of Ceremonies at the Cascade Theatre. For her, ultimate satisfaction comes from a perfect segue. She and her husband are parents to a couple of college students and a pair of West Highland Terriers, and Valerie can’t imagine life without them or music. The Mistress of the Mix wakes up every day with a song in her head, she sings in the shower and at the top of her lungs in the car.
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17 Responses

  1. Avatar EasternShastaCounty says:

    I really like some of the ditties that are played between segments on JPR. Are they NPR pieces or does JPR choose them? Is there a way to find out what the whole song is in order to purchase it?

    • Valerie Ing-Miller Valerie Ing-Miller says:

      What a great question! And I happen to have the answer, because I too have loved some of the snippets of music that I've heard as music beds, intros & outros and inbetweens during shows. If you're talking about the music beds you hear on JPR's underwriting announcements (When you hear a voice saying "Broadcast of this program is made possible in part by ________, as part of JPR's commitment to non-profit community service……..) that's music that we choose. But most likely you're talking about the snippets that are run inbetween segments of All Things Considered or Morning Edition or Fresh Air or Talk of the Nation, that kind of thing. Those are pieces that are chosen by the great folks at NPR in Washington DC….and you're not alone. In fact, so many people are interested in those snippets that they publish each and every one along with the rundown of each show on a website:


      Also, they have a website dedicated to music called All Songs Considered that you might want to check out as well:


  2. Avatar Don says:

    Another great mix. Love the column and the writing. Keep them coming!

  3. Avatar AJ says:

    Loved that you included #s 13 and 16.

    When we were playing the clubs, Quiet Village was one of our standards. Me on piano and organ (one hand on each and bass with the foot pedals) and my husband playing fabulous flute. I'd totally forgotten that one. I really must sit down at the piano and see if I remember any of it!! Of course, the fun part was getting the audience going with all the bird calls.

    And Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps (Que Sas, Que Sas, Que Sas)was another one.

    Thanks . . . again!!

  4. Valerie Ing-Miller Valerie Ing-Miller says:

    I've got this great image of your ambidextrous musicianship! Hilarious. When I was a little girl, my parents had albums by Martin Denny and Les Baxter and our idea of a great afternoon of play was to run around the bedroom with these on full blast, mimicking all those great bird calls, pretending we were in the jungle! We even had little pacific island fertility idol dolls we carried around! Fun times…

  5. Avatar Canda says:

    What a great playlist! I love to cha cha, and I've been cha chaing all over my house to your music. Such a wonderful workout. Thanks!

  6. Avatar Leona says:

    Thanks for hosting the book club last night, the music was perfect!

  7. Avatar Sally says:

    With reference to the successful pledge week, I have to admit it looked rather dour for all three divisions the day before, and even the last afternoon. Checking in just before bed – WHOOPEE!! All three goals were surpassed! A wonderful miracle.

    • Sally, it always kind of seems that way, doesn't it? And then on the last day, pledges are coming out of our pores. But I felt early early on in this pledge drive that it was going to end this way. Over the top and early, just the way I like it! Now if everyone who calls in on the last day could just call in on the first day, we could have a one day drive instead of a week!

  8. Avatar Hollis says:

    Boy, there's a lot to like here…..;-) Anybody else recognize Mr. Scruff (#20) from the Lincoln Navigator commercials? I loved that song so much, I tracked it down on the internet and bought the CD some years ago. How' bout a piano lounge list sometime? Between you and Derral, we're just rollin' around in good tunes out here…….

    • I might be able to accommodate you…or maybe just relax things a little with a downtempo lounge mix. It's coming, someday, for sure. One song you may want to check that has an amazing piano riff at the beginning (that I came within a hair of including on this playlist) and then things get a little rolicky is Matt Bianco's "Matt's Mood." Also, I think I also came to know Mr. Scruff in the same way! I'm a little bit ashamed to say that I could probably do an entire playlist on "Songs I first heard in a TV Commercial!"

  9. Avatar Joanne Lobeski Snyde says:

    Wonderful article Valerie. I have to tell you 1) I listen to Classics and News every morning (Bob and I are members) on the way to work. I switch to a local station about 5 minutes out to see if there's any local news I need. School is cancelled for the day. Tornado warnings. And 2) You have a beautiful voice and a fine radio manner that is a pleasure to hear.

  10. Avatar Canda says:


    Would you consider putting together a mix of workout music, such as good cardio stuff? I'd definitely be interested in a list from you. Love your playlists!

    • Valerie Ing-Miller Valerie Ing-Miller says:

      Hmmm, I would definitely consider doing that. My first request! I've got something else planned for this coming Friday, but I'll start working on that. Thanks, Canda!

  11. Avatar Cari Live says:

    I live in Redding and write meditation and relaxation music. I would live to donate an album or two (currently 7 digital CD's on iTunes) to you if you care to use them. I'm a classically trained flutist with the NSS and just want some exposure!
    I go by "Cari Live" as most of my work is available for purchase on the Internet (feel free to Google!)

    Thanks for your time!