Alan Farley | KALW

Alan Farley

In Memoriam (1936-2012):  KALW lost an important voice for the arts in the Bay Area, our senior announcer, Alan Farley, in October of 2012.  Alan’s diagnosis and subsequent passing of pancreatic and liver cancer was sudden, and a shock to all of us here at KALW. 

Alan Farley was born in Idaho in 1936 and spent his formative years in Seattle, though he finished his high school career in Southern California in 1953.  Farley attended Caltech as a mathematics undergrad, and went on to pursue graduate degrees at the University of Michigan and the University of California, Berkeley.  He served as Chairman of the Mathematics Department at Morehouse College in Atlanta from 1964-1969.  He has also been a faculty member at Merritt College.

As a music aficionado, Farley served as guide and head guide to the Boston Symphony Orchestra's Berkshire Music Festival during the summers of 1958, '59 and '60.  He's also been a Road Manager to Richard Pryor.

And as a radio lover, Alan has been a volunteer and staff member at KPFA, until he transitioned to KALW in 1975, where he was founding host and producer of Book Talk, My Favorite Things, Open Air, Explorations in Music, the Berkeley Symphony broadcasts and various performing arts specials, and continues to provide a "Noel Coward Entr'acte" between My Word! & My Music each Friday evening at 8:30.

You can find information about all of Alan's programs in 2012 below.  Click here for information about his shows from 2011 and before.

Alex Ross

Oct 2, 2012

Alan talks with New Yorker Music Critic Alex Ross about his book "The Rest Is Noise:Listening to the Twentieth Century. {rebroadcast from 2007] Sunday at 6:30PM

Christopher Buckley

Sep 27, 2012

Alan talks with Christopher Buckley about his latest satirical novel, "They Eat Puppies, Don't They?" Sunday at 6:30 PM [rebroadcast]

Dan Ariely

Sep 19, 2012

Alan talks with Dan Ariely about his latest book, "The Honest Truth about Dishonesty." [rebroadcast] Sunday at 6:30 PM

Anne Perry

Sep 11, 2012

Alan talks with Anne Perry about her latest mystery, "Dorchester Terrace." [rebroadcast] Sunday at 6:30 PM

Frank Deford

Sep 4, 2012

Alan talks with Frank Deford about his memoir, "Over Time - My Life as a Sportswriter." [rebroadcast]

John Irving

Aug 28, 2012

Alan talks with John Irving about his latest novel "In One Person." Sunday at 6:30 PM [rebroadcast]

T. C.Boyle

Aug 23, 2012

Alan talks with T. C. Boyle about his latest novel, "When the Killing's Done." Sunday at 6:30 PM [rebroadcast]

Shakespeare Santa Cruz

Aug 23, 2012

Guest host David Latulippe presents Alan Farley's interviews with Marco Barricelli, Artistic Director of Shakespeare Santa Cruz, and Michael Morpurgo (rerun), author of the original story that inspired "Warhorse." David also talks with Dianne Keogh about recent cultural events. Thursday at 1 PM.

Edmund White

Aug 14, 2012

Alan talks with Edmund White about his latest novel, "Jack Holmes and His Friend." [rebroadcast] Sunday at 6:30 PM.

Barrington Pheloung is the composer of the original theme for the "Inspector Morse" television series, and he scored all 33 episodes. Today he is doing the same for the "Inspector Lewis" and "Endeavour" series. I visited him in his studio in England in 1997 for this program, where we see him at work on a "Morse" episode, and hear some of his other music. First broadcast in 1997. Thursday 1 PM.

Michael Lindsay-Hogg

Aug 6, 2012

Alan talks with film and television director Michael Lindsay-Hogg about his memoir, "Luck and Circumstance: Coming of Age in Hollywood, New York and Points Beyond." Sunday at 6:30 PM [rebroadcast]


Aug 6, 2012

Alan talks with the members of the ZOFO Duo, pianists Keisuke Nakagoshi and Eva-Maria Zimmermen, and plays excerpts fro, their new CD, "Mind Meld: Works for One Piano, Four Hands." Thursday at 1 PM.

Amir Sultani

Jul 31, 2012

Alan talks with Amir Sultani about the graphic novel he has written with Khalil, "Kahra's Paradise." Sunday at 6:30 PM [rebroadcast]

"Warhorse" and Berlioz

Jul 30, 2012

Alan talks with Michael Morpurgo, who wrote the book "Warhorse,"that became the basis for the hit Play and movie. He also talks with Maestro Eric Kujawsky, who is conducting a performance of the Berlioz Requiem this weekend at Davies Hall. Thursday at 1 PM.

Andrea Marcovicci

Jul 24, 2012

Alan talks with singer Andrea Marcovicci, who is appearing at the Rrazz Room in San Francisco, and has a baseball chat with Chronicle columnist Bruce Jenkins. Peter Robinson also stops by to talk about recent cultural events. Thursday at 1 PM

Alan Hollinghurst

Jul 24, 2012

Alan talks with Alan Hollinghurst about his latest novel, "The Stranger's Child." [rebroadcast] Sunday at 6:30

Lynda LaPlante

Jul 19, 2012

Alan talks with Lynda LaPlante anot her latest Anna Travis mystery, "Blind Fury." [rebroadcast from October, 2011] Sunday at 6:30 PM

Music and Theatre

Jul 19, 2012

Alan talks with cellist Alisa Weilerstein, who is playing the Dvorak concerto this week with the San Francisco Symphony, and wirh producer Mark Huestis, who is producing a new mounting of "Marat/Sade." in San Francisco.

Alan talks with Elizabeth McKoy, founding Artistic Director of the Berkeley Playhouse, and singer Vernon Bush, who is playing the title role in "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory," which opens at the Playhouse next week. Alan also concludes his conversation with Maestro Giuseppi Finzi, who is conducting the Schwabacher Summer Concert of the Merola Opera Program this week.  Broadcast 7/5 at 1pm.  Listen anytime through 7/12 via KALW's Local Music Player.

Book Talk July 8, 2012

Jul 2, 2012

Alan talks with Christopher Buckley about his new satirical novel, "They Eat Puppies, Don't They?"

Book Talk July 1, 2012

Jun 26, 2012

Alan talks with Frank Deford about his memoir, "Over Time - My Life as a Sportswriter.

Alan talks with baritone Nathan Gunn, who is singing Papageno in the San Francisco Opera's current production of "The Magic Flute," with Michael Gene Sullivan, who has written the S. F. Mime Troupe's new show "The Greater Good, or the Last Election," which opens on July 4, and with Maestro Giuseppi Finzi, Resident Conductor of the San Francisco Opera about the Schwabacher Summer Concert of the Merola Opera students, taking place on July 5.

Alan presents a rebroadcast of a special reconstruction of Noel Coward's appearance on the BBC's "Desert Island Discs" in 1963. This was first heard on the annual Noel Coward birthday special in 2007. Paul Whitworth plays Coward and Alan plays Roy Plomley, the series host.

Coward's playlist:


  1. Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor, Third Movement – Sergei Rachmaninov, piano, with Leopold Stokowski and the Philadelphia Orchestra

  2. All the Way – Frank Sinatra with Nelson Riddle conducting the orchestra

Book Talk June 24, 2012

Jun 19, 2012

Alan talks with Dan Ariely about his new book "The Honest Truth About Dishonesty: How We Lie to Everyone - Especially Ourselves."

Alan talks with mezzo Michelle DeYoung, who is singing in "Bluebeard's Castle"at the San Francisco Symphony this week, and wirh Steven Haines, Executive Director of the Stern Grove Festival, which is celebrating its 75th season, which opens on Sunday.

Alan's guest is John Mangum, Director of Artistic Planning for the San Francisco Symphony.

His playlist:


  1. Mozart: Symphony No. 41 in C, K. 551 (Jupiter), last movement - Sir Neville Marriner and Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields

  2. Beethoven: Ninth Symphony, excerpt from last movement – Leonard Bernstein and the New York Philharmonic Orchestra

  3. Berlioz: Romeo and Juliet, excerpt – Colin Davis and the London Symphony Orchestra

Book Talk June 17, 2012

Jun 11, 2012

Alan talks with Chris Ballard about his new book, "One Shot at Forever - A Small Town, an Unlikely Coach and a Magical Baseball Season."

Alan talks with playwright and performer Dael Orlandersmith, who is appearing in her new play, "Black n Blue Boys/Broken Men" at the Berkeley Repertory Theatre, and with baritone Quinn Kelsey, who is appearing in Verdi's "Attila" at the San Francisco Opera.

Alan's guest is Hana Baba, co-host of Crosscurrents at KALW News.

Her playlist:


  1. We All Sing with the Same Voice – Sesame Street

  2. Minnie the Moocher – Cab Calloway, from Blues Brothers soundtrack

  3. Batwannis Beek – Warda

  4. Stir It Up – Bob Marley

  5. A Change Is Gonna Come – Sam Cooke

  6. Jump Rope – Blue October

  7. Nothing Compares to You – Prince

  8. Mickey's Monkey – Smokey Robinson and the Miracles

Alan talks with author Keith Byerman and artist, writer and poet Clarence Major about Byerman's biography, "The Art and Life of Clarence Major."