Will Griffin has been a quiet, constant voice on Nashville Public Radio for 33 years. He's held nearly every hosting role at the station — Morning Edition, All Things Considered and, most recently, as a host at 91Classical. He retires this week.
You can listen to his last day on 91Classical, between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Thursday, on 91.1 FM.
On Friday, we'll say goodbye by playing his favorite pieces throughout the day.
Will, we'll miss you.
On Developing A Love For Music
"My earliest conscious memory of music is hearing my father play his violin when I was about 5 years old … and having a realization that I could tell where the next note was going to be. And that was a news flash. Something lit up in my brain. The longer I've been doing this, the more I understand the subtlety of what that means, that the structures of the sounds themselves [are] actually affecting your brain wiring.
"So the pieces tend to be longer and more complex, but they're are also in some ways more rewarding if you have the willingness to listen and listen again and listen again and listen again."
On Learning To Love Tough Music
"One piece, by Stravinsky, that I heard first when I was in high school: There was a recording of Stravinsky's ballet Petrushka, and it was completely bewildering to me. It was not like Ritchie Valens' records or anything like that. It was different. But there is something compelling about it and the rhythms and the harmonies and the sounds of the instruments."
On Hosting Live In Studio C
"Being in a room with people playing music, you know, 15 feet from me — just the opportunity to sit in a room with people making music has been just really wonderful. [It's been] a highlight of my life to be able to do that."
On His Role As A Classical Host
"I can tell you what I've heard from people. … I have an acquaintance [who] said that she was driving in her little pickup truck. Somehow her truck got up on the embankment and turned over, and it was spinning on its top, and she was hanging upside down in her seatbelt, and she heard, 'I'm Will Griffin and this is …' She said it was so comforting to have my voice present.
"I've heard that from a lot of people, that they seem to be comforted or soothed by the way I speak, and I'm really happy for that because that's important. I mean, life is hard. If I can bring people that little bit of help through the day, that's been as important to me as anything else. Bringing the music and being a presence — that's really it."