DOUG WENDT, recent Ralph J. Gleason Award recipient from the Rex Foundation, has been working in radio and the music business since co-hosting BISON REVIEW in Montana in the mid-60s. After two summer stints at KUDI, where he hosted a nightly progressive rock show (The Man Of Constant Sorrow) on Central Montana’s best rated Top 40 station, Doug received a Masters Degree in Filmmaking from the San Francisco Art Institute in 1972.
Doug is known internationally for his popular worldbeat dance party originally presented from 1988 to 1994 at San Francisco’s KENNEL CLUB. Featuring world music videos from all over the globe plus custom edited visuals compiled by Doug projected onto three large screens; this ever-changing, all-inclusive five hour filmic trip around the world was hailed by DETAILS MAGAZINE as “Best Night Out In America”. O Globo in Rio de Janeiro called his presentation “An Empire of the Senses.” Thousands have watched as he brought the world to their feet. His sets at 1995’s massive AIDS Dance-A-Thons in Los Angeles and San Francisco were described by the events’ Entertainment Coordinator as “the talk of the evening. (Doug’s DJ sets) totally galvanized the crowd. Incredible! Fantastic! The audience (over 7,000) loved it!”
Doug’s new live performance creation GHOST TOWN SOUND, a mix of western/indian/reggae, debuted July 4th, 2008 at the World One Festival in El Cerrito in the San Francisco bay area. He is an adjunct professor at both MSU-GF & UGF where he teaches Film History courses. Wendt also continues to work at special events, such as the World One Festival where Doug Wendt’s Worldbeat returned to the bay area July 3rd-4th, 2008, 2010 & 2012. He’s also appeared at The Fillmore Auditorium, Pasadena Film Forum, UC Berkeley Greek Theatre, Reggae Sunsplash USA, The L.A. Theater Center, New Orleans By The Bay, The Portland Museum, Reggae On The River, Staples Center, Canyon Cinematheque, Dreadstock, Winnipeg Folk Festival, CMJ’s New Music Seminar in New York, clubs in Europe and much more plus private parties including a world music celebration at Lucasfilm’s Skywalker Ranch. Currently he’s working as Music Consultant for various special projects while producing BEST OF ALL WORLDS, MIDNIGHT DREAD, and NATIVE SON RISING radio programs as well as writing, performing, and engineering recordings for GHOST TOWN SOUND.
The Rex Foundation’s Ralph J. Gleason Award was given “In memory of music journalist Ralph J. Gleason, a major figure in the advancement of music in America in the 1960s, whose openness to new music and ideas transcended differences between generations and styles. Doug Wendt has been one of the most influential people in the country in bringing Reggae and World Beat music to the American public… Aside from all of his work as a DJ, VJ, journalist and consultant he has accumulated an extraordinary archive of live and recorded reggae and world beat music and videos which he has been in the process of digitizing for posterity. The funds from a Rex award will help him continue to convert his vast personal library of music to digital form.”
For more on Doug Wendt’s projects visit www.midnightdread.com.
Here’s Doug being interviewed about World Music on CBS-TV’s Bay Sunday in San Francisco with scenes and videos from his Kennel Club shows. Also includes interviews and videos with Carlos Santana, Joseph Shabalala of Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Les Tetes Brulees, Bob Marley and many others.