Ron Della Chiesa: Radio Icon


The exhibition opened with a photograph of a smiling young Ron in a cowboy hat: a self-described fan of the "Lone Ranger" radio program, followed by photographs of his mother, Florence, and father, Aldo. Photographs continued, documenting Ron at work: first in the studios of WBCN-FM in 1963, serving as both radio host and program director; and later at the WGBH radio studios, both alone at the microphone and with guest Tony Bennett and with the rarely photographed composer, Philip Glass. Notable correspondence included letters from former Red Sox right fielder Sam Mele, Metropolitan Opera radio announcer Milton Cross, French jazz pianist and composer Claude Bolling, and Barbara Sinatra, widow of Frank, thanking Della Chiesa for his commemorative tribute to her husband on his Strictly Sinatra radio program. Also featured in the exhibition were inscribed photographs from singer and friend Tony Bennett, opera soprano Eileen Farrell, conductor/composer John Williams, and singer Frank Sinatra, Jr. There were various promotional pieces on display related to Ron's work both for WGBH and the Boston charitable community alike. Also on display were Della Chiesa's 1991 Jacopo Peri Award from the New England Opera Club as well as a plaque paying tribute to his "lifelong enthusiastic support of Boston's musicians and musical community." The plaque, presented by the Boston Musicians' Association AFM Local 9-535, confered upon Ron Della Chiesa Honorary Membership in their union - a fitting tribute to a man who has made the enjoyment of music his life.

This exhibition is no longer on view.