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North Bergen teacher’s online radio show drawing a crowd

Photo Credit: Lynn Paret (PHOTO TOP
Photo Credit: Lynn Paret (PHOTO TOP

IN TUNE: Steve Ludwig might seem the average North Bergen schoolteacher, but he’s also been indulging his enthusiasm for music and pop culture by hosting his own online radio show.

The live stream tonight of “Steve Ludwig’s Classic Pop Culture” features Jim Shelley, a former Cliffside Park educator who now guides tours at the Woodstock Museum in Bethel, N.Y.

Ludwig landed the show thanks to a book he wrote about his open-heart surgery, “See you in CCU,” which brought him to the attention of Evan Ginzburg.

Ginzburg, the associate producer of the film “The Wrestler,” booked Ludwig to do a reading at Gizzi’s in Greenwich Village. Next thing he knew, he was on Ginzburg’s Legends radio show.

When Ginzburg expanded to online TV, Ludwig got his own radio program.

With an eclectic array of guest, the show streams live every Tuesday from 6:30-7:30 p.m. at www.PlanetLudwig.com and is instantly archived so that it can be heard any time afterward.

“Ever since my quintuple bypass surgery in 2006, I learned first-hand that nothing in life is guaranteed,” Ludwig told CLIFFVIEW PILOT . “So I jumped at the chance to be able to speak through my show to people I’ve always admired or been fascinated with.”

Ginzburg hooked up Ludwig with his radio engineer, Rick Hendrickson, who communicates with Ludwig from Massachusetts via Skype.

“I got a big-shot headset and microphone to speak, and I plug into my computer,” Ludwig said.

Hendrickson sets up the guests, who do their interviews over the phone.

Rick calls Ludwig’s guests, and the interviews are done over the phone.

One of the novels he’s read with his pupils is “The Outsiders” by S.E. Hinton.

“I’ve always admired Ms. Hinton’s books,” Ludwig said. “So I crossed my fingers and contacted her on Twitter. She immediately said ‘Yes’! Sometimes it’s as simple as that.”

Other guests who have already been on or are confirmed are Little Anthony, Rudy Martinez of ? and the Mysterians (“96 Tears”), Bob Cowsill of the Cowsills, and Angry Black from the Howard Stern Show.

One of today’s guests, Jerry Samuels, wrote and sang a somewhat legendary 60s novelty hit “They’re Coming To Take Me Away.”

Also on today’s show, Ludwig said, “I wanted an insider’s take on the Woodstock festival,” which had its 40th anniversary this past weekend.

So he will talk with Shelley, who was at the original Woodstock Music and Arts Festival and, according to Ludwig, “promised to share stories of things that happened at Woodstock that we haven’t read in the books or have seen in the movie.”

Ludwig has connected with many of the guests through Charles Rosenay, who used to publish a Beatles fanzine called “Good Day Sunshine.”

He’s also taken advice from Ginzburg, whom he considers his mentor, to think of his show as a blank canvas and do whatever feels right.

“I’m an unknown commodity, so until I get my resume of guests expanded, I’m thankful to all of the wonderful people who have agreed to be on,” Ludwig said.

STORY / PHOTOS: Lynn Paret (PHOTO TOP)

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