Washington's Longest-running Radio Show devoted to Folk Music

Welcome to the Mary Cliff/Traditions web site.

Traditions returns to the airwaves Saturdays 9 pm to midnight on the new Community Radio Station, WERA-LP in Arlington, VA. You can listen on 96.7 FM, which covers Arlington, a big chunk of DC and more. Coming this spring, look for Traditions on Takoma Radio WOWD-LP, adding broadcast coverage to Takoma Park, and other parts of DC, Silver Spring, College Park and more – especially in your car. Worldwide, you can hear Traditions, as well as all WERA broadcasts, streamed live online at wera.fm. Click on “Listen.”

A main purpose of this site is to allow Traditions listeners to access the “Who's Where lists” of folk performances in the greater Washington, DC listening area and nearby (plus occasional major events elsewhere). Mary compiles these from many sources. You can download the latest list in MS Word format and peruse it, print it or search for your particular folk music interests. To have your folk event included, performers can send information via the “contact Mary Cliff” button.

You'll also find “Playlists,” and “News Items,” where your host posts notes, updates, previews, obituaries, etc, about/by/for/within/of-interest-to the greater Washington DC-area folk community. Items are likely to appear on an unscheduled, even whimsical basis. Feel free to contact Mary with suggestions; she will take them into account, but makes no promises about what she'll actually post.

Your host considers folk music to be culturally based, with minimal dependency upon effects, so listen for eclectic collections of balladry, blues, bluegrass, ethnic, traditional, topical, old-time, and things you can see from there – with an emphasis on artists and events in the greater Washington area.

Send recordings for airplay: P.O. Box 703, Falls Church, VA 22046

A little history:

Mary Cliff is a life-long fan of music and broadcast radio. In the "folk scare" of the early '60s, she sang in “hootenannies” and worked at DC’s legendary Cellar Door nightclub. Falling into radio in 1966 as a typist, then programmer with radio host Dick Cerri, she’s been on air since 1968, hosting (what we now call) progressive rock on WAVA, on WHFS and on the new WETA in 1970. From 1972 to 2007, as a WETA staffer, she produced and presented classical and other music, news, public affairs, interviews and folk – honing skills in writing, engineering, editing and line producing local and nationally released programs. Assigned the folk show in March 1973, she continued presenting a wide variety of material while on WAMU and WAMU’s BluegrassCountry until 2015. And the show continues….