Returning to My Roots

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Last week, I launched a new radio show in New York City. The show, “Bagels and Broadway with Valerie Smaldone” kicked off on July 7th with fun interviews with beloved stage and screen performer Brenda Vaccaro, and radio star-turned- theatrical producer Leslie Gold. I so enjoyed my conversations with these two fabulous women! (Listen above.)

But I also took a moment to reminisce about my very early days in radio. When I was broadcasting as a college student at WFUV in the Bronx,

I had the opportunity, at the very nascent stage of my career, to host a show called “Showstoppers,” featuring original cast albums from Broadway shows and movie soundtracks. I mentioned this experience on my new program, and that I didn’t know it then, but hosting “Showstoppers” was truly my happiest time on radio…till now. Although I am not playing original cast albums or scores, I am talking about theatre and food and entertainment on the radio in my hometown. And that makes me very happy. 🙂

I also reminisced that, in those days, as a novice broadcaster, I invited Broadway composer Charles Strouse to be on my show. Charles didn’t call in. He actually came to the studio and sat with me, as we talked about Bye Bye Birdie, and his new Broadway production at the time, Annie.

Charles was doodling in the studio, as we listened to soundtracks together, and he gave the drawings to me.

He also signed the score to Annie.


It’s a truly special and magical memory that I am happy to share with you. I hope you’ll  listen to this podcast  and tune in every Saturday morning from 9-10 on AM970 for “Bagels and Broadway.”



  • Valerie Smaldone

    Five-time Billboard Award-winning media personality Valerie Smaldone is a theatre, food, lifestyle and entertainment enthusiast. She is a celebrity interviewer, accomplished voice-over artist and actress. Recent appearances on episodic tv include Law and Order, Criminal Intent, The Other Two (on HBO Max), Tommy, Manifest and Blue Bloods. She is an audiobook narrator and producer. A live event emcee, moderator, and "Voice of God" at events and award ceremonies, Valerie has just directed and produced her first film featuring Gloria Gaynor and is producing a docu-series starring Erik Estrada. Visit her website at

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.