Monday, March 20, 2006

Where are you, Tilly Cryar?

In a tiny little sliver on my FM radio dial resides a very unique little radio station. In a day when most radio stations (including the wonderful ones I work for) have decided that you must narrowcast and niche-market in order to be your best, this little low-power station throws out all the rules and plays whatever it wants, mixing Christian music with secular and with no apparent obeisance to any sort of rigid playlist.

WTPB LP is owned by Third Presbyterian Church of Rockford, and broadcasts out of Rockford College. My daughter discovered it during one of her many channel-surfing sessions. Like me, she loves the old that you just don't hear on the radio anymore...but you hear it on WTPB.

As of now, WTPB doesn't have live announcers. The music they play is apparently pre-recorded and played over and over again on a loop, punctuated only by brief recorded comments by Third Presbyterian's Pastor Murray Hanson.

So, my daughter and I kept hearing this lovely young female voice, singing classics like "At Last," "Baby it's Cold Outside" and "The Way You Look Tonight." We fell in love with this voice and its style, which manages to be nostalgic and retro, fresh and youthful all at the same time.

Who WAS this girl? We had to know, but WTPB doesn't back announce song titles or artists, so we had no way of knowing.


I have a slight acquaintance with Pastor Murray Hanson, having interviewed him a couple of times in the distant past for one reason or another. I got so curious about this artist that I called him up on the phone and just asked him.

He laughed and said, "You know, you're about the fifth or sixth person to ask me that. Her name is Tilly Cryar, and her album is called 'A Kind of Daydream.'" Pastor Hanson said that Tilly is actually one of his favorites as well.

Well, we checked out Tilly's website, and found out a couple of things. First of all, A Kind of Daydream was recorded about two years ago, and as far as I can find out, she hasn't recorded anything since.

Secondly, her dad is none other than Christian singer Morgan Cryar, who we played here on 101QFL a LOT during the 80's.

Apparently Morgan was amazed to discover his daughter's talent: "I was walking through the hall one day and heard this sound. I was stopped in my tracks because it was too live and naked to be a recording but it sounded like some classic 40’s record."

They decided to put together an album before Tilly headed off to David Lipscomb University in Nashville, where I assume she is still attending college.

You can hear samples of Tilly's songs here. If you love the old, romantic standards, you may be as charmed by Tilly's voice as my daughter and I were.

The only thing is, the website doesn't appear to have been updated since October 2004. I would love to know what's happening with Tilly and if she'll be recording again. Tilly, if you read this, give me a holler!

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