with Ron Olesko

Folk/Singer Songwriter

Traditions with Ron Olesko

Sundays 3:00 to 6:00PM Eastern Time 

1977 Majorie Guthrie and Ron Olesko at WFDU Studio

Woody Guthrie's Wardy Forty
This extraordinary book chronicles the period of Woody Guthrie's life spent at Greystone Hospital in New Jersey. This was a period of Woody's life that only his family and a few friends witnessed, but the story will be told through the photos of Phil Buehler who went to Greystone about 10 years ago and captured images of the abandoned portion of the hospital where Woody stayed. The haunting images are juxtaposed with Guthrie family photos that are both heart breaking and heart warming. They capture a Woody Guthrie that most of us never saw, a man who was struggling with a disease that was robbing him of his ability to function, yet he was still creating amazing works.

I had the honor of interviewing Woody's widow Marjorie Guthrie back in the mid 70's at WFDU. Phil used my interview along with a number of other interviews collected from friends and family of Guthrie. The photo above captures a moment that changed the direction of my life. After being inspired by Marjorie, my love of folk music and radio really grew, and I am still doing my radio show and working in the folk community because of Marjorie, and of course Woody. ~ Ron Olesko

Ron Olesko grew up during the Folk Revival of the 1960’s and some of his earliest memories include being captivated by songs such as "Sloop John B." and "There's A Hole In The Bucket" being performed on the Captain Kangaroo TV show.    In 1975 he enrolled at Fairleigh Dickinson University and joined WFDU-FM on his first day as a freshman and has been with the station ever since.   Ron started as a DJ playing alternative rock interspersed with folk music.   In 1977 he presented a program with Marjorie Guthrie as his guest, the widow of one of Ron's musical heroes, Woody Guthrie.  From that point on, folk music became the centerpiece of Ron's radio work.

In 1980, just after he graduated from FDU, Ron began the series “Traditions”, now WFDU-FM’s longest running program.   Ron also appears on Sirius XM Satellite Radio's folk channel's The Village and was nominated in the Broadcaster Category for 2007 Folk Alliance Music & Business Awards.  In addition, Ron is the President of the Hurdy Gurdy Folk Music Club in Fair Lawn, NJ and also writes for Sing Out! Magazine.  When taking a break from folk music, Ron can either be found in Section 112 at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey on game day or sitting in his den watching his beloved New York Mets.

To contact Ron:  


Latest from WFDU General Manager, Kenny O'Boyle

Hello everyone! 

I hope you and your loved ones are safe, healthy and managing okay during these unprecedented times.

I wanted to give you all an update, but unfortunately there is not much to update you on. The question I get more than any other from our staff and listeners is, “When will WFDU be able to resume normal, live programming?” Unfortunately, I do not have an answer to this question. Logically, I would have to assume that WFDU Staff will not be allowed back inside the station until the government stay at home restrictions are lifted. Who knows when that will be? Even when those restrictions are lifted, it’s still ultimately up to the university.

What can we do and what are we doing?

We are now accepting new material and recordings of past shows for our programs on HD2 and will begin airing those ASAP 

I speak on behalf of the entire staff and I’m sure many of you too when I say we all can’t wait to return to normal. We all miss doing our shows and most of all, interacting with you! Please be patient. We all have to be. 

I very much appreciate all of the listeners that have reached out via email, phone or Facebook. Overwhelmingly, the messages are positive and appreciative that WFDU is still on the air even in this limited capacity. It warms my heart to hear that WFDU can be a source of comfort during all of this.  

If you would like to reach out with any comments, questions or concerns, please do.

Phone: 201-692-2806 (Leave a message)

Keep listening and thanks for supporting WFDU!


- Kenny