Craig Ceravolo is a man with many interests, and he’s not afraid to pursue them. Fortunately for the people of Birmingham those pursuits include cool things like music, movies, and local happenings. He’s turned these interests into two shows on Birmingham’s digital radio top dog Substrate Radio. “Wake Up, Boo!”, which airs on Sundays from 10am to noon, and “Sleep In Cinema”, which Craig co-hosts with UAB film studies professor Gareth Jones on Saturdays from 9 to 10am to bring two unique experiences that otherwise wouldn’t be found in the Magic City.
“Wake Up, Boo!” came first. Craig had moved back to Birmingham from Los Angeles in 2012, and was spending time with his decades-long friend, Jason Hamric. Jason had been talking about starting an internet radio station for a while, and when Craig mentioned he’d love to host a Sunday morning interview/music show, Jason simply replied “Why not?”. Jason was ready to build his dream station in Substrate Radio and was looking for programs. Thus, Craig and his show were among the initial roster on Substrate Radio alongside programs by Birmingham figures like Jackie Lo, Tom Bagby, and Les Nuby. The studio at the time was a small office in Woodlawn (they’ve now relocated to a very cool space in Homewood), and Craig was eager to get to work.
“In the beginning I had a lot of guests. I didn’t know what the heck I was doing, but I learned along the way. I could play any music I wanted” reflects Craig. As time went on, he mastered the craft while shifting to a heavier focus on music for “Wake Up, Boo!”. He loves to play what his “Sleep In Cinema” co-host labels “brunch time music.” Everything from 60’s soul to 80’s new wave. Craig still loves interviewing, his philosophy being that “everybody’s got a great story if you ask the right questions.” Keeping it local is a priority, and guest spots feature everyone from Birmingham politicians to artists and event organizers. He’s currently looking into bringing in-studio guests back for the first time in over a year and encourages people to reach out about a feature.
A personal highlight episode for Craig took place after realizing that Prince passed away on the birthday of The Cure’s lead singer Robert Smith. These were two of Craig’s most influential musicians, and he spent that Sunday mixing songs between these legends. Another highlight was an interview with Orenda Fink and Maria Taylor of Azure Ray discussing the 20th anniversary of their first album. The pair live in California now but are originally Birmingham natives and the conversation was a fun reunion for the radio host.
“Sleep In Cinema”, which covers “the worst stuff and the important stuff” when it comes to movies, has brought its share of highlights as well. The show features everything from “Smokey and the Bandit'' to “Moonlight”, but a discussion around Fernando Frias’ “Ya No Estoy Aquí (I am No Longer Here)” with Suaze and DJ Mamalon Selector is a personal top moment for Craig.
Whether he’s discussing movies with local musicians or jamming to his favorite songs on public airwaves, Craig has become a part of the new “Birmingham renaissance” that he loves so much. “This is just not what it was when I was a kid, so it’s amazing to see Birmingham come into its own” Craig shares of the city’s growth over the last decade. He wants to use his platform to make sure all residents of the Magic City have the opportunity to have their voice heard and grow with the city’s newfound success. Thanks for all that you do, Craig.