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Larry London, Host of Border Crossings

Larry London with Vanessa Carlton
Larry London with Vanessa Carlton
I’m more of a pop dude, so when I took over the show nine years ago, I turned it mainstream. Because it’s a request show with a world-wide reach, we receive music requests from an extremely diverse audience—from citizens of India and Kazakhstan, to Peace Corp volunteers and soldiers in the Middle East. I have to be conscious of my listeners during the program because many do not have English as their first language. I keep my tone animated and conversation interesting in order to maintain their attention. Luckily, the show is unscripted, so I am able to go with the flow and say whatever comes to mind in the context of each program. I try to include 15 minute interviews with popular artists that will appeal to the audience. Most are held live, with no delay to make room for editing errors. The hardest part of the job for me is remembering the name of the CD the artist is promoting. I know that’s what they are there to sell and they’ll be mad if I mess up the title. Sometimes it’s difficult to get bigger names to come on the show—they typically won’t confirm until the week of. I always tell guests, if you do this interview, and if we sell one CD to every listener, you can cancel your tour.”

Larry began his radio career working for his high school radio station. Before arriving at VOA in 2001, he worked at a number of other stations, including in Los Angeles working for the legendary producer and host Dick Clark and in Hong Kong for 5 years running a bilingual radio station. As host of Border Crossings, Larry has interviewed an impressive variety of music talents, such as Lady Gaga, Aretha Franklin, and famous producer and songwriter Quincy Jones. When he’s not busy in VOA’s studios, he enjoys coaching his 12-year-old daughter’s softball team, which recently celebrated a victory in the Maryland State 12U Championship.