Teaneck, NJ -- Celebrated bluegrass radio personality Carol Beaugard is leaving the airwaves after 30 years of hosting her syndicated show, “Lonesome Pine RFD” to pursue a professional career in acting. Beaugard created the popular program in 1985 and broadcasts live weekly from the studios of 89.1, WFDU-FM (streamed live on www.wfdu.fm), on the Teaneck campus of Fairleigh Dickinson University. Since 2007 the show has been carried on WAMU’s “Bluegrass Country” headquartered in Washington, D.C., heard at 105.5 FM, in HD radio at 88.5 Channel 2, and worldwide online at bluegrasscountry.org. Her last live broadcast on WFDU will be on Friday, June 20 from 9:00 a.m. to 12 noon (EDT) and will be taped for later broadcast on WAMU.
For more than three decades, Beaugard has worked in commercial radio at various stations and formats in addition to hosting her bluegrass program. Her radio career began at Emerson College with shows on WERS-FM where she earned a reputation as a prominent Jazz and Latin Jazz announcer. Upon graduation she worked as a jazz announcer for WGBH-FM in Boston and then moved to New York to work for ABC-TV. In radio her voice has graced formats including oldies, Adult Standards, Adult Contemporary, Big Band Music, Jazz and Talk throughout the New York metropolitan area at WMCA-AM 570 (NYC); WCTC 1450 AM, WMTR-AM 1250, WJUX-FM, 103.1 Jukebox Radio, WVNJ 1160 AM, and WFMV-AM 106.3 (NJ).
Most recently Beaugard has forged a successful career in acting. She has worked in dramas, comedies and musicals Off Broadway, in summer stock, regional theater, television, commercials, industrials, film and print. She won the Best Actress Award at the Strawberry Theater Festival for her powerful portrayal of a schizophrenic in the original play “The Plastic Couch”. She just starred as the lead in the original comedy “Tea in a Tempest” at the renowned American Theatre of Actors (ATA), joining an ATA alumni roster including John Malkovich, Ken Spacey, Dennis Quaid, Edie Falco, Bruce Willis among others. She will next be seen starring in “Deja Who” July 19 through August 3 in the June Havoc Theatre at The Abingdon, part of John Chatterton’s Midtown Festival. On TV she’s had leading roles on ‘Monsters Inside Me’ (Animal Planet), ‘Fatal Encounters’ (Discovery Channel) and ‘Deadly Devotions’ (Discovery ID). Beaugard studied acting at HB Studios, improv with the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre and is slated to continue her training at the William Esper Studio.
“Theater was always my first love and a lifelong dream since I was a little girl,” said Beaugard. “I studied theater and dance while at Emerson College but got into radio after seeing an audition notice for the school's station. I fell in love with broadcasting and enjoyed working at different stations over the years.”
“I found bluegrass by chance. I approached WFDU because I wanted to get back on-air after getting off the road as an actress but started in their jazz and blues formats. I began to listen to the bluegrass shows and the music’s joyful sound and magic absolutely captivated me. I started going to the festivals, began playing guitar and it quickly became a central part of my life. However, the acting bug never left me and when I began appearing onstage in theater my husband encouraged me to fulfill my dream.”
The program “Lonesome Pine RFD” originated as “The Sunrise Saloon” in 1985. Beaugard created a listener contest challenging listeners to create a new show title in homage to Lone Pine Road where the WFDU-FM studios are planted. For more than 20 years the show has featured one of its most popular segments, a special hour dedicated to bluegrass gospel called “The Hour in the Light”. The New York Times wrote a feature article highlighting "The Hour in the Light" and Beaugard's take on gospel music.
“My audience is the best in the world,” she adds. “Anyone involved in bluegrass knows how special the people are that follow this music and they have showered me with love. I can’t thank them enough for their pledges of support, dedication, kindness and friendship over the years. Their phone calls, emails and social network messages have touched me profoundly.”
Carol Beaugard has interviewed many legendary guests and hosted live in-studio performances including Ralph Stanley, Alison Krauss, Tony Rice, Hazel Dickens, Bill Emerson, Tony Trischka, Claire Lynch, Dudley Connell, Tom Adams, Del McCoury and the Del McCoury Band, Michael Cleveland and Flamekeeper, Walt Michael & Co., Ken Burns, Bruce Hornsby, Barry Mitterhoff, Tim O’Brien, Pete Wernick, Chris Thile, Edgar Meyer, Railroad Earth, Peter Rowan, among many others.
As a member of the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) she was a graduate of the Leadership Bluegrass class 0f 2010, an intensive three-day program focused on interactive learning that examines the opportunities facing the music industry. She attended the IBMA’s World of Business Conferences in Nashville, TN and Louisville, KY. Beaugard has emceed for legends including Bill Monroe and Doc Watson at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, The Bottom Line, Mayo Performing Arts Center and the Emelin Theater, as well as The Peaceful Valley, Delaware, Gettysburg, Windgap and The Pines Bluegrass Festivals. She emceed John Duffey’s last live performance at the John Harms Center for the Performing Arts just before his untimely death. In 2013 she was the recipient of the Brown Jug Award, an honor bestowed on those who have made a positive impact on traditional bluegrass and old time music in the Northeastern United States. She is also a singer and musician and has led her band “Carol Beaugard & Blue Express” performing at concerts and festivals throughout the northeast. Her work has been profiled in feature articles in the magazines “Bluegrass Unlimited” and online with “Cybergrass”.
Beaugard hopes to continue working in bluegrass as a contributing author and podcast reporter for online news services. Her home studio is equipped to record voice-overs, radio segments and film. For more information, visit https://www.facebook.com/carolbeaugard or https://www.facebook.com/lonesomepinerfd