NEW YORK – December 1, 2004 – Basketball Hall of Famer, NBA TV analyst and lifelong music fan Bill Walton will host a weekly music program exclusively on SIRIUS Satellite Radio.
Walton will host One More Saturday Night with Bill Walton, featuring music by the Grateful Dead and other of his favorite artists, on commercial-free SIRIUS music channel 17, Jam_On. The new show will air on Saturdays from 9pm to Midnight ET, beginning Dec. 4, and will be re-broadcast on Wednesdays from 9pm to Midnight ET.
Walton, who was selected as one of the "50 Greatest Players" of the NBA’s first 50 years, may be best known for his prowess on the basketball court and as a sports broadcaster, but as a longtime fan of the legendary rock band the Grateful Dead, he is also an acknowledged "Dead Head" and has been friendly with the group’s members for many years. One More Saturday Night with Bill Walton will feature Bill’s unique insight into one of rock’s legendary bands and will include some versions of songs found only in Walton’s personal music collection.
The San Diego, California native first saw the Grateful Dead perform in the late ‘60s and frequently mentions them among the great teachers in his life, on par with such mentors as former UCLA coach John Wooden. "The nicest thing anybody ever said about me was that I helped my teammates play better," he has said. "And that’s what the Grateful Dead was all about. They were just like a great basketball team... a group of outstanding individuals realizing that the strength of the team was the strength of the individual."
Bill Walton’s admiration for the Grateful Dead is mutual; in 2001, he was the inaugural inductee into the Grateful Dead Hall of Honor, he’s traveled extensively with the band on tour, he’s been invited to play with them onstage and has served on the board of the Rex Foundation, a non-profit community support organization established by the band in the 1980s.
Walton is the author of the book Nothing But Net – Just Give Me The Ball and Get Out Of My Way, in which he describes the positive influence that the Grateful Dead has been in his life, and in which he also wrote, "You have a great view at concerts when you’re 6-foot-eleven." In 2003, he began a new career as a basketball television analyst for ESPN.
Walton said, "The Grateful Dead and basketball have always been interchangeable components in my life, and One More Saturday Night with Bill Walton is an extension of my passions. I have been blessed to have attended more than 650 Dead shows, forever inspired by the band’s speed, creativity, timing, positioning and fluidity. The opportunity to hang weekly with music fans and play my favorite anthems while sharing my personal journey on SIRIUS is a dream come true. Let’s rock, baby!"
Scott Greenstein, SIRIUS President of Entertainment and Sports, said, “Bill Walton is a talented, multi-faceted individual, and only SIRIUS can provide him with this arena to showcase his musical expertise and passion. The mix of music and sports which SIRIUS inaugurated with our Faction music channel occurs among generations of athletes and music fans, of which Bill is one of the very best examples."
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SIRIUS’ exclusive automotive partners DaimlerChrysler, Ford and BMW represent over 40% of new cars and light trucks sold annually in the United States. Automotive brands currently offering SIRIUS radios in select new car models include BMW, MINI, Chrysler, Dodge, Jeepâ, Nissan, Infiniti, Mazda, Audi, Ford, Lincoln-Mercury, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche and Volkswagen. Automotive brands that have announced plans to offer SIRIUS radios in select models include Jaguar, Volvo, Land Rover and Aston Martin. In 2004, SIRIUS radios are expected to be available in over 80 different car models, with more than 50 of them factory programs. Also, Hertz currently offers SIRIUS in 29 vehicle models at 53 major locations around the country. In addition, the Penske companies – Penske Auto Group and United Auto Group – are offering SIRIUS radios as a factory installed option, where available, in their cars and trucks through their dealerships.
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