Born in Los Angeles in 1929, Flavia Register was a young tap dancer before her career as an artist and writer blossomed.
Flavia met Jack Weedn after the war and were married in the spring of 1954. Jack Weedn was an LA native born in 1925. After Jack's service in USN in the Pacific, he returned to Los Angeles and while a student at USC he often was a singer at places like "Little Joe's" on North Broadway (around the corner from my favorite hang out in LA, Philippe's). I am Rick Weedn, son of Flavia and Jack Weedn and I spent a few special days at both of these landmarks with my dad when I was a little boy. Later I joined him as a proud adult son of this blue eyed, silver haired charmer. This effort, RadioFlavia is based in Lugano, Switzerland and dedicated to my parents and grandparents.
RadioFlavia is a non profit Swiss association based on the lake of Lugano adjacent to Villa Castagnola. When I am not in Portugal I am here in Lugano at the studio producing my little cultural mixes of stories and music for fellow travellers and dreamers like me. We are fully licensed by SUISA to broadcast/stream our music and stories from our lakeside studios. We share our space with the Flavia Studios, and Archivea GmbH, our parent publishing company.
I grew up in South Central Los Angeles when we still had street cars and electric buses, Hollywood still had its magic and I found great joy in simple hidden treasures. My grandfather, Flavil Register was a fight promoter at the Olympic Auditorium and a mystery writer nicknamed “The Senator". My grandmother, Sylvia was a doll maker, costume maker, factory worker, shopkeeper and overall angel. She was one in a million and my teacher when I was 5. My father's father, Dr. Henry Weedn was a beloved medical doctor in Downey and Southgate. What a life it was in the late 50’s 60’s and 70's in South California for this kid!
Mom had an unusual name, “Flavia” and as a dancer, painter and writer she gained inspiration for her paintings and poetry from a shelf of Goodwill bought books and records. The books were of old photos of NYC and Europe. Hoagy Carmichael was a staple in our home. Jazz and Swing mixed with The American Songbook were ever present in the front room of our tiny Huntington Park bungalow. One of mom’s earliest paintings was of a couple looking into a travel agency window. That painting hit home for me. Someday I would be a traveler, seeking my fortune and adventures like a kid in a storybook.
I used to dive into moms books and get lost with all the images of "Far away places with strange sounding names". Dad used to sing me “Streets of Laredo” to put me to sleep. In LA, our neighbours were Mexican, Cuban and Puerto Rican so we had the full spectrum of tunes and culture filling the air. In the late 60's mom and dad were becoming more successful in America and annual trips to NYC from my 12th birthday forward built up my passion for all the unusual eccentricity of the time. In NYC we would walk everywhere and I could see and hear the music from my sidewalk paces. This NYC jumping off point lead to Europe travels from my 18th year till now at age 67. I was hooked on small places with strong communities, world music, film, art and discovering new sunsets.
After a lifetime of publishing imagery, I now live in many of those far away places I dreamed of in my childhood. Starting from my base near Lisbon and our Production Studio in Lugano I travel as much as I can. Today I search forgotten archives, libraries and museums’ treasures to reproduce as art or music or film. We happily are the designated printer/publisher of many of those images I loved as a child as we serve the New York Public Library and The Getty Museum and its archives.
RadioFlavia is dedicated to music and imagery from the 1930’s through the 1970’s. These were from places and times that both my mom and dad introduced me to as a kid. Over my lifetime I have built up my own archive from these memories.
In 2022 I decided to add music and broadcasting to our missions. Our first little story telling series was called "Leaving California". This has been viewed about 25,000 times and opened my eyes to the need for positivity in media. The 2024 Series called "The Road Home" will debut here at RadioFlavia. Above is a place holder link to my favorite Jazz station, enjoy it until we go live in the Spring of 2024.
I hope fellow travelers and dreamers of any age join in and listen to us at RadioFlavia.com or come visit us and lets share a coffee - Rick Weedn