Leslie Rae

Host of Pickin' Up the Tempo and Substitute Music Host

“I like music that makes me think, dance, sing, reminisce, cry, and visit other worlds.” - Leslie Rae

It’s no surprise that Leslie Rae’s love of music began early—with parents who had Belafonte, Getz & Gilberto, The Seekers, Sinatra, and Odetta playing on the family’s stereo, how could she not appreciate the diversity of artists? Leslie Co-hosts Pickin' Up the Tempo on Tuesday nights from 8:00-10:00 p.m. She also substitutes on a variety of music shows here at KCBX, which suits her just fine, with her background across so many genres, her love of travel to other continents, and her inability to keep from moving her feet to hard-driving rhythms.

Musicality is in her blood, with hootenannies at her parent’s house a regular thing. Leslie’s introduction to musical instruments started when her father made a gut bucket and taught the whole family to play. Leslie suffered through piano lessons. Her husband asks, after moving that baby grand piano way too many times, wouldn’t a kazoo be more convenient? Leslie sang in the high school and church choirs and to this day loves to belt it out. She has also been a student of West African rhythms, learning to play the djembe from Casa Babylon co-host, Tracy Morgan. She has also played the doumbek in the Cal Poly Arab Music Ensemble. Then there was that belly dancing stint . . .

Leslie Rae’s radio experience began when she retired from teaching public school and started volunteering in 2014 at a local low-power FM station as the “calendar girl”. On her Monday morning Triple-A show, "The Seventh Wave," she shared 3 hours of diverse playlists. That gig lasted almost two years when restlessness brought about yet another creative project: "Ms. Behavin’ the Manners Maven." Leslie did a ten week radio series in which she mixed music with humor and advice about how to be civil.

In May of 2015, Leslie she began her training at KCBX. She considers it an honor to be able to bring music to the listeners of one of the longest running public radio stations on the Central Coast.

When Leslie is not in the Master Control Room, or right next door in the vast KCBX music library, she is generally raising a ruckus nearby. When she grows up she wants to be a backup vocalist for an R&B band.

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