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Published by the Freedom From Religion Foundation, Inc.

In memoriam: Michael Hanson

FFRF Member Michael J. Hanson, 78, of Madison died on Sept. 9 after a long battle with cancer.

Hanson was an award-winning radio personality, noted jazz drummer and the creator and host of “Mindwebs” radio show. “Mindwebs” originally aired on WHA Radio in Madison, Wis., from the mid-1970s through the mid-1990s. It featured 169 half-hour shows that presented 188 short stories from 135 authors. Episodes are currently being rebroadcast on WMSE in Milwaukee every Saturday at midnight.

“Thank you for the stories you gave, the music you played and the love you created along the way,” said the message on WMSE’s website. “We will miss your amazing ability to bring stories to life, but look forward to hearing your voice again every week as we air every single episode of your wonderful creation.”

To listen to any of the episodes, go to

FFRF Co-President Dan Barker, an accomplished pianist, had the pleasure of playing with Hanson. 

“I played with the Michael Hanson Jazz Group a number of times,” Barker says. “His style on the drums was breezy and fun, leaving plenty of room for the soloists to express themselves. During breaks, we often talked about music, but Michael especially wanted to talk to me about politics and religion. He really cared about the world.”

He is survived by his wife Rosie and sons Rolfe and Stephan.

Hanson’s obituary kindly listed FFRF as one place friends and family could send a memorial donation.

Michael Hanson