I know I’m not the only one in the United States to make a more determined attempt to find community, since, let’s say… November 9, 2016. And, while I’m usually in a bit of a climate action bubble, I was able to find the people, the joy and the feeling of real hope for the future by becoming more involved with Seattle’s community radio station/nonprofit arts organization: KEXP. So that, dear reader, will serve as full disclosure for how I came to see their work through social impact eyes and to conduct this interview with John Richards on the eve of their week’s worth of “National Radio Day” tributes.
With a deep personal history and appreciation for what community radio has meant in his own life, Richards , KEXP’s Associate Program Director and Morning Show Host/Producer, decided this year was the time to do a deeper dive into the ways radio has impacted the lives of so many people across the nation; listeners, artists and local communities. KEXP’s (streaming worldwide) programming from August 14 – 18 will be a tribute to the influential stations, both here and gone, that have provided a place for music discovery and celebration of community.
During the week, the KEXP Morning, Midday and Afternoon shows will take turns talking to the influential people behind community radio music, like Matt Pinfield and Rodney Bigenheimer – and, of course, play the music they’re known for. Among the many stations that will be featured – one or two of which may well strike a chord from your own background – are: WOXY (Cincinnati), KUKQ (Phoenix), WFNX (Boston), INDIE 103.1 (Los Angeles), KJET (Seattle), WHER (Memphis), WLIR (Long Island), KDGE (Dallas), WHTG (New Jersey), WGTB (Washington, DC), and REV 105 (Minneapolis).
Ultimately, KEXP hopes to spur action, to remind people across the United States that community radio can bring people together and be a safe place from which to weather challenging political and cultural times. ALL who love music are…