“Music and rhythm find their way into the secret places of the soul”
When I first came to Eugene one of my great "discoveries" (think Chris Columbus) was finding a local commercial free radio station. A station that plays Rock and Roll, Blues, Bluegrass, Reggae, World, Classical, Swing, Country...
The station? KRVM... "A high powered mega-corporate owned station where the music is mainsteam and the DJs without personality?" you may ask... "No," I respond, "a station run 99 % by volunteers, housed in a local High School and operating at 1100 Watts." That, dear friends, is (or was) KRVM, 91.9 FM .
These days things are - like the rest of life - the same, but different. KRVM is still housed in Sheldon High School, here in Eugene. During the school year student DJs are still spinnin' the wax in the daytime.
You see, KRVM has a mission:
"To provide quality community radio while educating area high school students and volunteers in the techniques of broadcasting."
Really. This station TEACHES people! Really... and they entertain. Evenings and weekends have programs tailored to specific musical genres. Here is their program guide. Personally... I have my favorites but you should go see what programs they have that fit your tastes. After all, you don't have to be in Eugene to listen to KRVM. And you don't have to listen to 1100 Watts. These days the station is scorching the ether with 15,000 Watts of listening power - ONLINE as well as on the FM dial of your radio! Yes... this little slice of that something-is-right-in-the-world pie can be heard anywhere that has internet. To listen online go HERE. Also... not only is KRVM now broadcasting at 15,000 Watts, they're broadcasting in HD. That rocks.
The folks who host KRVM's programs are knowledgeable and personable and they don't play commercials! They may have short blurbs about the businesses that underwrite much of the station's costs but they also read the names on-air of those listeners who donate, even if you're a supporting listener in Dublin, or Cincinatti, or Morocco!
I really have only a few shows I make it a point to listen to. Otherwise I'm content with whatever is on. On Wednesday, between 5 and 7 p.m. is Professor Pete with "the Bump School - the best in funk - new skool, old skool & nothin' but funk." And of course, where would I be without the native tunes Nick Sixkiller lays down on Thursday nights at 7. Indian Time plays a lot of powwow music, but Nick mixes in rock (Indigenous!), folk (Joanne Shenandoah) and the razor sharp tomes of John Trudell. Nick starts each show with Jake Swamp's "Giving Thanks" from Joanne Shenadoah's wonderful Covenant album.
Of course... being the old '60s and '70s era fan that I am, my favoritest show is on Saturday's at noon... Magical Mystery Tour, hosted by Ed K and TC. Of course you may also find Nick Sixkiller sitting in as host, or the Professor himself, Jivin' Johny Etheridge. That's the way this station is... you just can't lose! I mean heck, you can even listen in on Sunday evenings to Rockin' Rome dancing in his underwear...
Oh, and by the way... KRVM is in the midst of a pledge drive right now. If you go HERE, you can donate and maybe receive a gift from KRVM. Support radio that supports us, the listeners! And without the support of the listeners, KRVM would not exist!
Many thanks to Ken Martin and Nick Sixkiller for giving me the ok to come down and shoot the station during Indian Time (Thursday nights at 7pm!). So folks, here is an inside (and outside, but not so much) look at the greatest radio station ever... Welcome to KRVM:
Karen Proden. host of Thursday Free 4 All (a variety of acoustic, rock, world and electronic music - plus occasional studio interviews.)
Karen and Nick
Jivin' Johny Etheridge
Two minutes to airtime!
Look at Nick go! 1 minute to airtime!
Nick talks to a listener... with only 30 seconds to go! Will he make it?!?!
Headphones on, Chief Jake Swamp cued up... it's 7 o'clock and Nick's on the air.
And the stacks of CDs:
KRVM is a classic and wonderful slice of what is best about Eugene. And a slice of what I like best about people...
Oh, and when you join KRVM, tell 'em "that Donut guy sent me."
A few items I should have added when I did the original blogpost:
Friends of KRVM
KRVM-FM - Wikipedia
KRVM 91.9 FM on MySpace
KRVM 91.9 FM - Facebook
KRVM (KRVM) on Twitter
And "Oh" #2... don't forget to buy one of my all new, first ever, awesomely beautiful 2010 calendars!
Until next time...
“It's not true I had nothing on, I had the radio on.”
- Marilyn Monroe