Sunday, March 1, 2015

15 years! Really? Eyah, I counted 'em.

It's difficult to realize that it has been 15 years. The entirety of it is a heck of a story and begins about 17 years ago, or maybe even 20 years ago , or it could go back as far as 1970 or so, but all that is not relevant to this post. The basic situation is that on Saturday March the 4th, 2000, I was to start my own show on radio free brattleboro. March the 1st was the birthday of Glenn Miller. March the 2nd was the birthday of composer Kurt Weil. I was set to celebrate them both. The rfb studio had just relocated to a shed attached to the basement of a building on Main Street. The entrance required a walk down an alley, along the railroad tracks next to the Connecticut River, and up a specially built lengthy flight of wooden stairs.

The stairs - from a landing half way up the hill.
When I arrived that day, the woman with the show before mine wasn't there. The door was locked. I had no keys. A comedy of errors ensued for over an hour as I attempted to get access (I managed to track down someone who gave me the wrong key - twice!) and finally gave up the attempt. My show, still nameless at the time, debuted on March 11th.

The old radio free brattleboro studio. Computers hadn't yet entered into the studio mix,
there was no streaming internet, etc. Heck the internet was only a couple of years old.
Home made CD's had just become possible. Dave Longsmith suggested raising money
by selling rejected home burns as coasters we would call 'recycled radio'.
I hollered "That's It".  And that's how my show got its name.

Seven years later, radio free brattleboro had its equipment seized by the FCC while we were broadcasting under the protection of a Federal judge. (Like I said, it's a heck of a story.) In the meantime, the FCC had been embarrassed into giving out low power licenses again, which they hadn't done for over 20 years. One went to a new community radio station set up in Brattleboro, WVEW-lp. Before long I was back in my comfy Saturday night timeslot. Five years later there was a fire in the building which housed our studio, transmitter, and antenna. The station was wiped out. When that happens, the FCC gives license holders one year to get back on the air. The station had been managed by its staff. When the work of returning to the air started, a dissident group of the membership took over the station. Things got nasty, but the folks who started the station eventually regained control; we made it back on the air with one week to spare.
While it might have been better to note my show's anniversary (15 years? Really?) next Saturday, March 7th, I have other intentions for that program. March the 8th is International Women's Day, so the night before is an excellent time to produce another version of a show I've done several times over the years dedicated to the women who led swing bands. 

Blogger is giving me all kinds of problems, changing the colors of text, refusing to cooperate, and generally behaving like a spoiled child intent on having its way. It must have been associating with Facebook. So I'll just post a few newspaper clippings from the first week or so of March 2000, then post last night's show, which finally celebrated the birthdays of Glenn Miller and Kurt Weil.



This was another in the series of shows where I couldn't seem to focus on what I was doing and talk at the same time. Nevertheless, I think it turned out to be an enjoyable show. I hope anyone who listens thinks so too.