KFAI Network - December 2011
Newsletter Issue: November 2011 Volume 5, Issue 9
KFAI Links Liverpool, Minneapolis...and Mars?!
by Erika Lantz, KFAI Network writer
On October 31st, residents of Birkenhead and Liverpool (England) heard an unusual broadcast on their local BBC radio station. They listened as BBC host Lee Bennion apparently interrupted his program for emergency coverage of a stunning red beam above Birkenhead. The mysterious light seemed to point to only one thing: alien invasion.
In fact, the broadcast was a radio play--a play so authentic it could actually convince some listeners that Martians were attacking Liverpool.
The radio drama "Romeo Echo Delta (RED)" took the concept of the famous Orson Welles 1938 radio drama "The War of the Worlds" to a new level. While it was being broadcast, the creators of "RED" actually staged the play in the night sky.
The result was an intriguing commentary on the role of media, not to mention a fun scare. "'Romeo Echo Delta' is not exactly a drama and not exactly a radio show, but it's quite definitely art. It moves you and makes you think because it's so real," said Colin Robinson, the Broadcast and Media program leader at Liverpool John Moores University's (LJMU's) School of Engineering. Colin supervised recording for the show. But he's also--even from across the Atlantic--part of KFAI's extended family.
Colin's connection to KFAI goes back to a night he found he craved an old song. "I was having one of those moments that we all have from time to time: I desperately needed to hear 'Hey DJ' by the World's Famous Supreme Team...I stumbled on this audio geek goldmine website called 'Crap from the Past.' I found the track on one of Ron Gerber's shows, but so much more that I just had to investigate further. After 15 minutes I was hooked."
Read about how KFAI inspired Colin to bring community to radio in Liverpool, and how it lead to the creative RED-cast here
KFAI Annual Meeting & Social Friday, Dec. 2nd
Come join us Friday, December 2nd, for KFAI's Annual Meeting and Social. Running from 5:30pm to 8pm, the event will be held at the Open Book building on Washington Avenue in Minneapolis.
Curious about what KFAI has been up to lately? This is your chance to come hear about what we've done in the past year. You'll also hear a bit about what KFAI has in store for the future, and how we plan to handle the challenges of maintaining excellence in a tough economy.
While we're very excited to share our accomplishments and plans with you, keep in mind this event isn't just about business. It's also a great opportunity meet other KFAI members, volunteers and listeners. We hope that you take advantage of this unique opportunity to come meet with the KFAI community, enjoy some refreshments and recap 2011 with us.
The Open Book building is located at 1011 Washington Ave. S. in Minneapolis. Street parking is available.
(thanks to John Vennewitz for bringing this to KFAI Network readers)
Presenting the Rare and Unusual
by Dick Stevens, KFAI Network writer
David Cummings, host of Rockin' in Rhythm on KFAI, believes that bringing the best of recorded entertainment to listeners includes presenting the rare and unusual from many musical genres and eras. The program airs every Monday afternoon from 2pm to 4 pm. David offers listeners a rich blend of music and special features, including jump blues, early R & B, the roots of rock n' roll, country & western, plus entertaining highlights from radio's golden age, including Bob & Ray and "Five Minute Mystery" episodes. "The show doesn't just feature oldies," David says. "Also included in the mix is contemporary music plus many celebrity interviews."
A Long-Time Collector of Air Checks and Radio Rarities
David collects rare and unusual recordings, an activity he had pursued long before he began doing volunteer engineering and technical work with KFAI's News Department in the 1990s. He has gathered air checks from pioneering DJs such as Alan Freed, Dewey Phillips, Hal Jackson and Gary Owens, who introduced unknown rock n' roll and R & B artists to listeners on stations such as WDIA in Memphis, WLAC in Nashville, "border radio" in Mexico, WMCA in New York and many more. David's collection also includes broadcasts from the 30s, 40s and 50s featuring personalities of the period. "There are so many voices from radio's golden era that are no longer being heard," David says. "They influenced many who would follow, and their voices are a treasure worth saving and hearing again."
Specials Showcasing the Greats
David has produced a number of specials for "Rockin' in Rhythm." The first featured comedian, pianist and talk show host Steve Allen, who's been the subject of several annual specials on the program. For a three-part special commemorating the 100th anniversary of songwriter Johnny Mercer's birth, David and guest co-host Les Block included interviews with many historic personalities including Margaret Whiting, Kay Starr, Johnny Mathis, Andy Williams, Johnny Mandel, Diahann Carroll, Herb Jeffries, Barry Manilow, Tony Bennett and others.
Read more about David's unique program and what listeners have to say by clicking here
Help Fund KFAI's 2012 Projects With Your Year-End Gift
Thanks to support from listener-members, KFAI was able to get a lot of great stuff done in 2011. We were able to:
- Host a full day of International Women's Day programs by community members for the 21st year in 2011! Topics included women in the military, local voices from the Asian community, Brazilian Carnaval musicians, and commentary on Bosnia's women here and back home since the 1990s genocide.
- Open the airwaves to community members for special Black History Month programming. 2011 topics ranged from a look back on life prior to civil rights, African-American contributions to the U.S. space program, blues and Motown music, youth and education.
- Bring in more than 150 local and international musicians to the KFAI studios to perform live.
- Organize KFAI volunteers and staff to be among the first responders to residents of North Minneapolis, providing food and personal items following the devastating tornado last spring.
- Create events which support independent global and green vendors, artists and musicians through the MidWinter Warm Up and Taste of KFAI.
We would like to do even more in 2012! Help us continue to create radio without boundaries and provide vital services to our community through your year-end gift today. Thank you!
If you have any questions about membership or year-end gifts, contact Membership & Volunteer Director Pam Hill Kroyer by email, or by phone at 612-341-3144 × 22.
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