Saturday, November 26, 2005

Dallas Radio

I spend a lot of time listening to Dallas radio, seeing as how my car has an AM/FM radio, and only an AM/FM radio. I had a nice stereo, at one time, but the rampaging Buddhists that live in my neighborhood liberated me of my attatchment to material things. They liberated me with a crowbar through my passenger side window, as well as some creative work on the interior of my car.
So, I spend time in my car listening to Dallas radio.

You’ll find some of the best radio down in the public radio section of the dial, from 88.1 up to 90.1

88.1 FM KNTU http://www.kntu.unt.edu/
The one. They couldn’t very well call it KUNT, could they? This is the University of North Texas radio station, and the only all jazz station in Dallas. You will hear jazz from all eras, from Count Basie and Duke Ellington, through Miles Davis and John Coltrane, on up to the present day and bands like Modeski Martin and Wood. You’ll hear the world famous UNT One O’clock Lab Band here as well. I am told many jazz luminaries got their start with this student group. Weekends, the students seem to get more reign over programming content, and the result is the most interesting radio you’ll find on the dial. A few years ago, a student named Russell Lyday had a program called The Show that fell to Earth that made a dent in radio ratings for Sunday night. It was based on the radical idea of allowing a DJ to play music he found exciting and interesting. You actually had the chance to hear a lot of popular music from small and independent labels. The result made waves, and 102.1 the Edge, the large commercial pop-alternative radio station actually developed a program to compete. Unfortunately, when the students graduate, they take their shows with them.

89.3 FM KNON http://www.knon.org/
The voice of the people, community radio. It’s eclectic, to say the least. Throughout the week you can hear zydeco, reggae, speed metal, tejano, a gay and lesbian community show, rap (old school and new), gospel, and radio call in. The roper red neck review plays local country artists. The ethic of the station is very DIY and noncommercial. I think the station is proof that amateurs can be more engaging than professionals.

90.1 FM KERA www.kera.org
This is the national public radio affiliate. Unfortunately, the station lost its best local voice when Glenn Mitchell passed away recently (see my previous post). I don’t know if they still broadcast Marla Crocket’s the people’s agenda. This was one of the best programs for public discussion of local politics. I think it got axed due to funding issues. Late at night KERA picks up the BBC world service.

101.1 FM WRR http://www.wrr101.com/
Classical. They claim to be the oldest radio station in Texas. I love lies. It’s Dallas’s state run radio station, partially functioning on public dollars. This has been the case for occasional political contention in the past, but if the city didn’t fund this, I doubt Dallas would have a classical station. Being a part of the MTV generation, I have the attention span of a hummingbird on crack, but I still find much of their offerings to hold my finger off the dial for at least 2 or 3 minutes. The Going Home Program also plays a lot of “pop classical” and familiar offerings that I can enjoy. WRR also broadcasts city hall meetings.

88.5 FM KEOM http://www.keom.fm/
Mesquite Independent School District public radio. Disco is alive and well, and apparently the largest archive in the world of discarded 70s dance music is housed somewhere in this Dallas suburb. Get your daily dose of Chicago and Elton John as well.

95.3 FM http://www.khyi.com/
The Range. They got both kinds of music here, country and western. Just don’t call in and request any Garth Brooks; they like the alt country and the classics: Hank and Hank Jr. and Merle and Willy and Johnny and so on. This is what a Texas country radio station ought to be, and their webpage is cool to boot.

730 AM KKDA
Soul 73. A lot of Sam Cooke, Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder. Its like being offered a nice steak after being on a veggie diet for a month. Music that even makes the white people get up and dance. This station is best known for its gregarious and legendary local DJ Bobby Patterson. Additionally, if you are looking for an African-American perspective, might I recommend Darnell’s Black Radio Guide http://www.radioblack.com/Texas.html . He has a comprehensive list of black radio stations in Texas.

770 AM KAAM
Dream 77, the sound of yesteryear. A format described as “nostalgia.” If you want to hear Frank Sinatra’s version of Simon and Garfunkle’s Mrs. Robinson, here’s the place for it. People think the musicians of the 60s and 70s made drug use part of the music industry. Wrong. I can say with great authority, that the musicians on this station were on everything from qualudes and opiates to powerful psychedelics like pscilocybin and LSD. How else can you explain the music? I dare you to listen to this station nonstop for 2 hours. You’ll be in counseling for years.

1310 AM KTCK http://www.theticket.com/
The Ticket. Is this really a sports talk station? Pack the booth with personalities and see what they talk about is more the format than strictly sports talk. Possible topics include the Dallas Cowboys and pooh humor. Marvelous! Also the home of sports nut pros like Norm Hitzgehs, who can tell you off the top of his head the Texas Ranger’s home record on overcast days in June against the New York Yankees when the opposition starts more than 5 left handed hitters.

105.3 FM FREEFM http://www.live1053.com/home.php
Home of the very popular Russ Martin show. A fascinating excursion into the type A personality. Listen as Russ demonstrates his talent for saying anything to anyone at any time. Also the home of the Howard Stern show each morning.

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