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College Radio News: Soundtap Madness, WHRB Orgy, and KFJC Month of Mayhem

For both my home radio station of KFJC at Foothill College (where I DJ and volunteer) and for Harvard’s WHRB, the month of May is traditionally a time for special programming. KFJC’s Month of Mayhem began in 1981 and every year since, the entire month of May has been devoted to specials on a wide range of topics. This year’s Month of Mayhem features more than 60 specials that vary from an investigation into surf music, an exploration of the work of James Brown, a 24-hour drone special (featuring live performances), several label-focused specials, a look at the BBC Radiophonic Workshop’s role in early electronic music, and programs about rockabilly and William S. Burroughs.

At Harvard, the WHRB Orgy tradition purportedly started in 1943. According to WHRB,

Legend has it that the WHRB Orgy® tradition began over sixty-five years ago, in the Spring of 1943. At that time, it is said that one Harvard student, then a staff member of WHRB, returned to the station after a particularly difficult exam and played all of Beethoven’s nine symphonies consecutively to celebrate the end of a long, hard term of studying. The idea caught on, and soon the orgy concept was expanded to include live jazz, rock, hip-hop, blues, and even sports Orgies. The Orgy® tradition lives on even today at WHRB. During the Reading and Exam Periods of Harvard College, WHRB presents marathon-style musical programs devoted to a single composer, performer, genre, or subject.

This year’s Spring Orgy at WHRB will feature numerous classical music specials, as well as some specials focused on the band Bauhaus, a train music special, and label specials delving into material produced by Chess Records and Blue Note Records. Do you know of other college radio stations that air special programming near the end of the semester?

In other college radio news, Soundtap has announced that it will be organizing another college radio listening tournament this year. Dubbed Soundtap Madness, the event will feature several rounds of competition in which 64 college radio stations battle it out to see which can claim the most listeners during the tournament. Soundtap has arranged stations into regional brackets, which means that neighboring stations are sometimes up against each other in the first round (such as UCLARadio vs. KSPC at Pomona College). The first round of head-to-head competition takes place between May 12 and May 13. Subsequent rounds occur following that, with the finals taking place May 22. On the Soundtap Madness page you can see the station line-up for round 1.

Soundtap Madness started during March Madness in 2012 and had its second competition in 2013.

We cover the culture of college radio every Friday in our College Radio Survivor feature. If you have college radio news to share, please drop us a note at EDITORS at RADIOSURVIVOR dot COM.


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