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program schedule for college radio station KSPC from fall 1997. Photo: J. Waits

College Radio Watch: WSOU Burrito, Praise for College Radio from Social Distortion Founder and More News

On the podcast this week, we talked about the uncertainty at CMJ and pontificated on why charts can be useful to radio stations and the music industry, including record labels, promoters and bands. I was thinking about those connections as I read musician Mike Ness’ statements about the importance of college radio in a Boulder Weekly article profiling his band Social Distortion. The piece states:

College radio has always been important to Social Distortion, and the entire alternative music scene, for decades. The entire genre started in record-stacked, basement college stations back in the mid-’70s and early ’80s. College DJs broke early punk and new wave bands coming out of places like NYC’s CBGB (Blondie, Ramones, Television, Talking Heads) and California. They also put bands like Devo, R.E.M. and the B-52s on the map.

‘I think the government does not want college radio because it does not want people pointing out things and making them accountable,’ Ness says. ‘I can’t express the urgency for that. That’s the youth, and they need to say what they need to say and get the message to the people to hear it. If it wasn’t for college radio, I don’t know how Social Distortion would have survived.'”

Those are some strong words in support of college radio, although I’m curious about the remark that the government is anti-college radio. What do you think? Are there forces working against college radio?

Arkansas Tour on the Podcast + Upcoming Arkansas College Radio Association Confab

Also on the podcast, I share more tidbits from my visit to college radio station KUOZ-LP at University of the Ozarks in Clarksville, Arkansas. It’s the latest tour from a really inspiring trip to Arkansas last fall. Speaking of which, I was super excited to hear that representatives from a number of college radio stations in Arkansas, including KXUA (my 115th tour), will be meeting up at the first meeting of The Arkansas College Radio Association this weekend at Hendrix College radio station KHDX (see my tour here). I can’t wait to hear the full report next week.

20th Anniversary of Sleeves on Hearts Show

Congratulations to Irwin Swirnoff for reaching the incredible milestone of the 20th anniversary of his radio show “Sleeves on Hearts.” Now on soon-to-be-LPFM San Francisco Community Radio (see my tour here), the program got its start over college radio at Pomona College station KSPC-FM (read about my tour here). Coincidentally, Swirnoff and I were both on the air there around the same time in the mid-to-late 1990s. After KSPC, Swirnoff took the show to KSDT at University of California, San Diego and then moved it to University of San Francisco station KUSF-FM (where I met him when I visited in 2009). When KUSF lost its FM channel in 2011, Swirnoff helped start an online station with many other former KUSF DJs and he’s been there at San Francisco Community Radio (SFCR) ever since.

Swirnoff writes that over the past 20 years he’s had numerous artists, writers and musicians on his show and has also “…hosted a yearly queer pride show and in depth two hour spotlights on artists including: Sylvester, John Fahey, Moondog, Grace Jones, and Betty(e)’s: betty harris, bettye swann, betty davis, betty carter, betty lavette, betty wright, betty everette.” Today from 10am to noon Pacific time, Swirnoff will be doing a special on-air celebration over SFCR (listen here) to mark 20 years on the air.

More College Radio News

Southwestern University Radio Returns to the Air (The Megaphone)

Harrow College Launches Student Radio Station (Harrow Times)

Fresh Student Radio to Launch as Online Station (Radio Info/Australia)

SA Approves WQKE Radio Funding (Cardinal Points Online)

KCR’s Comical Training Video (KCR)

Prairie Public Radio to End Broadcasts from UND (Grand Forks Herald)

Radio Executive Marv Dyson to Speak at ISU on February 27 (Illinois State University)

New College Radio LPFM The Prowl Seeks Student Participants (The Vanguard)

Noname to Headline WIUX’s Culture Shock (Indiana Student Daily)

Professor’s College Radio Past (The Cavalier Daily)

Behind the Mic: Aniel Roderickz and Cassidy Ta (KCR College Radio)

WSOU Student DJs Inspire Unique Burrito (WSOU)

Oakland University Radio Show on WXOU Promotes Small Acts of Kindness (Detroit Jewish News)

College of DuPage Officials Subpoenaed – Radio Engineer Trial to Begin (Illinois Leaks)

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