Thursday, October 15, 2009

It's a family affair on KDUR's 35th anniversary pledge drive

Yep, that's me. On the radio.

Well, not yet, anyway. But Monday morning at 9:30 a.m. that'll be me, on KDUR!

I'll be on the air as part of KDUR's fall fund drive, Oct.16 - 23, the theme of which is "It's a Family Affair." Why? I have no idea. I'll make sure Bryant Liggett explains it on the air.

While there, I'll be on talking the praises of community radio, and community in general, and our grand, festive, friendly, and oftentimes pleasantly peculiar community in particular. And rivers. And skiing. And fishing. And public lands. And ... well, you get the idea. That's my definition of "family."

So call in and give money when I'm there. Okay? 970-247-7262.

This year is -- sort of -- KDUR's 35th anniversary. Below is the first few paragraphs of a story I wrote for the Durango Telegraph on the station's 30th anniversary that explains its two anniversaries -- fake broadcasting, and real broadcasting:

On May 13, 1975, a strange, melodic sound spilled out over Durango. It was a flute, and a singer, and folk music. It was, to be exact, “Because of Rain,” by Tim Weisberg. And it was the first song aired on KDUR, the public radio station on the Fort Lewis College campus.

Actually, very few people heard that first song on the KDUR airwaves. The semester had already ended and the students headed home. And the 10-watt signal broadcast at 91.9 FM didn’t reach very far: this was verified by a friend of the DJ who chose that Tim Weisberg song for that monumental occasion. That friend was driving north on U.S. 550 carrying a transistor radio to see how far the signal would carry.

In fact, even though this was KDUR’s first real broadcast, it wasn’t the beginning of KDUR radio. KDUR was officially birthed in 1974, when the college gave a small group of students a room in the basement of the College Union Building, some equipment that had been purchased years before, and $3,000 in student fees to found a campus radio station. The stipulation was that for the first year, KFLC (as they hoped it would be assigned by the FCC) was to “broadcast” through hardwired speakers in the CUB, so the staff could practice being responsible on-air personalities.

“We’re so used to the all the communications we have today, kids don’t realize we didn’t have those 30 years ago,” says Jim Vlasich, that Weisberg-playing DJ three decades ago, and KDUR’s first station manager. Vlasich today is a professor of history at Southern Utah University. “Music college kids were listening to back then wasn’t played on mainstream radio stations.”
Read the entire story here.

KDUR is Fort Lewis College's community radio station. Check it out at 91.9 or 93.9 in and around Durango. Or listen online at
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