with Art Porebski

Queen of Soul Gets a Timely Retirement Special on KVMR

It's just the way KVMR 89.5 FM seems to be, sometimes... ready for the next big thing. 

Aretha Franklin announces she's retiring after this year, ironically, at the same time the Nevada City noncommercial station has scheduled a five hour retrospective of the woman known as the  "Queen of Soul". 

That'll take place this Sunday (Feb. 19), during the final day of the KVMR's "Get Inspired" winter membership drive, noon to 5 p.m. (89.5 FM, kvmr.org streaming), being coordinated by KVMR supporter and music expert Warren Dusenbury and three Sunday regulars, to feature different portions of Aretha's musical life:  gospel (noon to 1, with Meri St. Mary), blues (1 to 3, with Steve Cagle) and, of course, soul (3 to 5 p.m. with Michael Axelman).

Franklin told a Detroit TV station she'll end her career doing an album produced by fellow Motown legend Stevie Wonder this August. 

"And we're giving her a creative, thoughtful, maybe early thank you for her extraordinary impact on every field of music she touched," says KVMR Program Director Steve Baker. "Warren knows her career, inside and out, and you add in our three co-hosts, and we've got her covered the way she'd be proud of..."


But that's not all that's wrapping up the KVMR on-air membership drive. 

Broadcasters Michael Keene and Iris Bilodeau are all smiles about offering a new "KaniKaPila" teeshirt for Hawaiian music fans that very morning (Sunday, 10 a.m. to noon, 89.5 FM, kvmr.org streaming).

"You wear this shirt and you'll be transformed into thinking you're walking on a Hawaiian beach with the sand sifting through your toes," imagines Baker.  

And the 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday show also looks like a hoot.

Michael Young (soon to be seen as Uncle Funky in the Sgt. Funky revue appearing at the Miner's Foundry Mardi Gras Feb. 25) has once again invited KVMR Board President Diane McIntire to look back at the bands of an era where the East Coast and West Coast were competing for attention and innovation. 

Young will represent the east of the Talking Heads and south of the Allman Brothers, while McIntire will present everything from folk rock and punk from Seattle to Los Angeles, with some San Francisco Sounds thrown in for good. 


This week, the fun starts on Thursday when host Paul Barbieri will salute the passing of original Allman Brothers drummer Butch Trucks during the Morning Show (7 a.m. to 10 a.m., 89.5 FM, kvmr.org streaming.)

Then, at 10 a.m., Jennifer Robin presents a two-hour special dedicated to the Standing Rock water protectors in North Dakota.  Robin has spent three weeks at the scene and produced a hour-long national radio special and numerous reports for the station's native program "Dreamwalk".  She'll be offering highlights as membership thank you gifts.

And, as part of the station's "Get Inspired" membership  theme,  Jodi Selene hosts "The Talkies"  Thursday at noon for a talk with peace activist and retired  former U.S, Army Colonel Anne Wright, who has spent her post-government life in opposition to U.S. military intervention in Iraq and other places and has been arrested in standing up to the military, including joining anti-drone protestors as close to here as Beale Air Force base.

Wright is a powerful speaker about military excesses that have changed her life.


You have to get up pretty early this Friday to get tickets to an intimate 25-seat KVMR Community Room show Sunday, March 19. 

Stevie Coyle (The Waybacks) and Glenn Houston (Houston Jones) have left their bands to perform together humorously as "The Quitters."

And they'll be joined by KVMR favorite Joe Craven, who concert co-producer John Adams calls "the high priest of sitting in with bands."

The show is a benefit for KVMR, and tickets will be available as membership gifts during Adams' Early Morning Ramble program Friday from, yes, 4 a.m. to 7 a.m. 


Oh, don't worry, this Friday's "Cannabis Crusades" has lined up a pair of medical marijuana superstars, you might say. 

Guest host Forrest Hurd and outgoing host Patricia Smith have snared a pair of major speakers for the two-hour  Friday show beginning at noon (Feb. 17):

--Dr. Bonni Goldstien, medical director of Canna Centers, a medical practice devoted to educating patients about the use of cannabis for serious medical conditions.

--Valerie Corral, founder of the Wo/Men's Alliance for  Medical Marijuana, the nation's oldest medical cannabis collective that was raided in 2002 by federal DEA agents, causing arrests and destroying the collective's medicine.

The show will also be a farewell for Smith, who has hosted the program for four years.  She's taken a job in another county but hopes to remain a monthly correspondent.


Thomas Greener will play the 100 Favorite Songs of his nearly quarter century old program, "Ragged But Right" Saturday afternoon (1-4 p.m., 89.5 FM, kvmr.orgstreaming).

And Laura Miller's "Diamond and Rust" will feature her favorite Lucinda Williams songs, including a signed copy of Williams' Grammy-winning "Car Wheels On A Gravel Road" album for one listener, plus she'll feature a Joan Baez 75th birthday special on her 6 to 8 p.m. Saturday night show.