It all starts with illustrated magnets, a hike, Essential Backroads, what someone has up his bluegrass sleeve, the Greatest Hits of World War I, a Classical Music Love-In, a ghost tour of Nevada City, Music South Of A Border, Imagine, Harmony Ridge, Pink Floyd, Women in Folk, maybe some Cole Porter and definitely lots of Tom Petty.
Whew, does that sound like KVMR 89.5 FM or what?
Or at least the first half of the Nevada City non-profit radio station’s fall on-air membership drive, beginning this Friday (October 12).
“Make Your Voice Heard” and “Make A Difference” are the themes of the campaign, according to KVMR membership coordinator Adriana Kelly. “And we want that to carry over into the elections as well.” In fact, KVMR’s lobby will be full of voter registration information. “You vote, you count,” noted a beaming Kelly.
It kicks off with Friday Morning hosts Jerianne Van DIjk and Todd Wahoske offering artist Van Dijk impressions of the two on illustrated magnets (7-10 a.m. Friday) in celebration of Jerianne’s 20th anniversary on KVMR.
Next thing you know Garden Forum host Robyn Martin will be custom-made gift baskets at 1 p.m. that day.
And Hap Hazard has another smile on his face so you know something’s up on his Espresso Music Magazine (4-6 p.m. Friday) when he and fabled local author/ archeologist Hank Meals offer a guided hike on Spaulding Trail from Lake Bowman Road to Fordyce Creek.
According to Kelly, “Hank’s hikes give a widened perspective on the natural beauty and splendor of our area and how it’s been impacted by local populations, including miners and native populations who came before.”
Saturday lets Larry Hillberg offer the final time listeners can pick up the 6-CD set Essential Backroads during his 7-10 a.m. folk and Americana show, while County Line Bluegrass host Eric Rice will likely figure whether pet dogs or cats like his program the most.
Usually on early morning, broadcaster Ruby Slippers will give listeners a unique pop culture chance to “Click Your Heels Together” during Saturday afternoon primetime (2- 4 p.m.) and celebrate pop and novelty cowboy tunes.
And Dead Air hosts John Taber and Chris Towne make sure what a long strange trip it’s been, with Grateful Dead goodies for all new or renewing members Saturday night, beginning at 8 p.m.
Just after Michael Keene’s “Kanikapila” Hawaiian music show 10 a.m. to noon Sunday, well, longtime KVMR contributor T. J. Meekins joins the fray with a remarkable entry into some dramatic new turf.
No Kings of Western Swing this time, Meekins takes you back a hundred years, yup, “The Popular Music of World War I.”
“With the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day this November, marking the end of the Great War, this program provides a soundtrack of popular songs from the war years,” said Meekins. “You’ll hear short biographies of prominent artists and a look at how recordings were made between the turn of the century and the dawn of the Jazz Age.”
That means selections from Ada Jones, one of the earliest female singers ever to be recorded and the first woman recording artist to achieve worldwide fame,with hits like “Shine On Harvest Moon” and “By The Beautiful Sea.”
“You’ll also meet Henry Burr, the Canadian-born tenor, who lost count himself at 12,000 recordings,” Meekins noted. “He was the first King of Pop.”
From Tin Pan Alley goes Ragtime to W. C. Handy and the Birth Of The Blues to Marion Harris, the Songbird of Jazz, who scored quite the hit with “When Alexander Takes His Ragtime Band To France” in 1918.
And she hasn’t even gotten to Al Jolson, known as “The World’s Greatest Entertainer,” much less Irish-born tenor John McCormack.
Some guy named Irving Berlin did well with a large variety of music originals, although his 1918 “God Bless America” wouldn’t be heard until Kate Smith sang it in 1938.
Meekins’ masterpiece will be heard at noon both this Sunday and again at noon next Wednesday.
Later Sunday at 5 p.m., it’s a classical music “love-in” as supporters/hosts of classical music on KVMR gather to celebrate its possible return to a weekly program, including special guest InConcert Sierra’s Aileen James, who’d hosted a monthly classical program on the station for much of this decade.
“She simply brought new life to classical music on our station as it left public radio, station after station,” said KVMR Program Director Steve Baker. “She made us see its new importance in an era when others sadly eliminated it. Now it’s rip-roaring on 89.5 FM.”
By Monday morning, Baker himself will be offering something wildly different on his 7-10 a.m. morning show: a haunted walking tour of downtown Nevada City featuring actor/author Mark Lyon, who has been conducting them for 15 years now.
“It’s a unique opportunity for both locals and others in our listening area to learn about the paranormal experiences you can have right here,” explained Baker. “As we approach Halloween, this is the perfect time of year to have fun with this sort of thing and learn about a whole other side of our town.”
It’ll take place late afternoon Sunday, October 21st. “Besides, Mark always knows where the ghosts are,” added Kelly with a smile.
Catherine Allen mixes Afro and Latin rhythms on a special renamed “South Of A Border” Monday 10 a.m. to noon., while Tuesday brings a pair of unique daytime specials to the on-air membership drive mix.
At 10 a.m. Tuesday, pop culture music critic Mark Leviton explores the mystical beauty of John Lennon’s classic song, “Imagine.”
The composition recently has become the source of a new book about, yup, this single song and its impact upon society since it was released in 1971, and there is a new recording detailing how “Imagine”, well, happened.
“This is a do-not-miss special that examines the importance of one of the most amazing songs of our lives,” Baker added. “You know Mark will have an expert’s take on it.”
At noon Tuesday, longtime Harmony Ridge host Brian Terhorst hosts a music special featuring City Folk and their new album and DVD of their KVMR benefit show last November, plus folksinger Richard Shindell and his upcoming KVMR benefit show at the Nevada Theatre October 30th. Terhorst will also add autumnal lyrical surprises to his program mix.
PINK FLOYD SPECIAL
And Tuesday night at 8 p.m. gives new broadcaster Paul Berger a chance to explore the musical heritage and originality of the wildly popular ’60s pop group Pink Floyd on “The Other Side.”
Wednesday at 10 a.m. brings a John Rumsey themed special on the “Women In Folk” celebrating their beloved contributions to the genre over the past half century.
Meanwhile, Diane McIntire wasn’t exactly sure what she’ll be doing on her new series, “Now And Then,” Wednesday at 2 p.m., but she’s thinking it just might have a nice assortment of Cole Porter songs. Got the message.
And the Wednesday Music Magazine — with hosts Connie Coale and Jenny Michael — will feature cuts from Tom Petty’s new posthumous music collection, “An American Treasure,” which he, um, was.
That’s just a slice of what the “Make Your Voice Heard” drive is offering over the KVMR 89.5 FM airwaves.