All posts by Amanda Mummery

“From the Vaults” some WOBC Alumni Memories

Allen Ginsberg and Peter Money 1989
Allen Ginsberg and Peter Money 1989
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WOBC in 1956

WOBC’s outreach team sends a call to WOBC veterans to write us

their fondest memories and favorite radio-related anecdotes…

Here are some of the responses we’ve received:

David Dunn:

 I was with WOBC all 4 years of my time at Oberlin, waaaaaaaaaay back in the early 1980s.  Senior year I was the Jazz Director and Public Affairs Director.  We had equipment from the 1950s, and CDs weren’t even a twinkle in the future’s eye.  Everything was on LPs.

There were 2 other people on the “Executive Board”, as it was called back then, one named David Greene, and the other Karen Glauber.  Karen was on the air doing her show (she went on to do some pretty cool things with Indy Rock at A&M Records), and at the time there was a glass panel between the control room and the studio where we sometimes had live performances.  David thought it would be excellent to, well, drop his drawers and press his posterior against the glass while Karen was talking on the air.  Karen, upon seeing the full moon over Oberlin, proclaimed to her listening audience, “David Greene has pimples on his a**!!”

While not a moment for the broadcast journalism hall of fame, it was, nonetheless, rather funny, perhaps in a “you had to be there” kind of way??

My guess is that this kind of history is not exactly what you are seeking.  But, 30 year hence it still, so to speak, sticks out in my memory as a formative event during my WOBC years.

Can’t wait to drop by the station this commencement weekend!!  I haven’t been there since my 20th reunion, 10 years ago.  Thanks for putting this together!!

P.S.  I remain committed to being fully clothed in public despite that event, so no worries about the unsightly during my drop-in to WOBC!

 – David

 

Lucinda Walker:

I wasn’t a DJ but a newscast member. My first week, Jerry Parra (station manager) took time to teach us how to correctly pronounce “Nicaragua.”  Let’s just say that it took this Vermonter more than a few times to get it right!

– Lucinda Walker ’86

 

Peter Money:

Not a DJ but I married one.  Well, to qualify this:  I *was* a DJ, modestly a co-DJ, with my friend Kai downstairs at the ‘sco.  But my wife, Lucinda Walker (’86), now a small town library director in Vermont, did have a stint at OBC.  I ventured up into the “attic” of the radio station (“musty” and “ochre” come to mind) only once.  I think it was during my junior year, or early in my senior year, 1985,  I was interviewed inside a small interior studio by a middle-aged man from outside Oberlin who was an editor at a local literary journal The Black River Review (he had a regular show, as far as I know).  This constituted my first interview and, in a way, it was my “public foray” into authorship.  In my senior year, and–significantly–in a tiny room in the center of a gray off-campus house, I started listening to WOBC regularly–and I wish I had started earlier.  The connection to what the DJ chose to play was compelling, even while what was spinning were new worlds.  Back from the first Oberlin semester in Dublin, Ireland (having seen R.E.M. play to about fifty young Irish–AFTER they had played Finney), I was starting to find affinities beyond what I had previously known.

Long live OBC.  Viva!

Julia Doctoroff:

I had a show with Anna McGlynn (also ’07) where we interviewed writers, both students and professors. We got sort of sick of doing real interviews so one day we had “Jesus” come on as a guest. My mom and Anna’s mom both called in because they were worried we were being offensive.

Josh Rubin:
Wow, so many people I know in the thread. I was jazz director immediately after David Dunn, then Program Director for two years (first year shared the spot with Lorenzo “Jerry” Parra, second year Jerry was Station Manager and I was sole PD). Also friends with Peter and Lucinda during time at OC and after (hi, guys). Way too much history for me to tell all, so, since Dave posted and Lucinda mentioned Jerry, I’ll tell a story about the two of them. Jerry was in charge of news/public affairs in ’82-83. He liberated our newscasts from the old UPI teletype, brought in a very early PC (one of the infamous Oberlin Osbornes) and had us subscribe to Interlink/Interpress news service which we received via the computer for a more global perspective on news. Before he did this, he raised the issue with the board and some objected to giving up UPI. Dave gave an impassioned defense of Jerry’s vision and commitment to WOBC providing news that is as alternative as the music was. Dave’s speech ended with something to the effect of “after all of the great things this mensch, this bubbe, has done for WOBC news, we really ought to give him the benefit of the doubt.”

Other memories — Station Manager David Greene (81-82) climbing the antenna in a thunderstorm to make some repairs. Scared the shit out of us.

A live jam Louie Louie marathon — anyone could drop in with any instrument and join in. I think we played it continuously for 12 hours or more.

Interviewing Graham Chapman.

Finally, I commented on the April 7 history thread. I still don’t recognize who those people are.

— Josh Rubin ’85

 (And one more love note from a WOBC DJ)

Janney Lockman:

For me, WOBC has always been synonymous with cute guys. There’s just something about doing community radio and appreciating good music that makes people 100% more attractive to me. For reference, I usually go for people who look like pirates, but WOBC has expanded this taste to include people who look like heroin addicts and 1990s dads. Name a boy who was in a position of power at WOBC during my 4 year tenure here, and I will quickly relate an anecdote about the time we bonded over Kentucky, 13th Floor Elevators, or something weird at a filing party. Good lord, you’re all so cute.
 
WOBC parties provided many opportunities for flirting, failure, and NOT getting to make out with former Metal Director Charlie O’Hara. I could go on and on about the heartbreak, exciting stories, tears, belligerence and FEELINGS related to radio boys, but that would be dull. So all I’m gonna say is, if in 10-15 years, any of you fellas wanna be the cute music-nerdy father of my children, that’d be chill. We could name them Townes, and Loretta and they’d have excellent taste in music and they’d ALWAYS clap on the beat. Just throwing that out there…

If you have any WOBC related memories or love notes you would like to share, email them to outreach@wobc.org.

– Amanda Mummery

WOBC Love Notes: Part One

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DJs write in and share their feelings…

***

Doing my due diligence as a Freshman DJ, I was in the station sometime between 4 and 5 am on a Wednesday morning, probably jamming some Fiona Apple or something.  In my half-awake stupor, I wandered out of the station, down the sparsely lit hall towards the worst bathroom in Oberlin.  It wasn’t til I was back at the station door that I realized I had left ID card somewhere in the there.

I think a normal person may have just exited Wilder and gone home at this point but I got really nervous, didn’t want to cause dead-air and also needed all my stuff.  So I wandered around the dark halls of Wilder aimlessly trying to come up with a “plan” or find a custodian.  Eventually, I decided to jump the counter of the front desk and squeeze through the wood paneled curtain to look for a key or call someone? I found a girl’s ID back there that astonishingly granted me access into the station.

Later that week, I got a “talking to” from some of the board members in Decafe for breaking Wilder rules (I’ll never know how they knew about my break-in) but I think I did the right thing : ) the show must go on….

Another love letter….

I think some the best times of my life have gone down at WOBC parties.

– Emily Weber

***

A WOBC love note:

My show is named Hobo Deli in honor of a song written by Rip Smops, former WOBC DJ. The song is about a deli in upstate NY where hobos hang out. Rip told me he was really enticed by the deli but got “kicked out of town” before he had a chance to chill there, so he wrote a song about what he thought was inside the deli. He showed me some of the lyrics:

“Hobo deli, hobo deli/Onion bagel, butter and jelly/ Praise Jah”

I really liked them so I asked Rip if I could name my next radio show in his honor. When i first met Rippy i thought he was a weird older dude with long gray hair who really liked to play random tapes and flail in the dj booth. We had back-to-back shows for two semesters which ruled. Once I played Pink Floyd and he told me that “sucked” and that my music taste was “boring and predictable”. we would hang out in the station during my show and we talked about stupid people, vibes, aliens existing (i said no he said yes), feeling weird and enchiladas. When we no longer had back to back shows, he called into my show most weeks to tell me what he thought- he usually thought it was “ok”.  Rip was always hiding from Petra the (former) Operations Manager because he refused to log his shows and she was mad at him. He said he was “technology free” but he has an extensive website devoted to himself (www.ripsmops.net) so I question  the truth of this statement. When we no longer ran into each other every week in the station, we missed hanging out so we went to Lupitas to eat enchiladas or he called me and said “make dinner”  so I made us fish tacos. That was last summer before he moved from Oberlin to El Paso, TX. I miss Rip, I lost his phone number and finally ran into his friend Scott who gave it to me. We talked for awhile on the phone last week but it wasn’t the same as enchiladas at Lupitas or hanging out in the radio station. This one’s for Rip.

– Amanda Mummery

***

(We love ) the Wednesday show from 3-4 (I think it’s called What’s Jazz?) we love listening to it during our shift at decaf!

– Kaleena Fraga

***

Last summer on my show (Chameleon Radio, Mondays 10am-noon) I had a little brown bat visit the  studio!   It was on the floor and I thought it was a stuffed toy. I went to pick it up and it moved and I just about jumped out of my shoes!  I told the janitor about it and someone came and took the bat outof the building.

– Chuck Ryals

***

Hey, this is ██████, ████ ██ ███████ ██ ███████. You want a love note? Well..

Here’s one for Fiz.

I sat next to her at the general meeting, and had a lovely chance encounter with her at a house party and delved into discussing Trust. I was under the assumption we were talking about Trust (a little loved French Metal band with a unique blend of AC/DC and NWOBHM) but not Trust (A Canadian Synthpop band that can arguably be called Darkwave.) Now, I haven’t the metal to face time with her, but still.. I’m sure there’s a few choice Dave Mustaine lyrics (perhaps some from Mechanix) and maybe Accept (Metal Heart and Breaker?) that go rushing through my head like an electric shock. I’m wondering if there can be anymore cheesy one liners thrown in combined with music references.. Hmm, I guess for Fiz, I’m Hellbent for Denim.

Love,

Anonymous (But not the sh**ty Anonymous from Horde who put out that ‘Christian’ Black Metal Album Hellig Usvart)

– Anonymous
***

The most recent, amazing event in my WOBC career:

Tuesday night, 9PM, the Junkyard Brown Radio show, spinning all your favorite New Wave, Shoegaze, PUNK, post-punk, grundge and goth jams from the 70’s-present.

So I play my second song of the night, a cute little riot girl punk number, and no less than a minute into it I get a call from a girl asking,

“Hey, can you play a different song? This song is just really crunchy and I have a headache.”

In my mind, I thought…hmm, you’re not going to like the rest of the show, and who is forcing you to listen to the radio.

bah-humbug!

– Bee Brown
***

One morning during the spring of my second year at Oberlin when my show, “Day/Night Dreams,” was in its first iteration a stranger called me up. He said he was from Chicago and that he worked in a restaurant that was just opening up for the day and that their Pandora wasn’t working, so he’d somehow stumbled upon my show on WOBC to listen to while he cleaned off tables or something. He said I was >>killing it<<, that I was the best he ever h(e)a(r)d. He asked me to play a song by The Clean, so I did, and later on in the hour HE CALLED ME BACK and asked to hear something by The Vaselines, so I frantically searched for something by them related to my theme and played “The Devil’s Inside Me.” I couldn’t believe he’d called me twice, and every week after that I waited for another call from him requesting more songs, asking me to elope and waitress with him etc. etc. He never called me back, and I still wonder if it was just a friend who knew too well that I’d be entranced by the story of some mysterious boy fatefully coming across my radio show while he worked in some restaurant some morning some where. Either way it was a very memorable Day/(Night) Dream during a groggy WOBC morning. And if he ever calls back…

– Emma Smith
***

An anonymous caller who goes by the name Mr Jiminy frequently called into my shows, requesting things like Macy Gray and the theme song from Boobah in a spooky voice, but it turns out that it’s just my friend Devon.

Brian Becker
***

One of my happiest memories of the year was receiving a call from my friend in London, England. I had told him that I had a radioshow from 4-5am, and he and his family were just getting up to begin their day when he decided to give the WOBC a call. It touched me that he remembered a little detail from a past a conversation and took, all the way from across the pond, the initiative to talk to me on an otherwise very lonely morning.

– Nolan Scharper

 *** Submit Your Feelings to Outreach@wobc.org ***

-Amanda Mummery

Buy and Sell Records, CDs, Tapes and Trinkets at WOBC’s Annual Block Party!

 

block10 On Saturday April 27th from 1-4pm WOBC is hosting our annual block party in Park Street Park! (Potential rain date Sunday April 28th)

This year we’d like to host a record sale and flea market and we’re calling all music enthusiasts and eccentric collectors to help us. We need vendors! If interested, contact outreach@wobc.org.

The block party will also feature a 3 vs. 3 basketball tournament, four-square, performances and DJ sets by local artists, food trucks, and an open chess tournament. To register as a basketball team, just email outreach@wobc.org.

The block party is free and open to everyone so please do come out for a day of family fun in support of your local radio station.

PS – don’t forget to register yourself and two buds as a bball team.

Featured Show: Cheap Thrills with DJ Emmylou

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This blog post spotlights Cheap Thrills with DJ Emmylou, which is currently in its third installment.

How would you describe the overall sound and vibe of your show?

DJE: I have my limbs straddling about a dozen musical thresholds when I plan a show. I am enamored by so many different types of music–psychedelic rock, old folk standards, shoegaze, 90s grunge, proto-punk… the list goes on. So I have never felt comfortable devoting a show to one single genre or sound. Instead of taking that programming route, my shows, to be unintentionally vague, are based around a centering “vibe.” When I plan Cheap Thrills every week, I work off of viscera that music can make almost tangible. That might sounds pretentious or like a cop-out, but that’s truly the case. My shows have coherence, but not necessarily stylistic coherence.

What do you like best about having a weekly radio show and about radio in general?

DJE: Having a radio show has been a great creative and emotional outlet for me. Planning and putting on a show have always proved cathartic activities, and I like the idea of creating a product with the audience (listener) in mind. Working with WOBC has been a highlight of my time at Oberlin. Being involved with the station has given me an appreciation for radio–as a medium of expression, resistance, information–that I never could have imagined prior.

What is your wildest dream?

DJE: Recently I’ve been fantasizing a lot about the Sistine Chapel (I’ve never been). I’ve been fantasizing about Jimi Hendrix for a long time now. So I guess a crazy dream of mine would be to live in the Sistine Chapel as Jimi’s wife. We would take over The Vatican and replace Catholicism with some sort of magical/witchy religion vaguely resembling Wicca, with Hecate as its primary deity. Our daughter would be named Lillith, and Axis: Bold as Love our mantra. Continue reading Featured Show: Cheap Thrills with DJ Emmylou

WOBC Outreach Invites the Oberlin Community onto the Airwaves

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Hello Oberlin!  This semester WOBC’s outreach coordinators are hosting a weekly radio program, Within Reach, every Saturday from 5-6 pm. This hour is dedicated to the voices, stories and opinions of members of our immediate and greater community. We hope to provide a platform for creative and empowering self-expression and an opportunity for those with or without previous radio experience to get onto the airwaves.

Our community radio station is a valuable and powerful resource and we aim to make involvement with WOBC as open and accessible as possible. We are also interested in hearing your ideas about how WOBC can further serve and enrich our community.  If you have a story to tell, music to play or an issue/idea to discuss we’d love to hear from you! We would also love to show you around the station and chat about all things radio and beyond. Participants of all ages and abilities are encouraged, from 0 – 100 +, just contact us at outreach@wobc.org.