WOBC Time Machine: A Peek into the Station in the 1950s

It might be hard to visualize, but our station wasn’t always located on the 3rd floor of Wilder. In the mid-1950s, WOBC was broadcast from a garage behind a structure called Grey Gables, which stood where Mudd currently is today. When the construction of our beloved Brutalist library began, Grey Gables was demolished and WOBC moved to its current location. Here’s a peek into the station you never knew!


WOBC 1956

All images courtesy of Oberlin College Archives


Your Station Historian

Girls Broke Up, What’s Next for Christopher Owens?

My favorite band, Girls, broke up this summer. I wasn’t too distraught, because I held the hope that the two guys in the band would continue making music, but it was still upsetting; I had no idea what was next for Girls, so as a fan, I was in limbo. I was mainly focused on news from Christopher Owens, the lead singer and primary force behind Girls’ success. Aside from a few twitter posts from his account “Cri55yBaby,” there was no real news. It wasn’t until October that Owens resurfaced, announcing his intent to release his solo debut Lysandre in January 2013.

The only tracks from Lysandre released to this point have been “Lysandre’s Theme” and “Here We Go.” In my opinion, both tracks are successful, yet it’s necessary to acknowledge that musically, Christopher Owens solo project isn’t really similar Girls. Sure, the singer is the same, but the instrumentation is very different, with Owens citing classical guitar as one of his inspirations. It shows. “Lysandre’s Theme” is an instrumental, consisting of Owens on guitar, with a flute laced through the track. It provides an effective transition to “Here We Go,” in which the flute serves as continuation. Owens opens with guitar, largely similar to Girls’ “Just a Song,” before providing vocals, about 20 seconds into the new track. Hearing Owens’ voice for the first time provides relief and familiarity, and for a moment, it’s like Girls are back again. This nostalgia primarily was at the 2 minute mark, in which Owens solos on electric guitar, but it’s only for about 10 seconds.

Although there is only a glimmer of Girls in Christopher Owens’ solo project, fans should still find solace lyrically. The themes of heartbreak and love, focuses central to Girls’ prior success, are still present, and Owens still is able to convey the multitude of emotions he encompassed while still part of Girls. “Lysandre’s Theme” and “Here We Go” are both definitely work checking out, they’ll get you through until the album’s release.


Why Independent Freeform Radio?

Let’s remember the alternative.

There are no “minor leagues” and “major leagues” here, no contractual obligations to corporations, and no advertising dollars anywhere. New and interesting music is played 24/7, rather than being shoved into the middle of the night. We are completely independent and freeform from now until infinity.

Plus…Sean Price on the come-up??? Sean Price has been out here for more than a decade. He also has been reporting on hurricanes as of late.

But in all seriousness, his 2005 classic Monkey Barz is well-worth a listen.

APPLY for a winter term radio show!!!

Winter Term’s right around the corner, folks! Time to start thinking about what you wanna do for your awesome winter radio shows!

Applications are due January 7th, and programming runs from January 9th-January 30th.

Please note that our winter term broadcasting hours are from 10am-10pm on weekdays, noon-10pm saturdays, and noon-5pm sundays.


please feel free to e-mail any questions/concerns to wobc@wobc.org

Radio Show Profile: Pre-Post-Regional

Will Gautier, host of Pre-Post-Regional on WOBC, doesn’t like Drake. Although that alone may be enough to dismiss his musical tastes, Will does indeed know good music. I hear it often coming out of his quad in South, and if that is any indication, Pre-Post-Regional is probably an enjoyable hour of freeform.

Will Gautier, right, Age 5, 1997

I caught up with Will to talk about his show:

What is your show?
My show is called Pre-Post-Regional. It’s on Wednesday at 3 AM. Basically, each week I choose a different city and play some of its music. It’s mostly pre-2K, underground music, because the regional scene had definitely declined by that time with the advent of the internet. Typically, I’ll include some commentary and talk about the city and its musicians–I go for a little bit of coherence at least. I guess the point is to recreate a city’s music scene, as a musically-aware citizen would have experienced it.

How did you decide to focus on this particular genre/type of show?

Well WOBC has always impressed me with its commitment to freeform radio, so I wanted to do a show that would reflect that. I also like to know where a band comes from and how they fit in so I wanted to integrate that somehow. There’s no grand plan behind it, I just thought I would be fun to focus on the regional music scene. I guess it allowed me to take my own interest a little bit further, too.

How did the name come about?

I finished the WOBC application about five minutes before the deadline, so I just slapped a name on it. I like to think it makes pretty good sense, though.

How has the experience been?
It’s been a lot of fun. The show’s late, but I get some people out west, and I know I have some European listeners. I’ve had some interesting callers, including this drunk graduate from Madison, which was refreshing. I’ve also learned a lot about the music scenes in the cities I’ve profiled.

What can we expect to hear this week?
Louisville is next for me. I usually start with some pretty well-known musicians, so I’ll play some Slint and Will Oldham, although which of his many projects I’ll choose, I don’t know. You’ll definitely hear Soul, Inc.’s “Ultra Blue,” Four Fifty Six’s “The Mystery of Our Underpants”, Circle X’s “Tender”, and Poor Girls’ “(I Just Wanna Go) Pelvic”, but beyond that I haven’t really decided. In the meantime, everyone should hear the songs I just mentioned, so either tune in or look them up on YouTube, whatever is best.

Any other thoughts?

Dear Vinyl Workgroup–

“I still like you, but I don’t trust you anymore.”

We chose this music for you.

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Lady BJ Crosby is from New Orleans. She is also a singer.

Here are her sweet tunes. Below you see a picture of Lady BJ.

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This singer, Michael Quatro, sounds like Bowie and Queen AND a glass of iced Malibu that has been left on the table since 1976. It’s good. We hope you like it.. He is pretty cute, then and now.

Then                                                                  Now

91.5-MHz ◊ Oberlin College Community Freeform Radio ◊ Oberlin, Lorain County's Freeform Community Radio