October 23, 2021

WRIR's Fall 2021 fund drive

WRIR's Fall 2021 Fund Drive is now underway -- we're working to raise $45,000 by Wednesday October 27 to power "the tower of low power" in Richmond for another six months. Thank you if you have previously donated to Richmond Independent Radio; I'm writing to encourage you to make a donation once again this fall, if you can. You can make that donation in two minutes by clicking this link: wrir.org/donating.
This time around, WRIR's Social Media folks asked all of our DJs to submit a photograph of ourselves and a response to the question "Why do you volunteer at WRIR?" My photograph is above, and my answer is the same today as it was when I started volunteering back in 2004, a year before we went on the FM airwaves: "Because the public airwaves belong to the public."
Back in 2004, Richmond radio was a vast wasteland. Almost everything you heard on the radio was pre-recorded and taste-tested somewhere other than here. Half the commercial radio stations were owned by one company. We had a single National Public Radio (NPR) affiliate (most cities of Richmond's size had two or more) and most of its programming, good as it may have been, came from elsewhere too. The only broadcast college radio station was University of Richmond's WDCE, with a signal that was hard to pick up in many parts of the city. There was no community radio station at all. Good times!
Radio was essentially the moneyed classes and the chattering classes talking at you (mostly talking down to you) and, crucially, trying to sell you stuff (goods, services, ideas). There had to be a better way: What if Richmonders from all walks of life had the ability to use the broadcast media in order to educate, enlighten and entertain their fellow citizens? Radio could then be the megaphone of the people, instead of just another way of keeping you in your place.
That's the idea behind Richmond Independent Radio, and that's still what we do. A few things have changed since then; for example, social media was invented. But most of social media is either the chattering classes talking down to you (pretty good definition of Twitter) or your insane brother-in-law yelling at you (even better definition of Facebook). And radio is pretty much the same as it was in 2004, except Rush Limbaugh is dead (replaced by an army of dittohead talking heads) and a couple of NPR affiliates have been added to the mix. The more things change, the more they stay the same.
Now, let me turn the question around: "Why do you listen to WRIR?" If WRIR is an important part of your life and your community, then please join me in donating to people-powered Richmond Independent Radio. I'll be on the air this Sunday at 1 PM with a special fund drive edition of Global A Go-Go, focusing (as I did during the spring fund drive) on all the great live music I've had the opportunity to see and hear over the years, as the world of live music slowly rouses itself from a pandemic slumber. But you don't have to wait until Sunday to donate -- you can do it now!
Again, the place to visit to make your donation is wrir.org/donating, or simply go to our website at wrir.org and start filling out the form on the home page. Thank you so much for your support in the past, and I hope WRIR can count on you once again in Fall 2021. Long live Richmond Independent Radio!

Artist | Country | Song | Recording | Label | Year
Oliver Lake | USA | Separation | Matador Of 1st & 1st | Passin' Thru | 1997
Joe Strummer & The Mescaleros | England UK | Global A Go-Go | Global A Go-Go | Hellcat | 2001
Oumou Sangare | Mali | Moussolou | Moussolou | World Circuit | 1989
Ali Farka Toure | Mali | Goye Kur | The Source | World Circuit | 1993
Mulatu Astatke | Ethiopia | Gambella | Sketches Of Ethiopia | Jazz Village | 2013
Extra Golden | Kenya-USA | Thank You Very Quickly | Thank You Very Quickly | Thrill Jockey | 2009
Johnny Clegg | South Africa | Circle Of Light | Best, Live & Unplugged At The Baxter Theatre, Cape Town | Appleseed | 2014
Chico Trujillo | Chile | Los Nervios Que Te Di | Reina De Todas Las Fiestas | Barbes | 2015
Chicha Libre | France-Venezuela-Mexico-USA | Primavera En La Selva | Sonido Amazonico! | Barbes | 2008
Dengue Fever | Cambodia-USA | Mr. Orange | Venus On Earth | M80 | 2008
The Zydepunks | USA | Por La Orilla Del Mar | Live at WRIR August 8, 2008 | | 2008
Gogol Bordello | USA-Ukraine-Russia-China-Scotland UK-Ethiopia-Ecuador-Belarus | Start Wearing Purple | Gypsy Punks: Underdog World Strike | SideOneDummy | 2005
Boban & Marko Markovic Orcheatra | Serbia | Caje Sukarije | Gipsy Manifesto | Piranha | 2013
Youssou N'Dour | Senegal | The Lion (Gaiende) | The Lion | Virgin | 1989
Baaba Maal & Daande Lenol | Senegal | Sehil | Wango | Syllart | 1987
Eskill & Vicky Accompagnees Par Le T.P. Poly-Rythmo | Benin | Ecoutes Ma Melodie | 152 Kg De Voix | Ama Sun | 1980

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