The Dean’s List

There are few things that I enjoy as much as sharing music with people. Not just people that I know but people in general. It was my motivation for getting into radio from the very start. I was doing a play at the Warehouse of Living Arts Center in Corsicana in the late 90’s and I made a lifelong friend in David Ross. We both found the other had a fondness and an ability to recite Monty Python lines at length so we knew that our senses of humor were a definite match. David was working at KAND and I had taken announcing and broadcasting years before and radio was a goal for me.
So, I had an idea. The Texas Music scene was starting to explode and there were only a couple of places that offered the scene on the radio but absolutely nothing local. I asked David if there was a chance to get a local Texas Music show on the air and he and I started brainstorming as to what that show would be like. We both agreed that we would showcase the music that we deemed important to the scene and that we would discuss the music and the artist.
We fleshed out the idea and presented it by telling them that we would do the show for free and that they could sell all of it they wanted. Bam! They accepted the idea and The Farm was born. We had a Saturday morning time slot and we started playing Tommy Alverson (he was the first), Max Stalling, Ed Burleson, and many more. We featured these artists along with Willie, Gary P. Nunn, Townes Van Zandt, and many other artists that had been blazing the scene for years.
We were able to play so many of the new artists that were just getting their feet wet in the Texas Music scene along with the artists that were coming in out of Oklahoma in the Red Dirt scene. Texas newcomers like Wade Bowen and West 84, Randy Rogers, and even Miranda Lambert at 16. Yes, Miranda came by the KAND studio for an interview and we played her song “Texas as Hell”. Oklahoma had Cross Canadian Ragweed, Jason Boland and the Stragglers, and the Great Divide.
Nearly 100% of the music and artists had never been played on local radio. That was part of the initial meeting we had selling the show. We were going to feature a music scene that was not being presented to this community at all. We were going to break some fresh ground. We were not only going to feature music that you may be somewhat familiar with but also new artist that people should hear. After all, this was a fresh sound and it was exploding in college towns and those people were taking this music back to their communities and people were digging it on a groundbreaking level.
Promoters picked up on the fact that something was happening with this show so we started receiving CDs from them and artists far and wide. At that time, digital availability was not yet a thing so CDs were the main form of availability. We amassed over 1500 CDs very quickly and our collection continued to grow almost daily. It afforded us to do specialty shows with trucker tunes, gunfighter tunes, love songs, drinking songs, and artist specials and so many more options were available because of the growing availability of the music that the scene offered.
We began to have conversations with artist and promoters and we also started reporting our spins to a chart that started keeping up with the scene and the radio stations that played this music. It was very exciting. We started doing interviews live in the studio or over the phone and it was an amazing adventure. We lived up to our initial idea and grew upon that idea in many ways. We started a live series at a local barbque place enabling our listeners an opportunity to see some of these artists live and it also allowed us to get some face to face feedback on how we were doing and what they liked or disliked about the show. We were firing on all cylinders and we continued with the initial idea of sharing the scene and we stood side by side with our listeners as we all watched this scene blowup continually.
David and I both enjoy the fact that people still tell us that we were the first people to play this artist or that artist for them. Every time we hear that, we know that we hit our mark. We shared the music that you like to hear and we shared the music that you should hear. That has always been the goal. Sharing is caring and what a fun ride that the idea of sharing music created. Keep it Texas y’all.

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