Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Radio Matters: My Passion for Radio and Starting WXDR

Radio Matters is a new feature on Radio Survivor in which guest authors share their thoughts on the relevance of radio. In this post, radio veteran Pete Simon writes about his passion for radio and his role in the development of college radio station WXDR at University of Delaware and reflects on the future of the station (now known as WVUD). – Jennifer Waits, College Radio & Culture Editor, Radio Survivor
I have always carried with me a deep passion for all kinds of music, storytelling, and politics that started when I became hooked on the first radio program I remember, twenty years before WXDR signed-on the air on October 4, 1976. It was the nightly show on WILM with Mitch Thomas, one of the first African-American DJs in the country. “The Big MT” gave me a much-needed education in the world of rhythm and blues, blues, and jazz recordings. It is where I first heard Ray Charles, Dinah Washington, Louis Jordan, The Coasters, Etta James, Jimmy Smith, Clifford Brown, and other musical greats of the genre.