Global A Go-Go presents:
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 here 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!
Oliver Lake, “Separation”
from Matador Of 1st & 1st
Passin Thru - 1996
Joe Strummer & The Mescaleros, “Global a Go-Go”
from Global a Go-Go
BMG Rights Management (US) LLC - 2001
Oumou Sangare, “Moussolou”
World Circuit - 1991
Ali Farka Toure, “Goye Kur”
from The Source
World Circuit - 1992
Mulatu Astatke, “Gambella”
Jazz Village - 2013
Extra Golden, “Thank You Very Quickly”
Thrill Jockey Records - 2009
Johnny Clegg, “Circle of Light”
Appleseed - 2014
Chico Trujillo, “Los Nervios Que Te di (feat. Kevin Johansen)”
Barbès Records - 2015
Chicha Libre, “Primavera en la Selva”
from Sonido Amazonico
Barbès Records - 2008
Dengue Fever, “Mr. Orange”
MRI - 2013
The Zydepunks, “Por La Orilla Del Mar”
Gogol Bordello, “Start Wearing Purple”
SideOneDummy Records - 2005
Boban & Marko Markovic Orchestra, “Caje Sukarije (Beautiful Girl)”
from Gipsy Manifesto
Piranha - 2013
Youssou N'Dour, “The Lion / Gaiende”
from The Lion
Virgin Records - 1989
Baaba Maal & Daandé Lénol, “Sehil”
Syllart Records - 1989
Orchestre Poly-Rythmo de Cotonou, “Ecoutes Ma Melodie”
Analog Africa - 2013
Posted In: Music Shows