As subtle hints of autumn chill begin to perforate the still-crickety evenings and fog-nestled mornings here in Whitesburg, we here at WMMT wanted to take a minute and reflect on The Summer That Has Been. From what many visitors dubbed “the best Seedtime festival in years” in early June through a summer filled with a diverse array of special events and happenings, we’ve certainly kept busy, and some other media outlets have taken notice! Here’s a smattering of some recent press WMMT has received:
Ronnie Ellis, a syndicated columnist based in Frankfort, Ky., wrote a fantastic piece on his experience listening to WMMT while visiting eastern Kentucky. Highlights:
As I followed a friend’s pickup along the serpentine, undulating road through lush forests and past the Magoffin County line and into Floyd County, I listened to the world’s best radio station: WMMT out of Whitesburg. . . I love the disc jockeys who obviously love their jobs, the eclectic music and their home in the mountains around Whitesburg. I love the conversational way they speak to (and not at) listeners as they sometimes fumble to cue up the next song. It’s more like someone’s front porch or hearth than the usual mindless rattle of most dee jays.
[ed.'s note: all our DJs are volunteers! but they certainly all love what they do, as do we.]
Calls From Home, WMMT’s weekly program broadcasting phone messages from friends and loved ones to those incarcerated in central Appalachia’s prison system, has received a great deal of fantastic press this summer, especially in the wake of the hunger strike that took place just across Pine Mountain (and well within our listening area) at the Red Onion State Penitentiary.
- WRIR 97.3 FM, Richmond (Va.) Independent Radio, put together an incredible, half-hour long radio piece on the hunger strike and Calls from Home, which you can hear right here.
- The Abolitionist, a publication of Critical Resistance, featured an article on Calls From Home titled, “From the Inside Out: Prisoner Voices and Radio Waves,” which you can see by clicking the link and scrolling down to page 6. Sylvia Ryerson, DJ “Sly Rye,” and John “Mac” Gaskins, a community organizer who was formerly incarcerated at Red Onion, both contributed to the article.
- The San Francisco Bay View ran an article about both the Red Onion hunger strike and Calls From Home.
- And Truthout also published a story about the Red Onion strike and the Calls From Home program.
We mentioned it on here before, but it bears repeating our gratitude once again: in advance of a WMMT fundraiser that took place in Lexington on July 7 featuring none other than Bonnie “Prince” Billy, our most wonderful, generous, and talented friends in Lexington put together some incredibly cool press (thank you all so very much!):
- Ace Weekly, Lexington’s alternative paper, ran a fantastic article by Kakie Urch promoting the show, featuring this gem: “WMMT was local before local was cool.”
- The Chevy Chaser Magazine out of Lexington was wonderful enough to run a q & a about WMMT and the show (many thanks to Ms. Saraya Brewer!)
The Hazard Herald newspaper in Hazard, Ky. wrote a great article profiling WMMT’s recent Coal Miner Dedication Day.
Finally, WMMT’s intrepid Community Engagement Director Sam Neace (a/k/a the Killer Neace / Green Eggs & Uncle Sam / Samsonite Luggage / Samwise the Mellifluous / “Sam”my Hagar / etc.) wrote a wonderful guest-blog for the National Center for Media Engagement on WMMT’s community survey project, titled “Want to Know What Your Community Needs? Just Ask.”
Thanks to all for their wonderful writing and their most generous help in what has been a whirlwind of a ridiculously fun summer for all of us at WMMT. From attending Louisville Loves Mountains in May to Seedtime & the NFCB conference in June to the Bonnie “Prince” Billy show & the Forecastle Festival in July to the Tacoma Fundraiser here in August to the hunger strike work throughout, not even to mention the regular, we-put-the-”possum”-in-”chaos” (just go with it) day-to-day operations here at WMMT, it’s been a heck of a summer. Thanks to each and every one of you for being a part of our Mountain Community, and stay tuned for the certain uncertainty that the fall will bring on your Mountain Community Eclectic Public Radio station, WMMT.