DISCLAIMER: This is not a comprehensive list by any means, and programmers are listed in alphabetical order. If you are a programmer and would like to be listed, send us an email at [email protected] and we’ll get you on!
Linda & Wendell Bartley: “Bluegrass Patches” (Wednesdays from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.)
Linda Bartley, a.k.a. “Barefoot Nellie,” is originally from Virginia but lives now in Pike County, KY. She has been a volunteer at WMMT for over 5 years and currently is co-host of Bluegrass Patches with & their Jack Russell, “Patches”. In addition to sewing and cooking, Linda loves music, DJ’ing, and WMMT radio. She says, “It’s a wonderful feeling to hear my listeners call in and request songs, without them my shows would be very dull.” Nope. Not a chance. She loves the music and her listeners too much. We don’t believe there’s any way her shows could be dull.
Wendell Bartley, a.k.a. “Jukebox Charlie,“ lives in Pike County, KY and, in addition to his yeoman’s work for WMMT, is a long time musicianer and member of one of our area’s finest groups, The Bluegrass Reflections. Jukebox Charlie has been playing Bluegrass, Gospel & Old Time on the air waves of 88.7 for over 5 years and is co-host of Bluegrass Patches with Barefoot Nellie and their Jack Russell, “Patches.” In addition to making music and DJ’ing, Wendell enjoys camping and meeting our listeners at WMMT’s Bluegrass Express & other live shows. Jukebox Charlie enjoys all the calls and says about our listeners, “I wish to thank them for their nice comments about my shows.” And so do we.
Zelma Forbes: “Sweet Tater’s Tubers” (Wednesdays from 1 p.m. – 3 p.m.) and in rotation on From the Roots (Saturdays from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.)
Zelma, a.k.a. Sweet Tater, is a Professor of Mathematics with the Kentucky Community and Technical College System. She lives in Neon, Kentucky with her son William and five cats. Zelma likes to play the banjo, dance, sing, and grow plants.
The Hall Family (Big Willard, Angie, & Lil’ Willard): “The Scuttlehole Gap Get-Together” (Tuesdays from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.), “The Bluegrass Express”(Thursdays from 7 p.m. – 10 p.m.), & “Destiny’s Road” (Sundays from 4 p.m. – 7 p.m.)
Our dear friend Willard Hall, a.k.a. Big Willard, hailed from Knott County, and was the longtime host of The Scuttlehole Gap Get-Together, which aired for some 25 years every Tuesday morning on WMMT. His program was a mainstay of WMMT’s bluegrass schedule, and he also helped host the Bluegrass Express Live! series of live bluegrass concerts here at the Appalshop. Willard was also a veteran, a pilot, an avid Bluegrass music collector, and a mainstay at Bluegrass Festivals throughout the region. He was even featured in Herb E Smith’s Appalshop Film “The Ralph Stanley Story” and emceed Ralph’s Hills of Home Festival for 30+ years. He passed away in 2014, and we miss him terribly. But we will always be thankful for his many years here on the radio.
But we are pleased to have Willard’s young’uns still with us on the radio! Angie & Little Willard host WMMT’s Bluegrass Express on Thursday nights, and they take care of the emcee-ing for our live performance shows. Little Willard also DJs the Destiny’s Road country music program on Sunday evenings from 4 to 7 p.m.
And, of course, the Hall family boasts Blue Highway’s & everybody’s favorite “Mom,” the legendary Big Weezie.
This program actually began in 1994 when the late Buck Maggard made the acquaintance of Big Bill Harris, an avid devotee of old-time country music from Nebo, North Carolina. Bill started sending WMMT “Shaking Down the Possums,” a 30-minute show featuring string bands, brother duets, early bluegrass, country/western, honky-tonk and more. Buck ran that show as part of “Deep in Tradition” for nearly two years. Recently, Rich Kirby started playing some of these tapes on DIT. One day he wondered out loud where Bill might be these days. Redoubtable listener Miley Twyman got busy on the internet and before the end of the day we were in touch with Bill again.
Bill writes, “I want to thank you for running my programs again. I have been on many stations since 1988. The longest running program was on a station in Waterford, Ireland, 8 years. I went to electronic school in Columbus, Ohio for three years to study radio and TV, received my broadcast permit in 1964 at East Tennessee State in Johnson City. I started on a station WMCH in Church Hill, Tennessee in 1956. They taught me how to cue and set the volume and all the ins and outs. … I do this just for the fun of it and keep the old time music going so the new generation can hear what real music should sound like. One station said he enjoyed my music but did not like my voice. Well, I may not have a good voice for broadcasting but I think I have the best and greatest dog gone country and western music around. I attended voice school in Asheville, North Carolina, there were around 20 members and I never finished. Our instructor wanted us to talk like we were from the north. Well, I tried. I could not get this southern accent out of my heart.”
Rich has been following traditional mountain music for over forty years. His roots lie in eastern Kentucky; he has lived in Scott County, Virginia since 1973 and learned music from family, neighbors, and “old masters” of the tradition across the region. He plays banjo, fiddle, mandolin and guitar. Rich performed for many years with Tom Bledsoe; Rich and Tom joined with John McCutcheon to create the popular band Wry Straw. Rich has worked at WMMT since 1990. He took over “Deep in Tradition” when Buck Maggard passed away in 1999. He currently performs with Rich and the Po’ Folk. www.myspace.com/richandthepoorfolks
E-mail: [email protected]
Originally from northwest Indiana, Scott Lucero moved to eastern Kentucky in the early 1990s. After having completing his Master’s Degree in English Literature at the University of Kentucky, he took a job at Hazard Community & Technical College. He’s been teaching there ever since.
The first summer he lived in eastern Kentucky, he stumbled across WMMT. He got to hear Curt Henderson play songs he grew up with and had the good fortune to hear Starvin’ Marvin play “Achy Breaky Heart” three times in a row because Marvin liked it so much. Soon thereafter, he placed a call to Jim Webb to ask about becoming a volunteer himself.
At first, Scott subbed for some shows and after a bit of time was given a slot on Sundays. He alternated every other week with Alligator John. Once Gator took his leave, Scott’s show “No Depression” alternated with the “Spaceship of Fools” and, later, “The Nyt Kitchen.” As his family grew, it became more difficult for Scott to continue his Sunday night show. As soon as a slot opened, Scott took the Friday morning spot and “Stay Human Radio” was born. Now, Stay Human Radio has moved to Friday afternoons at 1:00 p.m.
Stay Human Radio plays a pretty eclectic mix of music. The first half of the show is almost entirely classic and neo-soul and funk, and the first Friday of every month is dedicated entirely to this type of music. You’ll hear the likes of Spearhead, Mary J Blige, Anthony Hamilton, and The Spinners. The other three weeks or so a month, he shifts gears about half way through. He plays a substantial set of Bruce Springsteen and bands like Steely Dan, Jenny Lewis and the Watson Twins, Nick Drake, and the Weepies.
A teacher and writer, Scott’s work has appeared in Skylark, Kudzu, The Heartland Review, memoir (and…), VerbSap, and in PLUCK! The Journal of Affrilachian Arts & Culture. He lives in Breathitt County, Kentucky, with his wife and their two children.
Pat, Forrest, & Eric (Kill Your Radio) (Tuesdays from 10pm-12am)
Kill Your Radio began with a phone call from Eric to Pat suggesting that they start doing a podcast. After a few months the guys finally got their formula worked out and began airing Kill Your Radio weekly. Soon they began covering events (Rock on The Range, Orion Music + More, Fandom Fest, Scarefest, ETC.) and interviewing some of the biggest musicians and actors in entertainment today. The guys were soon featured on internet radio and garnering audiences of over 250,000 worldwide, but the dream was always to be on terrestrial radio. Forrest came into the mix in mid May of 2013 and with the line-up complete, the KYR crew has now found a home with WMMT in Whitesburg, KY.
Jonathan Piercy – “The Zen Arcade” (every other Tuesday from 7 – 10 p.m.) and “What’s Cookin’ Now!” (the first Wednesday of every month from 6 – 7 p.m.)
Jonathan has been the host of “The Zen Arcade” ever since its creation in September of 2008. Before that, he was the host of WMMT’s “Spaceship of Fools” for over two years.
His first concert was Whitney Houston with special guest Kenny G at Rupp Arena, circa 1988, and he’s spent the rest of his life trying to make up for that.
When he’s not agressively hunting down great music, Jonathan is a physician and professor of family medicine in Hazard, KY. He is also an avid cook and foodie, and co-hosts (with the inimitable Jenny Williams) WMMT’s monthly live cooking show, “What’s Cookin’ Now!”
WMMT went on the air around Thanksgiving of 1985. Wiley Quixote began his radio version of tilting at windmills a couple of weeks later. We’d like to say the world is a better place for it but we’re not sure. And since we are Real People Radio, we wouldn’t want to prevaricate. Commutation ain’t likely for the likes of us. A native Letcher Countian by way of the proverbial stint in Ohio, a tour of duty in Hazard and a lifetime in Almost Heaven Mingo and Pike Counties, not to mention northern Michigan and New York City, Wiley has seen some of the whirled. This predicated his prescription to the Weakly Whirled News and his sharing it with listeners up until a couple years back or so. There is some talk of bringing it back. Your vote will count. His quest to find the pulse of the neighborhood, if not the planet, has also led to the wildly and extremely popular segment of his show, Speak Your Pieces, gleaned from one of the best newspapers in the nation, The Mountain Eagle. (Ed. Note: The Eagle was started by Nehemiah Webb, his Grandmother’s brother.) Your vote may or may not count here but you can always call Speak Your Piece and read it in next week’s Eagle and you may hear it on next week’s “Ridin’ Around Listenin’ to the Radio.”
As for music, Wiley plays it. From Americana to Zydeco, you’ll hear it on RALTTR. He features music you’ve heard before and music you’ve never heard before with some Bob Dylan thrown in for good measure. And of course you’ll always hear a polka. Nothin beats a polka in the eye. Occasionally the crack investigative staff will get him a whether report and he also proudly presents 2 of WMMT’s sterling features, The Coal Report, and The Regional Roundup. And if that’s not enough, he also proudly follows up The Hightower Report, 3 of the best minutes in radio, with a catchy, appropriate tune each week. And then there’s the Peace de Resistance, The Byrd’s Eye View from Georgia, the weekly commentary from an incisive, brilliant, nailonthehead, veteran common tater from the Peach State. As for real work, Wiley (who is from a long line of Quixotes) runs the paddle boat concession at his primitive campground on top of Pine Mountain, Wiley’s Last Resort (www.wileyslastresort.com). He is also a poet, playwright and swarper who, in those guises, laments the destruction of our mountains, one of the greatest forests of the world. Paddle boats ain’t much use if there’s no water except in the grocery store.
Wiley invites everyone to tune in and invites suggestions for the Bob Boom Box: 3 or 4 of your favorite Dylan songs. He’ll play’ em. He also invites commentaries from anyone, common taters or not.