Well, it’s that time of year for public radio stations in the United States: the biannual fund drive to support operations and programming. Many public radio stations are run by or associated with universities, thereby giving provide course and internship opportunities to students in print and broadcast journalism, graphic design, recording engineering, and music studies.
I love my radio station, WNCU-FM 90.7 in Durham, North Carolina – “Your Connection To Something Different.” WNCU is a jazz-intensive station run out of North Carolina Central University (NCCU), a HBCU within the University of North Carolina system. In addition to classic and contemporary jazz and blues, the station’s music programming extends to African and other world music, reggae, and gospel. News programming includes the more diverse offerings from NPR, PRI, and Pacifica such as The Tavis Smiley Show, Tell Me More with Michel Martin, and Democracy Now! with Amy Goodman, and Juan Gonzales. Listening to WNCU-FM has broadened my mind and is an integral part of my continuing liberal arts education in music, local and US history, and cultural diversity. And if you’re here or traveling through the Triangle for speaking visits at local universities or biotech or pharma companies, you can check WNCU’s up-to-date calendar on where to catch live jazz in the area.
So, tonight from 6 pm to 10 pm EDT, I’ll be on WNCU-FM with jazz wizard, Ken Grady, to raise funds for an organization that I hold very dear. And while I am primarily targeting the large group of readers in the Research Triangle area, the rest of you around the world can dial up the livestream of the broadcast tonight or anytime. It’s a tough time for giving so I told my friend and development director, Uchenna Bulliner, that I would marshal all of my online resources to try and boost donations during my four-hour stint.
The show will start at 6 pm with Democracy Now! and then I will have the honor of sitting in on Ken Grady’s Evening Jazz show from 7 pm to 10 pm. I’m pretty nervous because Mr Grady is a living encyclopedia of jazz. So tonight, I will be the student. I’ll also be on Twitter throughout the evening (follow me: @abelpharmboy with hashtag #wncu), acknowledging donors and keeping a running commentary on what it’s like to be behind the mike.
What’s in it for you? Well, lots of very cool and hip swag from one of the coolest and hippest radio stations in the US. And even if you don’t donate, you be let in on the little secret of who I actually am in real life. You can ring us on the old telephone at +1 919 560 9628 or you can also donate via an online form at the WNCU website.
And if you need to find out easily when 6-10 pm EDT is in your neck of the woods, use this handy world clock converter and select “USA – North Carolina – Raleigh” as the zone to convert from.
You have no excuses. I’ll talk with you tonight.