A note from Y2G:
Over my last two years on WPRB, I have had a number of callers tell me they like my show. I’m always a little embarrassed when I accept their complements because I didn’t really choose the music.
WPRB did that for me.
In the back of our vinyl library, there is this wonderful section called “folk.”
It is ominous: LP covers look like last year’s trash and feature some of the most awful album art imaginable.
Buffalo Girl has a black and white sketch of a buffalo covered in garish pink strips. Another album is a low-res photograph of an average looking, bearded man sitting on a truck… but the photograph was taken at such an angle as to prominently highlight his crotch.
On one Dry Branch Fire Squad album, the band members are all dressed in farm gear with their slightly plump bodies scrambling over what looks like a tractor.
Still, they say you can’t always just a book by its cover, and that is definitely the case for the albums in WPRB’s folk section with their dilapidated cardboard cases. Buffalo Girl is a great album, and the Dry Branch Fire Squad is certainly a fine group.
I started my show by searching through this section of WPRB and pulling out the most ridiculous covers I could find.
A smiling family all dressed in purple suits? Good for the radio.
A woolen vest-wearing, bifocal-needing woman holding a banjo? Good for the radio.
An album cover featuring a hot dog? Not as good for the radio, but nice try.
I am an arranger.
I have a horrible memory and can never spontaneously remember band names, so I have to arrange from an already amazing collection.
That’s what WPRB lets me do.
Over the past however many years, someone at WPRB listened to these albums and put them in the library for a reason. I trust WPRB, and without it, I would have most certainly been lost, presenting a show each week of the same artists with limited focus.
There is something valuable about a finite collection. That internet thing today makes music listening quantitatively most vast but also slightly overwhelming. You can quickly spiral out of control into a deep pit of 16-year-old singer-songwriters ie not find something of quality to listen to. It was WPRB that acted as my launching pad. It showed me who the quality artists are, who I should keep my eye on, and the connections between artists and genres.
So, thank you WPRB. Thank you to the people who fill your shelves with music that has changed my life for the better.
Friends, its our silent pledge drive. If you want to donate, please do.