New Exhibit Celebrates 75 Years of Community Radio

WESU_75_banner_small When sophomore Arch Doty moved into room 23 of Clark Hall in September, 1939, he brought with him a radio transmitter he had built at home the previous summer. Using a turntable, 78 rpm records, a microphone, the transmitter, and an antenna wire hanging out of Arch’s window, student-run radio at Wesleyan hit the airwaves.

It was a modest start. The entire audience that tuned into the evening AM-band broadcasts was limited to Clark residents—the weak signal reached no farther than several hundred feet beyond the antenna. But the broadcasts proved to be very popular, and within weeks, students in other residences wanted to be able to tune in.

Seventy-five years later, WESU-FM reaches a potential audience of over one million listeners, and can be heard as far as Springfield, Massachusetts; Long Island, New York; Waterbury; and Norwich.

“WESU: Celebrating 75 Years of Community Radio” takes an anecdotal look at one of the oldest college radio stations in the United States. Throughout WESU’s history, there have been two constants: first, without interruption, Wesleyan students have operated the station; and second, broadcasts have been focused on new, under-represented, or non-commercial programming aimed at students and the larger community.

Most of the items in the exhibition are from the collections of Special Collections & Archives, Olin Library. University Archivist Leith Johnson is curator of the show, with research assistance provided by Ian McCarthy. Special thanks to WESU General Manager Ben Michael for advice and loans of items from WESU’s collection.

The show is on view in the exhibition area near Special Collections & Archives, 1st floor Olin Library, Wesleyan University.
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Fall Record Fair, October 26th

FINAL

Don’t miss the WESU Fall Record Fair (and sale) on Sunday October, 26 from 11am-4pm. The event features dozens of vendors, from throughout the North-East, selling music in all formats. Plus, there’s other cool merchandise and WESU DJs spinning vinyl all day long. So, come on down and do some crate digging! You might find that album you’ve been searching for!

The WESU Fall Record Fair is free and open to the public and happens in Beckham Hall in the Fayerweather building at 55 Wyllys Ave on the Wesleyan Campus (06459).

To make a record donation, contact our events coordinator at events@wesufm.org.

 

 

WESU Fall ’14 Program in full effect!

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The fall program season at WESU is now in full effect! click here for the complete schedule. As we wrap up our 75th anniversary calendar year, our fall season features programming from over 150 student and community volunteers, who work together to ensure WESU broadcasts 24 hrs per day.

Nestled alongside some of our longstanding programs, like the Moondog Matinee (Sat AM Oldies), The Gospel Express (Sunday AM Gospel), The Warehouse (Weds PM Dance music), and Avantia Tutta (Sat PM Italian,  are shows by new student and community volunteer DJs. Each weekday, WESU splits it’s program between public affairs (by day) and free form music programming (at night and on the weekends). Each day WESU offers NPR, Pacifica, and a host of local and independent productions. Locally produced public affairs programs run the gamut from highly produced shows with full time paid production staff to more bare bones “public access” style broadcasts.  Highlights of locally produced public affairs programs include Anarchy on Air – a weekly look at activism locally and globally, Mind Matters with Dr Helen Evrard – which explores mental illness, Reasonably Catholic with Maria Johnson – exploring the progressive side of Catholicism, and The Bauer Hour – offering a local perspective on global issues. Another locally produced public affairs show you can hear on Wednesays at 4:30 is Conversations on Health Care which features leading national and international guests at the helm of healthcare reform.

WESU’s Free Form music programming features everything from 3 varieties of gospel music, to vintage Rock and Roll,  Doo Wop, & RnB to Electronic dance music, hip hop, world music, local musicians, and the indie pop and rock you’d expect to hear at a college radio station.

This season WESU continues to offer two 75th anniversary themed programs including, “75 years of…” on Wednesday nights at at Midnight and “Welcome back” on Friday afternoons at 1:00 pm. 75 years of is a weekly program with monthly themes exploring audio content that would otherwise not be heard on air, were it not for noncommercial stations like WESU.  This month’s theme is underground dance music and is curated by DJ Lokash. Welcome back features conversations with folks who have passed through the WESU studios over the years reflecting on their experience at WESU and how it might have helped them along the way.

Stay tuned for special 75th anniversary events in addition to our regular happenings like our Fall Record Fair on October 26th!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Planet Hip Hop Festival Curated by Nomadic Wax Saturday, September 20

planethiphop_outlookPlanet Hip Hop Festival
Curated by Nomadic Wax
Saturday, September 20

Afternoon workshops and evening performances by international Muslim women in hip hop, including the U.S. debut of Montreal-based Algerian singer-songwriter and rapper Meryem Saci as a solo artist, the New England debut of Washington, D.C.-based and Grammy Award-nominated singer-songwriter, poet, and emcee Maimouna Youssef a.k.a. Mumu Fresh as a solo artist, and London’s spoken-word duo Poetic Pilgrimage.
This event is part of Muslim Women’s Voices at Wesleyan

11am to 5pm workshops in World Music Hall: $12 per workshop, or $30 for all three workshops.Workshops are free for Wesleyan students. Lunch provided for participants.

9pm concert in Fayerweather Beckham Hall: $18 general public; $15 senior citizens, Wesleyan faculty/staff/alumni, non-Wesleyan students; $6 Wesleyan students


Special Offer: 

Passport for four of the ticketed Muslim Women’s Voices at Wesleyan events is only $50—a 38% savings off the general public ticket prices. Please click here for more details. Offer ends Saturday, September 20, 2014.

Welcome Back! Michael Roth Comes to Visit!

Hello all!

WESU is back for its fall season and taking Michael Roth with it!

Wesleyan’s president talked to Maria Johnson in a series of interviews to be posted on her show “Reasonably Catholic: Keeping the Faith.”

Episode Descriptions:

The FIRST interview, to air on TUESDAY, SEPT. 16, will explore the atheism and continuing relevance of Sigmund Freud, who died 75 years ago this month. In 1998, President Roth curated a Library of Congress exhibit entitled “Freud: Conflict and Culture” and edited an accompanying book of essays by noted Freud experts. President Roth also teaches a Wesleyan film course which makes use of Freud’s theories.

In the SECOND interview, to air TUESDAY, SEPT. 30, we explore President Roth’s latest book, Beyond the University: Why Liberal Education Matters, specifically where it touches on the interior life.

Here’s an excellent picture of the president himself, hanging out in the studio.IMG_7378-1

Can’t listen live? All episodes of RC:KF are archived for two weeks at www.wesufm.org and forever at www.reasonablycatholic.com.

Stay posted for more exciting things to come!

Tess

Public Relations Director

Doo Wop, Thanks!

Thanks to everyone who contributed to the success of our Doo Wop Extravaganza!Super Girls 1The Super Girls Group rocked the house, showing that the 70+ year old Divas still had their moves and amazing voices!
the tokensJay Siegel’s Tokens entertained the crowd with their classic tunes, funny stories, and some great renditions and tributes to the music of yesteryear!

WESU 75th Anniversary Doo Wop Extravaganza with Jay Siegel’s Tokens and The Super Girl Group

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Mark your calendars for The WESU 75th Anniversary Doo Wop Extravaganza
Saturday July 12th at 8pm at the Middletown High School Performing Arts Center for a celebration of 75 years of community Radio  & 35 years of the Moondog Matinee with a fundraising concert featuring:  Jay Siegel’s Tokens, The Legendary group that recorded the mega hit song, “The Lion Sleeps Tonight”!!. Plus “The Super Girls Group” featuring original members of some of the greatest female groups of Rock and Roll including:  Louise Murray of The Hearts & Jaynetts- “Lonely Nights” & “Sally Go Round The Roses”,  Lillian Walker of The Exciters- “Tell Him” & “Doo Wah Diddy”, Margaret Ross of The Cookies- “Chains” & “Dont Say Nothing Bad About My Baby, Beverly Warren of The Raindrops- “The Kind of Boy You Cant Forget” & “What a Guy”, & Nanette Licari of Reparata & The Del Rons - “Whenever A Teenager Cries” & “Tommy”

Tickets are $30
Click here to buy tickets online or call the Wesleyan Box office 860-685-3355

Discount available for groups of 10 or more

 

 

Welcome Back, Howard Williams ’48!!

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(Howard Williams, pictured on left)On this episode of Welcome Back,Howard Williams of Weselyan’s class of 1948 talks about his experience with WES AM, the predecessor to WESU.

He talks about inheriting the station by chance, developing student interest and a management structure, popular programming of the day, and a surprising relationship to broadcast pioneer and CT native Franklin Malcolm Doolittle. And you won’t want to miss his epilogue, which I think is particularly poignant and moving.

There’s even a bonus track wherein Howard shares some hilarious insight on Middletown origins of  “Russia’s inferiority complex with the US.”