Thursday, August 21, 2008

Austin Station KUT Turns 50

University of Texas public radio station KUT marks its 50th anniversary today and is embarking on a year full of celebratory events. According to an article on the University of Texas website:

"Since receiving the call sign of KUT from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on Aug. 21, 1958, KUT Radio has nurtured and shared the most authentic and remarkable voices of the community—and the world—through local and national news, and through innovative and authentic music that is picked for qualities of substance and integrity. Today, KUT is one of the top public media institutions in the country, reaching 500,000 people each week through traditional radio, two HD Radio channels, the Internet, podcasts and mobile devices."

The article notes that KUT has a strong commitment to music programming, particularly local music:

"KUT is also known nationally for its diverse music programs and its efforts to play artists of importance to Central Texas while introducing national acts that might not get airplay on commercial stations."

They've got an awesome bunch of videos of indie artists (Bill Callahan, Yacht, Akron Family, etc.) on their website that are worth checking out. Called the "Retread Sessions," the music vids are shot in random non-studio locations, like nature. The Texas Matters section of their website includes feature articles, Texas music tidbits and "song of the day" music downloads.

The history of KUT goes back even further than 50 years according to the detailed historical timeline on Wikipedia. It's also interesting to note that in addition to KUT, University of Texas also holds the license for student-run radio station KVRX-FM.

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