Monday, August 18, 2008

College Radio DJ Heroes

On her Idolator post "Which Radio DJ Saved Your Musical Life?" last Friday, Maura Johnston discusses the impact that certain DJs have had on their audiences. She also shares how important college radio has been to her over the years and wonders if radio personalities today still have the same draw, saying:

"As a high schooler who was slowly transitioning out of her hard rock fandom, college-radio DJs were really important to me, turning me on to bands like Tiger Trap, Lush, and Smashing Orange. But the transient nature of college radio and my own transition to the other side of the microphone resulted in the relationship being nowhere near as long-standing as the ones that the other personalities I've mentioned here have enjoyed with their audiences. Is it even possible to have that sort of fan-subject relationship with a DJ anymore? Or has something else entirely filled that void, thanks to the many problems terrestrial radio has had and the explosion of outlets that have taken on the mantle of bringing people music?"

The comments section of her post contains many pro-college radio voices, including this from Mike A:

"I can't stress enough how important college radio was to me. I discovered it literally by accident, and it immediately opened up the possibility of a new world - something that was quite mysterious at age 14. What made listening to WRSU and WPRB so special was the DJs. The patented 'college radio monotone' may be an easy target for ridicule, but for me, it was the voice of normal people not so different from me, only a few years older, who had access to great records I hadn't heard and were enthusiastic to share them. I don't think I would have gotten so deep into music without them (for better or worse)."

I love it. These are the sorts of comments that all college radio DJs should hold near, especially when on the air, wondering if anyone is out there listening.

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