Tuesday, June 30, 2009

College Radio Tidbits: Oklahoma Rock History on KOSU, WKDI Memories and Illinois Radio Tower Demolition

Music at WVFI in September 2008

KOSU to Air History of Rock in Oklahoma
This is a great example of non-commercial radio sticking to its roots in local programming. A public radio station in Oklahoma, KOSU, will be airing 6 episodes of Steve Ripley's retrospective on "Oklahoma Rock 'n Roll" on Friday nights this summer. According to an article in Tulsa World:

"The show is a 20-part radio series produced in conjunction with a major new museum exhibition at the Oklahoma History Center, 'Another Hot Oklahoma Night: A Rock and Roll Exhibit.'"

Northern Illinois University Radio Tower Demolition and WKDI Memories
An article in The Northern Star discusses the planned demolition of a Northern Illinois University building (former home of campus radio stations WKDI and WNIU) and radio tower. According to the piece:

"Kishwaukee Hall and the radio tower will likely be removed before the end of the summer...

Built in 1940, Kishwaukee Hall was used as a coffee shop, the student union, and offices for the Northern Star and the two university radio stations, WKDI and WNIU, according to the NIU Regional History Center records. Most operations left the building in 1990.

Two conditions audits in 1989 and 1990 determined the building would be too expensive to renovate to code conformation, according to the condition audits performed by university architect Roland Screiber."

As far as I can tell the radio stations moved out of the building many years ago and the transmitter is most likely non-operational. One station is public radio, and the student station WKDI seems to no longer exist. However, I did just find some random recollections circa 1989 on the Colicky Baby Records and Tapes blog:

"I was DJing a radio show at WKDI from 6 to 9 a.m. on Sunday mornings that semester. Probably the graveyardiest of graveyard shifts. The drunks were all asleep by then, and nobody with any sense was awake yet. I think I had approximately zero listeners.

Naturally, I let that allow me to do whatever the hell I wanted, from mixing Charles Manson folk songs with field recordings of the Jim Jones massacre to G.G. Allin played at 45 rpm mixed with John F. Kennedy speeches to rambling at length about whatever I felt that morning. More people, I am certain, have listened to my own cassette recordings, as captive audiences in my own apartments, of those shows than anyone ever did on their radios.

During my WKDI show for Sunday April 16, a certain No Eraser Head dropped by the Kishwaukee Hall studio for a visit. He later admitted to me that he was under the influence of LSD, but I didn't notice any difference from his usual self."

Classic college radio memories, for sure. So, what happened to WKDI???

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Well the student government at NIU never liked the radio station. They cut their funding heavily in 1996 and it bled a slow death afterwards. Later on, there was a scandal regarding students funds being used to pay for a staff member who was not a student to attend the CMJ music convention in NYC. Shortly thereafter the student association cut funding to WKDI.