Hello! I currently run the only 24/7 blues music radio station in Ohio: WDIF-LP 97.5FM. It's a low-power, non-profit radio station in Marion, OH. (www.975wdif.com & you can listen live with the TuneIn app, search for WDIF)

I'm doing a live stunt to try to raise money for this station so we can stay on the air for all of 2017. I'm staying up for 48 hours straight and DJing live at the fabulous Nathan's Barbershop in downtown Marion! At the time of this posting, I'm now 27 hours in. I feel okay so far actually. But as the hours march on, I imagine I'm going to get more and more loopy.

If you're not familiar with low-power radio stations, they are a fairly new thing, only about 13 years old now. Long story short, the FCC opened up some unused radio frequencies to be used on a local basis for communities by charitable organizations. We don't have commercials per say. We have sponsors. We're not allowed to use calls to action for for-profit entities like we can't say "GO BUY Jimmy's cheeseburgers for $1.99," but we can say things in an informational context like "Jimmy sells some amazing cheeseburgers, and they don't cost a lot." The cool thing about low-power charity radio stations is that you get an immediate direct return for donations in that it keeps us on the air playing music!

You can learn more about how low-power, non-profit radio stations work here: www.prometheusradio.org

It's a story straight out of Weird Al's movie UHF (one of my favorites). The folks who own this station were about to shut it down because they didn't have the manpower, funds, or time to really do anything with it. It was just playing background noise - 70s, 80s, 90s, 00s soft rock. Blech. I asked if I could take it over, infuse some funds, and make it a blues station. If only I had Stanley Spadowski here to really put us over...

I took over and turned it into a blues music station in April because a) I thought it would play well in Marion and b) because of my dad. There used to be a blues station within earshot of us over 20 years ago called WBBY. My dad, who is a huge blues fan, absolutely loved it. Well one day, they decided to change formats. So when he heard that, he ran out to the garage with a bunch of cassette tapes and started recording the station so he could save the music. This was back before the internet, of course. So I decided as a kid that I would get him back that station someday. And here I am!

So to stay on the air, we accept donations and get business sponsorships. We're having trouble getting enough sponsorship money to stay on the air, so I decided to do this stunt! I'm going to stay up for 48 hours straight and DJ in order to raise $18,000 needed to keep us on the air through all of 2017! I don't know if it's cool to put the donation link directly here or not. It's on our website, though.

Speaking of charity, this station's major charitable initiative beyond keeping the blues alive is a program I started called "The Blues Crew!" We provide free musical instrument rentals to disadvantaged children in Marion. We believe that learning music is a great way to develop creativity in children, which then can create ways out of poverty and bad situations. Families that earn under a certain income threshold can apply to have their children join the Blues Crew. We have the kids do a little volunteer cleanup project in town, then they earn free instrument rentals. We had a couple of kids get a trumpet and a violin already this summer! We're in the building phase now so we can have some funds to do this for a bunch more children in 2017!

While I'm wiling away the time throughout the night and through tomorrow, feel free to AMA! I've got plenty of time to respond. Also, if you want to donate $9.75 to the station, I'll say whatever you want on the air so long as it's not offensive or political (I have a no politics policy on this station)!! I'm asking for $9.75 since our frequency is 97.5 FM. Isn't that cute?!?! :P

Update 1: Hour 13. Feeling alright so far. I slept in till 3pm yesterday to give myself a running start. Haven't had any coffee or anything yet, but probably will soon. Should start to get interesting the later into the day I get. ;)

Update 2: Coming up on hour 20. Had my second cup of coffee less than an hour ago. Feeling pretty good actually. Have had some people stop by and donate. We're up to $1,420 now! Slow going, but we're getting there. Thank you to everyone who has given so far!!!

Update 3: I've been on the air now for 27 hours straight. It's been a crazy ride. Surprisingly, shockingly, I feel physically fine. However, I have found that I'm not quite as sharp and on the ball as I have been previously. Just a slight drop in mental quickness. Also, I think I'm getting a little moody. I was getting really down in the dumps a little bit ago about how we haven't come close to our goal for the station.

Update 4: 31 hours in. Feeling a little dingy finally. If you're following this, we're about to have some live music from Marion, Ohio's own Patrick Pierce! So tune in online if you'd like to hear some ultra-local music from a town YOU AIN'T NEVER BEEN TO BEFORE!!! :D


Update 6: Wow. Feeling really depressed. The sleep deprivation hasn't taken so much of a physical toll on me as it has an emotional toll. I didn't see that coming. Tough to handle at the moment. Iknow all the negativity sharks are smelling blood and seeing their chance to pounce. I could delete that rant, but hey, that's part of this whole experience. It's out there. So let's see how this plays out.

I might be whiny and bitchy, but I'm not giving up. I made a promise, and regardless of the outcome, I'm sticking to it. Because at the end of the day, even if I fail to reach my goal, I can still leave with my head high and with my integrity.

11 hours to go. Let's see what happens.

Update 7: 41 hours in. Down to less than a shift. Man I'm tired. Had some coffee a little bit ago, that really helped perk me up in terms of energy and mood. Was going to have the mayor on at 10a (EST) but his office just called and told me he just emergency last minute jury duty and wouldn't be able to make it on the air with me. That's some horseshit. Silky Ray called, said he's going to come over and give me some albums to auction on the air. I love this new friend, but man... I don't know if I have the energy. I can't auction the albums I already have up! :P

Update 8: I'mat 46 hours now! Having trouble keeping my eyes open and focusing. I had an interview with the head of our tourism board and although i found it intersting, i was fadingman. I'm fading but I'm gonna make .........zzzzz AMA!!

Update 9: Here's the link to the donate page. It's www.gofundme.com/975wdif I didn't want to put it on here right away because I didn't want to break any rules or anything. It's that midwest humility, I guess lol. Also, this magical man Silky Ray came over and gave me a stack of amazing classic blues albums. BB King live in cook county jail, Pearl Baily, Eddie "Cleanhead" Vinson, Eddie Harris, Albert Collins.... man.... then he got on the mic and just blew up this radio! What a booming voice! He was dropping some amazing 2-liner rhymes like support 97.5 to keep the blues alive. My god. It's like the blues gods sent down an angel or something. He wasnts to do a gospel music show on Sundays... wow... He calls himself Silky Ray. No joke. LOL :D

FINAL UPDATE I did it! F it, let's go another 24 hours! Woooo!
No. I'm tired. Sorry for the sloppy typing here towards the end. Getting a little careless. Now I get to pack up all the equipment and go home, which should take another hour or so. I'll really be up for at least 50 hours total.

Thanks very much for all of the questions! Thank you to everyone who sent us a donation! We made over $2,500 (including some cash donations we received at the barbershop). I think that's a great amount. I was thinking maybe I aimed a little too high with the original request. This ensures we have a great runway to get this station off the ground for good. Hopefully I never have to do this again! It was a great experience. I met a ton of interesting people, got to hang with some really cool musicians, and got together a plan of attack that is going to carry us into 2017 and beyond. Thanks again everyone for hanging out with me!!

97.5 - We're keeping the blues alive! (Silky Ray came up with that)

My Proof: https://www.facebook.com/975Wdif/posts/999132523548732

Comments: 244 • Responses: 84  • Date: 

icetraigh169 karma

man the main feeling i feel right now other than drunk is depressed. im not gonna reach my goal. im not even going to come close. ive come to realize that there just arent enough people in this town who care about the blues and this staiton to really keep it going. maybe ipicked the wrong genre or something i dont know

and you know what really pisses me off? theres another low power station in this town that is pure evil and it gets to survive. the owner uses his station to beat restaurants into giving them free food because theyre nonprofit. he uses his nonprofit status as a cudgel to beat everyone over the head so he doesnt pay for anything and it makes me sick because for some reason it works.
so then when another nonprofit radio station calls (me), the people i call are just sick of non profit radio stations and want nothing to do with us. this guy breaks the law, no one cares. everyone he does business with they hate him HATE him. still, he carries on. and me who is trying to do something good cant make it because i cant convince anyone to donate 5 dollars. FIVE DOLLARS. yet board games asking for 10 grand can get 2 MILLION.

im in the wrong business or something. why torture myself any further? i'm goinjg to take a nap.

EDIT or maybe i'm depressed because i've been listening to the blues for 36 hours straight LOLOLOL

thateconomistguy54 karma

Blues is alive and well my friend, sadly it doesn't have the local support to generate the $18k but take refuge in knowing that the genre you and your father loved is enjoyed world wide. I just got finished rebuilding a engine, building it up to 300HP, with my grandad. It took us a year of weekend work but the sweet sound of blues guided us through. Although your station may not live on much longer, the sound it endeavours to provide will still be enjoyed worldwide for years to come.

icetraigh31 karma

Thanks man. That's really cool re: the engine project.

And yeah, I hear ya! I've been told the blues are apparently really huge in Europe and like Finland, Norway, etc. right now. Major American bands have been heading over there and playing to sold out crowds. I need to move over there, I guess, and run a scene straight out of Lillyhammer (Steve VanZandt series on Netflix). ;)

sillyrants24 karma

I don't understand the value of what you're trying to do. Why wouldn't someone just use Spotify?

As someone who backs a lot of projects, including board games, I just don't see what the point of local limited radio is vs the whole world of music online. Especially if you air silly infomercials about cheeseburgers.

icetraigh24 karma

Well, and I don't mean this as a put down in the slightest, but it's a local community thing. And I get it. If you're not interested in the neighborhood or city unity or community identity and that stuff, then yeah, you're not going to care about a local radio station.

Local limited radio is WAY easier to promote and build than an online podcast or playlist. Trust me. From someone who has done dozens of episodes of podcasts to audiences of 20 people at most, when you have something on a radio dial, you are reaching regular, everyday people.

sillyrants6 karma

Thanks for the explanation. That makes sense. I totally believe in local community, but I never thought of radio as a form of that. Haven't even listened in a decade because FM is so bad and I just assumed they were all clear channel.

When you say 24/7 blues, I thought you just meant a playlist mixed with ads. Do you actually have messages about local stuff and local news and such too? That would be kinda neat.

Could it be a generational thing, maybe? What are your listener demographics like?

icetraigh7 karma

You know, it probably is a generational thing. And trust me, I get the online music thing. I love it myself. But anymore, these local radio stations grow to become more than just a vehicle for music. We can organize events, run contests, give things away, run charities, and in the instance of low-power locally controlled radio, you can put local musicians on, play local music, and put all of this new stuff in front of regular joes/janes.

And I've run into a lot of people who said they had given up on FM because it's all just samey and shit,too - me included!

Yeah, wedo local info and events. We promote local bands and stuff and even offer time for local groups to run shows.

The main demo I've found for this station at least is even split male/female 34-65 year olds.

Thank for the questions!!!!!!

khazhak8 karma

I've run into a lot of people who said they had given up on FM

My parents switched to satellite. Now I don't know if this is what SiriusXM normally does or if my parents decided to be fucking gadgety, but I fucking hate satellite radio. I would happily never listen to the radio again rather than switch to satellite. I would MUCH rather deal with static than have the entire radio station go silent on me for a few seconds.

Listening to satellite radio is like sleeping with a guy who, at random intervals, suddenly pulls out and yanks the blankets off, then just stands there, watching you freeze to death.

Maybe, if you're patient, you could tolerate the first time. You'd probably respond to the second with some death threats. But for even the most patient person on the planet, the third time he pulls that shit with you, you will scream like a pterodactyl and beat him over the fucking head with a dildo, and that's exactly how I react trying to listen to fucking Sirius.

icetraigh2 karma

Haha great analogy!! On top of that, which I'm right there with ya on, I thought all of their channels' playlists were way too small and repetitve. I'd hear Def Lep on 80s, and I'm not too big a fan of theirs, so I'd switch to classic rewind, and they'd be playing Def Lep at the same time. And I felt like Sirius had a boner for a handfull of artistsclike that where they would play them constantly on every single possible channel.

Not to brag ;) but right now the playlist on my station is just shy of 2,000 tracks, and I set a rule in the software to not play the same track within the same 48 hours so we stay fresh. 8)

khazhak2 karma

if only I lived in ohio. :C

icetraigh3 karma

Honestly, I think that's the first time I've ever heard that. LOL ;)

DJ_Molten_Lava14 karma

Dude, I work in corporate radio and what you're trying to do is a service. The people might not see it now but live, local radio needs to live on. It can be hard to keep the passion going but just know your actions are appreciated.

icetraigh10 karma

THank you so much!!!!!!!

birdbrain53819 karma

Man, I'm from Delaware, I was in Marion a lot. Good on you for doing this, and take solace in the fact that you were providing an amazing service from a great place and motivation. I'll chip in a bit because, hell, you're doing good work in my neck of the woods. But don't get too down. You've learned a lot from this experience and I'm sure you'll find a way to achieve your dream.

How about a mixed format podcast where you share some history from that silky Guy and play the relevant songs. An audio history of blues, I'd listen the fuck outta that. Plus, who wouldn't like a cohost named silky?

icetraigh4 karma

Thanks man! Delaware rocks dude., Marion's a tough nut to crack. If this was going on in delaware, I don't think I would've needed to do this stunt because the reception to new ideas and things is so exciting down there.

Great idea! I'm hoping with this to get us into a permanent studio home. and when I do, we can totally do that!! Thanks!

icetraigh43 karma

Sorry I'm a bit behind on questions! I got sidetracked by a very business-savvy african american gentlmen who goes by the name of silky ray, and I swear I am NOT joking. This man is an encyclopedia of blues history... I can't tear myself away LOL

NvizoN10 karma

I live in Marion! This radio station is awesome. I hope it works. We need more blues on the radio.

icetraigh6 karma


glsods32 karma

How does it feel to have your first question?

icetraigh26 karma


DownTrunk24 karma

Are you holding your marathon at The Max?

icetraigh15 karma

The Max?

a_disco_ball17 karma

How bout an update on how close/far to your goal? Also a link for people to donate directly wouldn't hurt!

icetraigh18 karma

We are at $1,865 right now. I didn't know if posting a link would've been considered pandering and stuff. Here it is though if anyone is interested: www.gofundme.com/975wdif


Sonmi-45217 karma

DUDE! The whole point is to raise money - it's not pandering! Put that link at the top of your description!

It should have been up there the whole time, bruh.

icetraigh7 karma

You're right. And that's one of my failings. I'm notpushy enough. That and I know reddit is picky about promoting your own things.

Sonmi-4526 karma

Don't think of it as a failing. Humble Ohio stock.

But don't think of it as being pushy either. Maybe you have something cool that other people should know about.

Reddit hates shills but Reddit loves saving things. Another 48?

icetraigh3 karma

Thank you for the kind words. You nailed it. Humble Ohio!!

Yeah, fuckit, lets make it a full 96 hours! WOOOOOOOOOOOOzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Sonmi-4523 karma

My granny lived in Wapokaneta, kid.

Marion's just a Walmart, a hospital, and a prison as far as I ever knew.

Now I think of it as the Punkrock Heart of the Ohio Blues. Keep fighting the good fight, brother. Chrissie Hynde would be proud.

icetraigh2 karma

Yeah! Up until like the last 5-8 years it seriously was just that! The leadership here in marion just recently got their heads out of their collective asses and got on the same page and are really turning this li'l burg around. It's night and day from a while ago. Drive thru sometime!

nothertheothergirl7 karma

Your most recent update is at 41 hours in. Good job! You can make it to 48!

Question: I can't think of a blues artist off the top of my head. There's probably some that I'd recognize the name of, but I don't listen to much blues. What are a couple of songs I should listen to?

icetraigh4 karma

Riding with the King by John Hiatt is a real fun blues tune. Check out some of the modern standards: BB King, Muddy Waters, Buddy Guy, Ray Charles, real early Jimi Hendrix, and Stevie Ray Vaughn to name a few big 'uns. :)

InTupacWeTrust4 karma

I met BB King, but I was angry at my father because I wanted to go home! He spoke to me said how are you boy and I didn't speak back and he finally said good and I nodded. He was on a golf cart

icetraigh1 karma


liar_rabbit6 karma

Hey i'm from Marion.

Since I have to ask a question i'll ask this: Do you work at Whirlpool like everyone else I went to school with who never left that place?

icetraigh5 karma

LOL Hi marionite!!!! I don't, but man if I had a nickle for everyone I know who does, I wouldn't have to beg for money LOL

liar_rabbit4 karma

I figured mentioning that would be my verification I wasn't lying.

icetraigh3 karma

lol totally!

Zan_H6 karma

Good luck and greetings from Canada, What is Ohio like this time of year?

icetraigh8 karma

We're having unseasonably warm weather right now. It's lovely!!

smallcanofpeas6 karma

How you going with your very long adventure? Australia here to support you.

icetraigh7 karma

Hi!! I'm battling some depression right now. Hoping this coffee revitalizes me for a little bit. Down to 11 hours yet. Only at 9% of our goal, though, so...

Thanks for the love regardless!! :)

smallcanofpeas6 karma

If you can, stick it out. It might not make a difference, but that's not the point is it. The point is a personal challenge, to stand up for something that means something to you. If you make it you can stand proud in yourself for achieving something pretty cool. Best of luck, and tell me is it hamburger or sandwich?

icetraigh7 karma

Thank you very much. You're absolutely right. Thank you.

And if it's a meat patty combined with a rounded bun, it's a hamburger. Now if you're out of buns and you use bread slices instead of the bun, it's still a hamburger so long as you note aloud that you fully intended to use a bun had you had one. Anything else is a sandwich to me. ;)

smallcanofpeas3 karma

Made me laugh, hang in there brother and let those smooth rifts float out to capture all for the next few hours. And thanks for participating in an activity that is unique - the world needs people who care for a cause and are willing to struggle and fight for an idea. What are the normal toppings for a hotdog?

icetraigh2 karma

I'm going to sound like a broken record before too long, but thanks. I really appreciate it.

I would say ketchup, mustard, relish, cheese, onions, another hot dog, chili, maybe pickles, and that's about it. ;)

spritefire2 karma

You could say.. You are feeling... Blue. I'll see myself out.

icetraigh3 karma

Oh yeah lol. I made the same joke on the air, too after I collected myself. ;)

rolledrick5 karma

Of all the things you could have done with your life, why this?

icetraigh8 karma

I was that weirdo kid that was recording his own little talk show into a little tape recorder over and over and over again. I called my talk show the wheel of fortune (inventive, i know), and I would interview my baby sister a lot LOL

Spettro-Records5 karma

Cool! Why don't you air this? http://freemusicarchive.org/music/Billy_Torello/ It would fit perfectly

icetraigh5 karma

I will! I love the free music archive. So much good stuff there!!

icetraigh5 karma

Update 4: 31 hours in. Feeling a little dingy finally. If you're following this, we're about to have some live music from Marion, Ohio's own Patrick Pierce! So tune in online if you'd like to hear some ultra-local music from a town YOU AIN'T NEVER BEEN TO BEFORE!!! :D

A little midnight live music for yall 31 hours into this and trying to raise money for the station!!!

You can join us on our site if you're on desktop: www.975wdif.com Or if you're mobile, get the free TuneIn app and search for WDIF

GeekScientist5 karma

Hang in there!

icetraigh5 karma


thebigpanda624 karma

How long since you went pee?

icetraigh6 karma

Bout 30 mins ago

lukeisheretic4 karma

What do you need the 18k for?

icetraigh8 karma

It pays for the basic bills, tower rental, internet access (connection between the tower and the studio), elec bill, and the music royalties with BMI, ASCAP, etc. It does not go towards anyone's salary. This would pay all of the basic bills for 2017. :)

toxic_prince3 karma

do you happen to know miss ella?

icetraigh2 karma

I don't! Please tell me :)

morpheustech3 karma

Who typically listen to blues?

icetraigh4 karma

I've found our main demo is evenly split men/women, ages 34-65, although there are some young musicians who are kind of a niche sub-market.

morpheustech3 karma

If I was to start listening, what artist/group would you suggest? Give me the Merlot of blues.

icetraigh3 karma

Ooo, hmm.... tough one. What type of music are you into now? That would better direct me to a good starting point.,

morpheustech1 karma

Electronic, Avicci, Daft Punk, 90s, offspring, 70s, Carpenters, some classic. Instrumental. Not sure that helps...

icetraigh7 karma

Oh man.... Hmm... tough to transition from electronic to "natural" if that makes sense. Maybe start with some of the new stuff like Alabama Shakes and that stuff, then ease back into the older stuff. Because I think, and of course this is just a theory, I would think going straight back to the 30s and 40s might be too distasteful right off the bat. It was for me anyway. I eased back into deep blues like a big comfy recliner. ;)

morpheustech3 karma

Ok, who are you playing right now that has original music published the past year?

icetraigh7 karma

Joe Bonamasa, Beth Hart, and local Ohio blues artists like The Greezy Bullets, Micah Kesselring, Mark May Band (they're Ohio and Texas and I guess made it on the blues billboard charts).

morpheustech3 karma

You guys have an online station?

icetraigh3 karma

Yep! You can find us on the TuneIn app (free) on android, download that then search for WDIF

gusmoreno153 karma

Instead of Arnold, who do you think would make a good Terminator?

icetraigh5 karma

Seth Rogen

whiskeyknitting3 karma

First: I am very proud of you!

Second, is this the first time you've ever done something like this?

icetraigh1 karma

Thank you! It is. I honestly didn't know if I could make it or not and was genuinely surprised at how well it went. I used to do 24-hour D&D sessions with friends as a teenager and would be a zombie at the end of it. Those were the days... :)

dman36423 karma

As someone who has never really listened to Blues but wouldn't mind trying it out, where should I start? I like pretty much every genre I've listened to but I especially like a lot of Classic rock, swing, and alternative.

icetraigh3 karma

Thanks for the question!
If you're a classic rock fan, maybe start with some classic rock bands who have covered some blues like AC/DC's "The Jack" and ZZ Top's "Blue Jean Blues" and "A fool for your stockings."

SpecificZod3 karma

Well, i want to donate for help but my debit card is not working as i'm in europe right now. So i want to ask a question.

Why is the color blue but not red or green or yellow or even violet (my favourite)?

icetraigh2 karma

Short answer no with an if. Long answer yes with a but.

ezrik3 karma

How did you get into your cool hobby? I love radios and comms in general! Hoping to one day get my Hamm license :)

icetraigh2 karma

I chalk it up to luck, to be honest. Right place, right time, right people. I was always chomping at the bit to get in the door. :)

Rhysiart3 karma

Best of luck OP.

If you were a food what would you be?

icetraigh3 karma

Tacos, like a 3-taco platter.

aroll103 karma

but his office just called and told me he just emergency last minute jury duty and wouldn't be able to make it on the air with me.

Do you think they're bullshitting you?

icetraigh3 karma

I did at first! But then he came huffing in about a half hour later and told me they didn't pick him since he knows the police officer involved. Being the mayor, it's hard not to. LOL

ConsuelaSaysNoNo3 karma

Do you have a telephone number we can call to listen in?

icetraigh2 karma

I don't. Sorry. :( We just have the TuneIn app and the website.

holdyerplums3 karma

What were the first and last tracks you played during this session?

icetraigh4 karma

Oh you bastard.... LOL I just shut down the remote system.

I can definitely tell you the last track. I think the first track is lost to time, unfortunately.

Ronnie Earl & the Broadcasters - Recovery Blues

Good question!!

holdyerplums2 karma

Haha! Good luck from Australia with your fundraising :)

icetraigh1 karma


Texas_Ninja3 karma

You down with OPP?

icetraigh3 karma

Yeah, you know me.

chickenman03212 karma

Do you have to poop?

icetraigh2 karma

Not anymore...... ;)

At this barbershop, they have a putting green on a raised floor where you can putt while you wait and the ball rolls out the side. Well, I'm sitting on top of the hole and, uh, let's just say the balls aint coming out anymore.

Wildcat78782 karma

Fellow Ohioan here. Do you know if we can pick you guys up in the Dover/New Phila area?

icetraigh2 karma

Unfortunately, no. You'd have to get us online.

lacks-direction2 karma

I admire your dedication! What are your current strategies to stay awake? What would you recommend as a 'starting point' for someone trying to introduce themself to this particular genre of music?

icetraigh2 karma

Thanks for the questions!!

I've actually been having a fairly easy time of staying up so far. It's blown my mind. Only here in hour 33 that I'm feeling a little loopy, but not so much. The plan was to treat it as a marathon and not a sprint in that for the first day I wouldn't drink any coffee. I started Tuesday at 5pm, so I got my first coffee at 6am, then another around noon, had a Mt. Dew here and there, never finished them, and throughout the 2nd evening, I didn't really do anything special. I should have another coffee coming at 6am again, and then will do another one at maybe 10am then 2pm. That seems to be working so far!

Some folks and I were talking about a jump-off point in the shop here tonight! In my opinion, and I don't profess to be an expert in anything by the way, I look at blues music like a big Olympic swimming pool in that newer and not-quite-blues songs are in the shallow end and the original, 1920s-30s recordings and dark songs about drug abuse, spousal murder, etc are the deep end. So using that analogy, I recommend starting in the shallow end and working your way to the deep. I feel that if you were to just go listen to some of the old and dark recordings first that maybe folks might get turned off quicker than if they started with more recent/familiar works and worked backwards in time.

But then there's always like a 50% chance that that theory is completely, utterly wrong. :P

KDY_ISD2 karma

As a big blues person, you ever been to the Mississippi Delta?

icetraigh1 karma

I've never been to a good blues location unfortunately. :(

KDY_ISD2 karma

You should give it a shot! We've got a festival every year, and some great hot tamales at the Crossroads

icetraigh1 karma

I would absolutely love to! If I head that way, I will look up this conversation. You watch! :)

mccbala2 karma

Do you get ad revenue?

I don't listen to any radio station in my country since most of them are filled with at least 60% mindless ads which seem like they go on forever. Most are not even jingles and just mindless yapping-s of RJs doing the ad. Hope you do get some ads that aren't bad like this.

I salute your determination!

icetraigh2 karma

We get sponsors of the station, and we're a little limited on what we can say. So kinda. :)

SmoothButta2 karma

Have you ever heard this dogg? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l6FvyLdNG6Y

icetraigh2 karma

He's going on the HOT rotation!! LOL

Divine_Snow2 karma

How did you prep yourself for the 48 hour stunt?

icetraigh1 karma

I slept in real late, until 3pm the day of the event. I think that really gave me a solid running start because after 24 hours, I was still feeling really good. Now its tough. I am really running down now lol

Divine_Snow2 karma

Do you have an *assistant that brought you stuff life food / coffee / water / energy drinks?

icetraigh2 karma

Good question!

My wife goes to work super early in the morning, so she brought me a coffee both mornings. She brought me dinner. And this one dude volunteered to bring me a pizza and some beers and some cigars, so that was really cool! So people just kinda offered me stuff. I only took what I needed. :)

BumptiousQ2 karma

What do you think of Melvin Taylor?

icetraigh1 karma

I dig him! I like that sound. We play a few of his tracks. :)

BumptiousQ2 karma

Nice! Yeah, I first heard one of his tracks while drunk and it was positively face-melting. Subsequent listens while sober were less conclusive... Genius or just wild noodling?

Second question: do you promise to play a shitload of Junior Wells?

icetraigh1 karma

I see what you mean. I bet if I were high that he would be mesmerizing. He's good but not like OMG!! good.

And, yessir! Junior Wells is all over our playlist :)

BustedFlush2 karma

Does Marion still do a Popcorn Festival?

icetraigh1 karma

Oh yeah! I'm actually sitting in a bldg that would be blocked off for it. We just had the last one in the 2nd weekend of September. We had 80s hairband Skidrow play! LOL!

bpfromlp2 karma

Who's your favorite harmonica player?

icetraigh2 karma

Tough question! Gosh, to be honest, I don't really have a favorite. Kind of a disappointing answer, I know. :P

Do you have a fav?

bpfromlp4 karma

Kim Wilson! what band are you into at the moment?

icetraigh2 karma

Playing Lowdown by Kim Wilson now. That is some sexy harp!

icetraigh1 karma

I'm digging Altered Five Blues Band, Mark May Band, Julian Sas (can't figure out if Sas is pronounced like sass or sauce) to name a few.

We've got a few Kim Wilson tracks. I'm gonna play one now!

mehdecent2 karma

What's your favourite biscuit?

icetraigh4 karma


a_disco_ball2 karma

as in Flower Hour?

icetraigh1 karma

the one and only!

Krauj2 karma

I did a 46 hour dance marathon for a charity organization so I know exactly how it feels man. Now that's it's almost over what has been your favorite part so far?

icetraigh2 karma

Dancing for 46 hours?! Omg I can't imagine that! I attributed the ease of this to the fact that I was sitting most of the time, but dancing... You're a stamina stud! :D

It had to be when Silky Ray gave me a stack of really old super classic blues records. OMG. This dude came out of nowhere, well more to the point, I was just unaware of this dude's awesomeness. He brought me a stack of a dozen SEXY albums! BB King live in cook county jail, Nina Simone, Alberta King, all in great condition. Man... And they he got on the mic and just lit the fuse! This was all just a couple hours ago and why I didn't get back to a lot of folks. I was mesmerised.

Thanks for the question!!

Krauj2 karma

I have to clarify I didn't have to dance the whole time. I just couldn't sit or sleep. But I also had someone who was paired with me the whole time to make sure I drank water, ate food, stretched and didn't do anything dumb.

And thanks for the answer! I'm not really into Blues but that sounds really awesome!

icetraigh1 karma

Still man, standing the whole time? Dang. You rock. :)

Stands_on-212 karma

You plan on playing any Johnny "Guitar" Watson?

icetraigh3 karma

I've definitely got that on the playlist!

CrazyAnchovy2 karma

Have you heard of Marquise Knox from Saint Louis?

icetraigh2 karma

I haven't! Can you link me please? I'm sorry. I got sidetracked by some guests who stopped by, so I'm behind on questions!

CrazyAnchovy2 karma

Here ya go!


Sorry for the late response, I got sidetracked by the cubs...


icetraigh2 karma

haha don't blame ya! what a wild ride that was!

iaalaughlin2 karma

How much have you raised so far?

icetraigh4 karma

We're up to $1,645. That includes one large corporate donation of $975.

iaalaughlin3 karma

Awesome. Hope you make it the rest of the way!

icetraigh1 karma

Thank you!!!

theGorkman2 karma

Power to you! It's always been a dream to start a Blues/Jazz/Roots radio station, but there's a lot of red tape (not to mention costs) up here in Canada. You saw an opportunity and took it! Amazing.

Question: Any advice on how you managed to find a station willing to hand over the keys? Was there a lot of legal stuff to deal with?

icetraigh1 karma

Thanks! Honestly, I think I was just incredibly lucky. It's unfathomable to me that someone would let a low-power radio station just dangle on the precipice of oblivion like they did. I would say just ask around. Keep calling folks. And the thing about low-power is they're all looking for content (or should be anyway).

The legal stuff: you have to be owned by a 501c3 non-profit org. This one just sohappened to have a board that just didn't want anything to do with it anymore and the prez wanted to run a tv station instead, and fcc laws say you can't have a tv station and aradio station in the same market. Also, it's against regs to sell a low-power, so it's really just a matter of getting on the board of a 501c3 that holds a low-power license. That www.prometheusproject.org site can do a better job explaining than I could. Thank for the [email protected]! :)

jeannieb2 karma

Hey! I live in Delaware and worked for a few years in Marion. I love Roops, have you shared this with them? They'd probably help you out a bit.

icetraigh2 karma

Roops! I saw Mark May Band play there not too long ago. Great venue there. I didn't think to share it.Next time they have some blues that way, we should do a blind reddit meetup thing!

account_11000111 karma

There's an infinite amount of blues available on the internet. Why do you need a terrestrial radio station? Couldn't that spectrum be better used for a more relevant technology like providing high speed internet?

icetraigh7 karma

Good questions. First, contrary to popular belief, 90% of people still listen to "regular" radio (non-satellite, non-internet, etc). So the nonsense "radio is dead" message pushed by techies is actually 100% false. Well, 90% false, to be precise.

Why do I "need" one? Radio survives in the 21st century and beyond by being local. Local, local, local. Community-based "regular" radio stations are THRIVING today. With newspapers going conglom and iHeartMedia being a national syndication network, there is a huge demand for local programming.

Better used for internet? Lord no. There's an infinite amount of space available via too many means - so much so that it would be terribly unnecessary to steal a few megahertz from terrestrial radio.

It's these false narratives that make selling this station to people harder and harder. People really believe what you just said when it's simply, categorically not true.

Thanks for giving me a chance to clear that up. :)

klparrot1 karma

Good questions. First, contrary to popular belief, 90% of people still listen to "regular" radio (non-satellite, non-internet, etc). So the nonsense "radio is dead" message pushed by techies is actually 100% false. Well, 90% false, to be precise.

Depends what you mean by that number. Maybe 90% of people listen to some terrestrial radio, but that doesn't mean 90% of listener-hours are of terrestrial radio. Furthermore, it's becoming increasingly difficult to define what qualifies as radio, as music streaming services blur the distinction between listening to a live broadcast versus listening to your own music library, so depending on what you count as radio, listener-hour numbers could vary wildly.

Regardless of how you measure terrestrial radio's share, though, and regardless of how high it may (or may not) be right now, I'd be very surprised if it's not in decline.

I'd wager that the great majority of terrestrial radio's listener-hours come from people listening in the car. But that's because it's traditionally been a somewhat captive market; people tend to want to listen to something while in the car, and until recently, the only listening choices in most cars were terrestrial radio or CD/MP3. But it's becoming increasingly standard now for the radios in newer cars to also support SiriusXM and Bluetooth, and people have ever-increasing access to streaming audio (including both live radio and personalized music streams) on their smartphones. So terrestrial radio now has a lot of competition in a listening environment that was previously its uncontested home turf.

Furthermore, while it's true that there is some appetite for local programming, there's also an appetite for nonlocal programming. I sometimes listen to radio from my old city, or from a place I've enjoyed visiting; helps keep me in touch with the place a bit. But I can't listen to it over terrestrial radio; it's over the internet. Though I'll admit I'm probably not representative of the typical listener here. Still, even though there are benefits and demand for local radio, it doesn't mean it has to be terrestrial radio, and it doesn't mean there isn't also just as much benefit and demand for competing options such as personalized streaming music. My local public radio station went out of business this past year, after decades of operation; I'm sure there was demand and support for it, but not enough to keep it alive.

I empathize with your situation, and I'm not saying give up on broadcasting, but perhaps terrestrial radio isn't the way to go. Could you not provide the exact same content on an Internet stream only, which would also free you from advertising restrictions and antenna/spectrum expenses? Yes, not everyone has the ability to stream radio everywhere, but neither does everyone have the ability to listen to terrestrial radio everywhere; what you lose on the swings you gain on the roundabouts. People wouldn't stumble across your station when scanning through the frequencies, but how often are people doing that, really? You may be able to make up for that by putting the savings from decreased expenses towards marketing, and pitch yourselves as a (or even the) local Internet radio station. Internet-only might work out, it might not, but unfortunately, if you're already having trouble making ends meet with the low-power terrestrial broadcast model, I don't think things are going to trend easier for that in the future, so I think Internet-only might be your best chance for keeping your content going, which I assume is more important to you than your broadcast medium.

Good luck!

icetraigh1 karma

Very good info and points!!
Ihope I can articulate this in a good way being so sleep deprived. My 90% number comes from my own data. I did a door-to-door survey of Mairon county throughout September. I wanted to see if people were actually listening to this thing or if I was being lead astray by anecdotal evidence. I sampled over 200 people, extrapolated for a population of 65,000, and found that 90% of the people I surveyed still listened to terrestrial radio on a regular basis. I would ask folks if they listened to the radio, and if they did,m what were their top 2 fav stations. I only got 10% that said they exclusively listen to online/sirius.

Another intersting tidbit I found from the survey was that there are 27 different radio stations within earshot of Marion.

According to my data, this station is in a 3-way tie for 4th most popular station since it changed to blues. I have some friends at the iheartmedia stations in town, and they get nielsen ratings and they said my findings weren't too far off from what they had,. so i think that lends some credence to my findings :)

InTupacWeTrust1 karma

So dedicated! If you want a direct link, it's http://radio.securenetsystems.net/v5/WDIF. How did you first get started into radio?

icetraigh3 karma

Thanks for the link and the question!!

My very very first foray into radio was when I would listen to our main radio station's local morning show as a young teen. It was hosted by this guy Gary Rivers. He was doing a special valentines day event where he was inviting couples to come out to the mall to renew their vows. At the time, all of these people were calling in to him and donating items like cakes, movie tickets, gag gifts, etc, and it was this big momentum-creating "thing" going on on the radio.

I wanted to get my parents in on this, so I called in and asked a favor. I asked Gary if he would help me convince my parents to do it, because they would most likely say no. So he came up with idea to trick them to get on the radio then ambush them with it. The idea worked, and we suckered them to be at this vow reaffirming event. Every couple there got to see a free movie and got prizes. My folks got a gag gift of a hockey mask. :P

But the coolest thing about the experience was that the FOX/ABC news affiliate in Columbus covered the event, and my parents were the ones who were featured in the little icon graphic in the top corner of the screen as the news lady described the event on TV! I was tickled pink! Parents? Not so much....

Fast forward 10-12 years, and I stop in this local low-power radio station to see if I could possibly do a show. I think I wanted to do a chill music hour or something. Well, Gary Rivers was the host of this station's radio show now! And he invited me on to be the "danger boy" of the morning show. I would do funny gags, stunts, and be the dumbo of the group. Sometimes we would do topical top 5 lists, and the premade lists would just suck so bad, so I would write my own. They turned out to be good enough that he let me start writing and producing my own bits and stunts. It was a great dynamic.

OH! Here's a funny tidbit. We did a gag of the hurricane Katrina right when it hit New Orleans. We had absolutely no idea that it was going to be the monster devastating event that it turned out to be! So we were pretending to be chefs in a gumbo restaurant that was getting flooded and filled with alligators. It was in horribly bad taste! And as we heard of the devastation that was wrought shortly thereafter, we all sort of shrunk and just thanked our lucky stars that no one actually heard or cared that we had done that bit. LOLOL

InTupacWeTrust2 karma

It was fate that Gary Rivers was the host when you wanted to try the radio thing out! That's a cool story

icetraigh1 karma

Yeah isn't that nuts?? And the story with him goes on, actually, although maybe not so coincidental.

After a long successful run at the helm of that low-power radio station (called WDCM at the time), he got the itch to be a morning show host on a "real" commercial station again. So he found a gig in a big market and went on his merry way. Around that same time, his business partner and co-board member "Jay" went from a nice old man to a nutbar crazy drunk within the span of like 3 months! Jay embezzled money from WDCM, sold equipment on eBay without anyone's knowledge, and fled to Florida never to be seen again. People who knew Jay for 20+ years in Marion were absolutely floored. True story. Nobody truly 100% knows why he did it OR where he is to this day! Gary lost his ass from the missing equipment, back bills, lost funds, etc. It was pretty bad. He transferred it to the guy who runs it now and from whom I'm leasing it.

When I came back around to ask to take over the station, Gary was on this new company's payroll as a parttime advisor and really went to bat for me and convinced the owners to let me run it.

Crazy relationship that started with a morning show phone call! LOL

InTupacWeTrust2 karma

I'll imagine you had Rivers teach you the ropes too

icetraigh1 karma

Sho'nuff. Tons of tips and tricks to run a successful morning show. Nothing on the level of Howard Stern, but good enough for a great local community to give it a real fun community feel. :)

InTupacWeTrust2 karma

Is the reason why Gary Rivers stopped the local scene because that Jay guy sold all his equipment or just because he got a bigger mainstream radio gig?

icetraigh1 karma

He left for the bigger gig first, but he still owned the station with Jay. Then while Gary was away, Jay sold everything. It was nuts. Gary then pretty much threw up his hands and said alright, sell it since it's pretty much worthless now. The new owners bought new equipment, but then had a manpower shortage and nothing ever materialized. Crazy set of events.

Mohd05081 karma

would you rather fight 100 duck sized horses or 1 horse sized duck?

icetraigh1 karma

The duck-sized horses, definitely. It would be messy, but at least I wouldn't be the one that got stomped as I think would be the case in the other scenario. ;)

MistaRational0 karma

Why are you wasting your time? It's over. Why can't you accept that? No city needs a 24/7 jazz station.

icetraigh2 karma

I agree. That's why I chose the blues.

Why am I still wasting my time? Because I made a promise that I would. I know that's a tough concept for a lot of folks to wrap their heads around, but when I make a promise and a commitment, I will stick to it even though the desired output wasn't reached.

Personal responsibility. It's a bitch. lol