Dennis Jones at WNCW

Dennis Jones in the studio at WNCW-FM in Spindale, NC - photo by Ted LehmannOur friend Ted Lehmann has put together a terrific profile of our other friend Dennis Jones, and posted it on his blog, Ted Lehmann’s Bluegrass, Books, and Brainstorms.

Ted visited the WNCW radio studio in Spindale, NC where Dennis serves as both an on air host and the station’s technical director in early April, and came away with an in-depth portrait. Dennis is also one of the hosts of Goin’ Across The Mountain, which offers 8 hours of bluegrass and traditional music every Saturday from 11:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m.

Lehmann spent time with Jones at the station, and also had a chance to interview some of his WNCW co-workers, and came away with a very detailed picture of the man who has had such an impact on regional radio in northwestern North Carolina.

As a broadcaster, Dennis Jones recognizes that there are three elements absolutely essential to airing fine music: content, preparation, and intelligence. Without any of these three elements, fine broadcasting is not possible. A station or a program won’t develop and hold an audience. The format of a station like WNCW allows its on-air personnel to recognize and develop musical ideas, showing how they are related and interconnected. A look at the programming schedule of WNCW shows how this can and has been accomplished. Woody Platt, of The Steep Canyon Rangers, points out that they met Dennis early in their career, well before they had developed their skill or style. He doesn’t know what Dennis saw, but he welcomed the band with open arms. Woody says, “His personality and knowledge of the music have made him such a wonderful radio host. He knows everyone in bluegrass personally, and that makes for a nice show, deeper and more personal.” The intelligence and depth of knowledge Dennis Jones brings to the studio, whether it be on air or on the sound board demonstrates the qualities he emphasized. Add this to his warmth as a human being, his energy, and his enthusiasm and the package represents bluegrass music in the best possible fashion.

Read the full profile on Ted’s site.

WNCW offers live audio streaming online, so bluegrass lovers worldwide can enjoy Goin’ Across The Mountain, or Dennis’ Sunday morning Gospel program, The Gospel Truth, anytime they are online.

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.

  • tstaff

    I can attest personally to what Ted says here; Dennis Jones is the epitome of great bluegrass radio. His personality and knowledge make it so easy in the studio, and we had a similar experience like the one Woody describes here with Blue Highway 13 years or so ago. Dennis has been a great friend ever since, and is a tremendous asset to bluegrass music in general, and WNCW specifically. He’s just the best!
    Tim Stafford