WAMU’s Bluegrass Country has been in the news quite a bit of late, with programming and personnel changes taking effect in recent weeks. Here’s one more change, unrelated to the large-scale ones announced in February.
Jessica Stiles, whose Stiles of Bluegrass aired for three hours on Saturdays from 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. on the Bluegrass Country broadcast/cybercast feed, has stepped down from her recurring show. Stiles, who is also a bluegrass/Americana artist and author, says that she will need more time for her other projects, and sadly needs to let the radio side of her personality go for a time.
“It has been a pleasure to be on the airwaves at WAMU’s Bluegrass Country and get to work with Katy Daley and Lee Michael Dempsey and other fine programmers there. I appreciate the dedication of everyone at the station, and am thrilled the Bluegrass Country listening audience rose to the occasion to keep membership where it needs to be, thanks to community support.
Meanwhile, I have had to look at my schedule and make some hard choices, to step back from the every Saturday Stiles of Bluegrass show in order to focus more on my own musical stylings as a performer and recording artist, and to work on a book project I have undertaken about the well-loved Opry (and Hee Haw) star, Stringbean. So far, Mac Wiseman, Ramona Jones, Lester Armistead and Marty Stuart have been kind enough to share their stories with me for this project, Remembering String, and more is in the works.
Thanks to my listeners for sharing some of your Saturdays with me!”
Katy Daley at WAMU says that they are very sorry to see Jessica go, and that her spot will be filled with a rebroadcast of Lisa Kay Howard’s The Old Home Place program, initially aired on Tuesday nights at 7:00 p.m.
“Jessica was an asset to Bluegrass Country for the time she was here. She brought some different songs choices and a varied sound to the station, and the phones always lit up when she was on the air. Plus she was an avid promoter of our efforts on her social media.”
Stiles has an EP/CD, Little Darlin’, released earlier this year. It contains five tracks, mixing her original songs with some old time and bluegrass classics.
On another Bluegrass Country-related note… Katy mentioned that they finished their week of on-air fundraising with a total of more than $87,000 in pledges. They had been given an ambitious goal of $50,000, and are so thankful to both broadcast and online listeners who contributed to keeping the station going.
The fundraising continues through this week, with donations being accepted online or by phone.
And don’t forget your local/regional public radio stations who are conducting pledge drives this time of year. If they feature bluegrass and acoustic programming that you enjoy, consider making a small donation in support.