Long time SiriusXM radio host Kyle Cantrell has announced the imminent launch of a new 24/7 bluegrass radio service, which he calls BanjoRadio. Everything is set up and ready to go, and a launch date is set to be announced soon, possibly as early as next month.
Cantrell had become the primary voice of Bluegrass Junction, the bluegrass channel on SiriusXM, where he had hosted for the past 20 years. For the bulk of that time, not only did he voice the channel each day during the week, he also served as the Program Director, choosing all the music in rotation. Kyle also hosted interviews with bluegrass artists, and even live performances in their Nashville studio.
Before that, he spent many years at Nashville’s WSM, rising there to the AM Program Director position, during which time he had the honor of announcing on the Grand Ole Opry as well.
While at Sirius, he was recognized five time as the IBMA Broadcaster of the Year, SPBGMA DJ of the year nine times, and was inducted as a member of the Country Radio Broadcasters Hall of Fame.
This March Kyle was caught up in a major restructuring at SiriusXM, where nearly 500 people lost their jobs, and he says that the response he received from listeners at that time is what convinced him to start this new venture.
“When I left SiriusXM, I was genuinely moved by the outpouring of support on the part of the listeners and the artists. It made me realize that what we have here is a community, and I wanted to keep us all together.
I want us all to think of it as a ‘home base’ for bluegrass fans everywhere. I also want to be able to continue to support the bluegrass music industry, which has been really good to me. I’ve been fortunate to make many friends – both of industry folks and the artists who make their living through this music – and I want to do all I can to continue to give them a place to get their music out there.”
Plans are to keep BanjoRadio as a free service, though donations are being accepted now online. Those who donate $30 or more will receive a limited edition BanjoRadio T-shirt as a thank you gift.
“My goal is to keep this free for everyone. I’ve personally invested thousands of dollars in equipment and services to get this off the ground, and there will be large ongoing expenses. While we plan to enlist corporate sponsors, I’m really hoping this will be primarily a grassroots effort – ‘radio for the people and by the people.’
We’re building a community like no other. I’m excited about the future of bluegrass music and I’m really hoping people will join me on my mission to share the music I love, and its artists, with bluegrass fans worldwide!”
Kyle says that there will be a mix of live and pre-recorded original hosted content each day during the week. A free app for for your devices will be provided to make it easy to listen anytime.
To stay on top of the launch of BanjoRadio, you can sign up for Kyle’s free email list online.