Open House at WAMU

Katy Daley of WAMU Bluegrass CountryOur friend Katy Daley sent along this report from this past weekend’s Open House event for WAMU’s Bluegrass Country in Washington, DC.

On Sunday, June 22, the station offered live music and hosted listeners for station tours at WAMU, and Katy passed along this run down of the day’s event.

WAMU’s Bluegrass Country Open House was very successful. First of all the weather cooperated. All forecasts had called for rain or thunderstorms and it turned out to be a pretty nice day. The bands were on a small stage nestled in the flower gardens out on our front lawn and there was some shade for most of the audience most of the day.

Speaking of the bands — they did a great job, starting with ALL4Hym kicking the Sunday morning off right with gospel. We also had Washington-area favorites, Andrew Acosta and the New Old Time String Band, featuring the fiddling of 90-year-old Speedy Tolliver. Then a couple of bands headed up by two on-air hosts: Hubie King and the Old Timers and the Lisa Kay Band. And the afternoon was rounded up by a kicked-up Celtic group from Washington, Scythian.

We told our listeners we would show them how the magic of radio worked and we did. An estimated 400 people toured the studios and saw where and how the hosts work, using CDs, LPs and a computer program with a library of about 25,000 titles.

Our engineering staff answered technical questions and many of the tours went right into the air studio and talked with Lee Michael Demsey, Bill Foster, Fred Bartenstein, Tom Cat Reeder, Bob Webster, Echo Propp, Trevor Whitney and me about how shows were put together.

We had a large display of HD tabletop radios and several staff members parked their cars with HD radios out front so listeners could hear how great they sounded.

Of course, it’s not a party without refreshments and party favors. We had those, too. Visitors went home with goodie bags with bumperstickers and CDs. And three lucky people won HD Radios.

We didn’t want anyone out of the Washington area to feel left out so the web team kept updating a virtual tour of the station with day-of-the-event photos.

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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.