Sigmon Communications at Lincoln Memorial University in Harrogate, TN, has announced that noted bluegrass singer and songwriter, Steve Gulley, has accepted the position as Program Director for their two radio stations.
Gulley has had a long association with the school in northeastern Tennessee. It is where he studied, and the institution that granted him an honorary doctorate in 2016, a distinction they had offered to Ralph Stanley in 1976, earning him the sobriquet of Dr. Ralph. Lincoln Memorial is the site of Steve’s Acoustic Music Week With Steve Gulley & Friends through their Arts In The Gap initiative, and is a co-sponsor of his monthly Cumberland Mountain Music Show.
The school is part of his community, located just five miles from his home, and allows him to return to a familiar vocation. Steve says that he grew up around the radio station where his dad worked when he was a boy, and that he is delighted to return to that world.
Steve was discovered singing at the Renfro Valley park near where he grew up in Kentucky, and he made his first mark in bluegrass with Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver. From there he served as a founding member of both Mountain Heart and Grasstowne, and spent several years touring with Dale Ann Bradley. He is known for his powerful tenor voice and natural gift for songwriting, often with his regular writing partner Tim Stafford. These days he leads his own band, Steve Gulley & New Pinnacle.
The school operates two separate stations on campus. Gulley says that they each have independent personalities, and have generated a strong following in the region.
“WCXZ-AM has a format of classic country, bluegrass and Gospel music and is a commercial station staffed with some great full-time professional broadcasters including IBMA-nominated Larry Carter with Bluegrass For Breakfast and regional favorite Tom Amis; and WLMU-FM, which is a non-commercial station whose broadcasters include professional radio personalities like Gary Daniels, as well as university students, and has a totally eclectic musical format of everything from jazz to blues to roots music and classic rock, along with informative talk shows on everything from campus news to politics, world events and the arts.”
There will also be an on-air role for Steve, once he gets comfortable with his day-to-day duties in the new position, which involve managing music with the programming software, keeping logs, and the like. You can expect to see one of more shows with him behind the microphone in the near future.
For bluegrass fans, the best news is that while this new gig will keep him busy, there will still be time allotted for playing, recording, and singing bluegrass.
“This is a full-time position and I’ll be there in my office inside the communications building on a daily basis working to make the radio stations the best they can be. Besides our local listenership, we also stream live online at www.74wcxz.com and www.913thegap.com. We have a good online presence that we will be working more proactively to grow.
One of the great things about this job is that the folks at LMU want me to continue touring and performing, and it won’t take away from my music – live performances or recording/producing at all. I’m really happy to be able to continue to do all the things I love – serving my local community and university, while remaining an active part of my wonderful bluegrass community and continuing to perform, write, create and produce my original music.”
Steve wants all of his friends in the bluegrass world to know that they can contact him on campus about interviews or promotional opportunities by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or phone (423-869-7019).
Congratulations, Steve, on your new job at LMU!