As the community radio station’s spring fund drive kicks into gear, WYCE unveils its “881 Essentials,” including about 50 local and regional bands and solo artists being played on-air.
Picking the 881 most “essential” musical artists of all time can be more challenging than one might assume, especially for fans with eclectic tastes and a penchant for local music.
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But with Grand Rapids community radio station WYCE-FM (88.1) kicking off its spring fund drive a few days ago, program director Matt Jarrells has unveiled “881 Essentials” on a page at the grcmc.org/radio site and in more elaborate fashion at wyceradio.tumblr.com to illustrate the diversity of the station’s music programming.
“I’ve always wanted to make a road map for our listeners and our new programmers,” Jarrells told Local
Spins in describing the mega-list that took a few months to compile with input from volunteer programmers.
The roster includes influential songwriting icons such as John Hartford, Richie Havens, Joni Mitchell, Willie Nelson, Greg Brown and John Hiatt, jazz, blues and gospel greats John Coltrane, Mississippi Fred McDowell, Pinetop Perkins, Ray Charles and Mahalia Jackson, and newer artists, including The Avett Brothers, Michael Franti, Lord Huron, The Black Keys, Rodrigo y Gabriela and The Duhks, not to mention a bevy of more obscure acts and world music groups.
MORE THAN FOUR DOZEN LOCAL AND REGIONAL ARTISTS MAKE THE LIST
About 50 West Michigan artists made the “Essentials” roster, too, including Stepdad, Jimmie Stagger, Mustard Plug, Grupo Aye, The Icicles, Lindsay Lou & The Flatbellys, Red Tail Ring, Nathan Kalish, Delilah DeWylde & The Lost Boys, The Crane Wives, Drew Nelson, Ultraviolet Hippopotamus, Hank Mowery, Edye Evans Hyde, Ralston Bowles, Organissimo, Ghost Heart, Strawberry Heritage, The Moxie Strings, Joshua Davis, Greg Nagy, The Concussions and The Northern Skies (who play their “farewell” show on April 3 at St. Cecilia Music Center as part of the Fresh Folk/Local Spins concert series).
See more local entries in the full list online here.
“While the programmers didn’t agree on everything, there were some things we could agree to include,” Jarrells said.
The only band which earned unanimous endorsement? Wilco.
On the tumblr.com site, each featured selection includes a short description and bio of the artist, and most include a video of one of the artist’s songs.
“Thanks to our new playlist logging system, we can store more information about artists and designate important information about them, like who are our core artists,” Jarrells said of the process used to sift through artists. “We put the new system in place last year, thanks to our donors, of course.”
Did they leave some artists out? You decide.
By the way, WYCE’s spring drive kicked off on Friday with the best first day of fundraising in WYCE history, followed by the best second day. To donate to WYCE, a listener-supported station, click here or call 616-742-9923. The drive ends Friday.
Email John Sinkevics at email@example.com.
Copyright 2014, Spins on Music