It has been a busy week so far around the KMSU studios. We had a bacon buffet, gave away books, and on Wednesday we're giving away board games. More importantly, Wednesday marks the beginning of the Spring Pledge Drive. It kicks off at six a.m. during the morning show, and it ends on Friday, April 19th. In between there will be a lot of stuff going on, and most of it will involve radio hosts pleading with you to take a moment and pledge your financial support to 89.7 The Maverick. Thank you for your patience, but mostly, THANK YOU FOR YOUR HELP!
It has been 15 years since Shuffle Function first started up. We were originally in the seven o'clock slot on Fridays, but after a few months we transitioned to Thursday as six, where we were the opening act for Mike Scullin, the Jazz Anthropologist. I'll never hear this song again without thinking of Mike.
We owe a lot to Mike Scullin, because if it wasn't for him Shelley wouldn't have gotten the idea to try and get a show on KMSU. We owe even more to Fred Vette because he was running the station at the time, and he decided to give us a shot. Back then there wasn't a lot of guidance around the station. Nobody bothered to even tell most of the hosts when the station was having a pledge drive! I remember that Shelley and I were so furious about this, because we really wanted to do whatever we could to keep the station on the air, and that included pledge pitches.
Maybe it's weird, but we've always loved doing pledge drives, because it gave us an opportunity to wear our love of KMSU on our sleeves. I mean, this is a rare and beautiful station, and when you're talking about something like this it's easy to be passionate about it. More than anything, we just hope that somebody out there feels the same way, and over the years there have been lots of true believers that we've spoken to. That's pretty awesome, and it's even more awesome that we still get to do this all these years later. For a while, however, that wasn't going to be the case.
All the major props to Mike Scullin and Fred Vette, but the largest amount of thanks really needs to go to Jim "Gully" Gullickson. He became the station manager not long after our show started, and from virtually day one he's been a big supporter of our show. It was Gully that gave the green light the first 24 Hour Pledge Drive A-Go-Go all those years ago. We hadn't even done a live show until that first 24 Hour Marathon, but he still wanted to give us the opportunity to do something grandly stupid on behalf of the station. We're grateful that we still get to do the marathon, and we'll be doing it again this Thursday and Friday.
That's a bit of a digression, because what I was getting at was the fact that a few years after we started up here KMSU was nearly shut down. The license was going to be sold off, and that would be it for this amazing little station on the hill. The main reason why we're still on the air is that Gully stood up for the station. He asked for one more shot to get the station moving in the right direction, and to the University's credit, he was given that chance.
One of the first things he had to do was get a consistent morning show on the air, and someone suggested that Shuffle Function be that morning show. It didn't take too much arm twisting to get us to say yes. I mean, the show had already become our favorite thing in the world, so the chance to do it for two hours every Monday through Friday was beyond our wildest dreams. And now here we are, 12 years later, and the morning show is now our three favorites hours of the day.
Gradually the pledge drives started getting bigger, and more improvements were being made to the station. We barely even had a working turntable up here for a while, which seems inconceivable. More hosts were brought on board to diversify the lineup, and the new voices have really enhanced the profile of the station. Last year, thanks to your incredible generosity over the years, we were able to finally get the new transmitter we've been saving up for. That one deserves a HUGE thank-you. THANK-YOU!
What I'm getting at is that KMSU has been growing and developing, and that's thanks to a lot of different folks, but mostly it is because of the listeners. KMSU needs to continue growing and building, and when you give to the station you are giving us a chance to work harder to provide a real community voice in this corporate media landscape. You are giving folks from your community a chance to create something really wonderful on this station, and it's something that needs to be heard. Maybe it's on a radio, maybe it's online, or maybe it's streaming through an app, but all that matters is that this station can be heard and can continue to be heard.
The drive starts at six a.m. tomorrow morning, and Shelley and I will be up here bright and shiny to do what we can to be advocates for this station. We're going to be looking for that first call from a true believer like you. Heck, maybe it will be you! I sure hope so. You're what keeps the station ticking.
Anyway. I'm already on my soapbox and the drive hasn't even started yet. It doesn't take much to get me shouting on behalf of KMSU. I'm really lucky to have a chance to do just that.
CALL 507-389-5678 or 1-800-456-7810!