Audioasis (Er Who Called Louisville Radio 'White Bread'?

By Paul Moffett

Joe Vincenza's Saturday afternoon radio show, "Audioasis," on WFPL FM 89, sometimes begins with a melange of "oasis" type animal sounds.

Sometimes it starts with a skit by the Radio Pirates or the Necessary Theater.

One recent Saturday, the show opened with "Honky Tonk Special," from Hank Sr. sound-alike Marty Brown, followed by a "cheatin'" tune from Pinkerton and Bowden, then a piece from the Capital Steps called "(We Don't Want No) Gun Control."

It has even featured a dramatic reading of "Try a Little Tenderness" by "Dragnet" star Jack Webb.

That's the way host Joe V. likes it – splendidly varied, usually thematic, but always open to "just good music."

"It's just like when I worked at a college radio station in Kalamazoo, only now I know a lot more about music," he noted.

Vincenza spent five years hosting a jazz fusion program on WFPL and when that show was scheduled to move to Saturdays, he suggested a change to the current format.

"The jazz fusion thing had run its course," he said, "and I wanted to do something different." His description to a friend, Carole Kolb, of what he wanted the show to be resulted in the "Audioasis" name.

Vincenza considers himself an artist, assembling good music from every genre into a coherent program. fitting together such diverse music requires that he listen to a lot of recordings, which he gets from radio labels, bands, local record stores and often from out of his pocket.

"I can only buy so much, though," he lamented. "I tell bands who are coming to town to send me a recording and I'll play it, if it's any good. They'll say 'Yeah sure' and then I don't ever get anything."

Record service to public radio by record labels is problematic, because public radio stations often do not report to "charts." WFPL, however, is a reporting station for College Music Journal, the Gavin Report and Radio and Records. Vincenza credits nighttime jazz host Leslie Stewart with setting up the reporting. He hopes that it will improve the record service for his show.

Vincenza credits station manager Gerry Weston with allowing him the freedom to do the kind of radio he does.

"l don't think that I could work at a commercial station anymore," Joe remarked.

He also hopes that listeners will call him with suggestions, comments, complaints and compliments. He doesn't take requests, though.

Input is welcome, he said. The station's phone number is 561-8640.

His other credits at WFPL include eight years of producing a variety of programming, including the "Lonesome Pine Specials," "Louisville Homefront Performances" and "The Corn Island Storytelling Festival." "The Lonesome Pine. Specials" are now in one hundred plus markets. The Corn Island program also gets wide distribution.

"Audioasis" is on from 3 p.m. 5 p.m. on Saturday.

Author's note: It was in a review of the Thai-Siam restaurant in an issue of Louisville magazine that writer James (Chip) Nold inserted, parenthetically, this: "Now, if only someone would do something about the white bread radio situation in Louisville."

Just for the record.