Letters to the Editor

Opposes Jazz Cuts at Public Radio

I would like to add my voice to those who oppose the ending of afternoon jazz on WFPK. A twenty year tradition of quality jazz programming is to be replaced with music referred to as Adult Alternative starting January 5. While I understand that this format is popular (I enjoy it myself), I am puzzled by the apparent need to play it all day, five days a week, when the cost is confining jazz programming to the nether regions of weekly scheduling (Sundays and over nights).

I want to make it clear that I tune in to WFPK for much more than jazz. I get enjoyment from the variety of music programming, but I'm seeing that variety is becoming less and less a priority. WFPK seems to have adopted a new vision-that of becoming the hippest pop station around, rather than the station that exists to provide music that the pop stations never will. This is not the vision my pledge dollars support.

I give the current leadership at WFPK credit for many positive changes that have occurred since the days the station was run from the library, but the decision to discontinue afternoon jazz programming is not a good one and foreshadows a grim future for jazz and other kinds of music currently on WFPK. I urge the powers that be at WFPK to reverse the decision to eliminate afternoon jazz programming and to remain focused and committed to being a PUBLIC radio station, rather than striving to be the best pop station on the dial.

Todd Hildreth

Louisville, KY

Letters About the Decline in Audiences For Live Music Events

Lack Of Radio Support A Cause?

I too am guilty of pointing fingers at the Louisville Live Music Scene and the decline in followers. What I would like to contribute is my experience in Lexington. I recently took a house job at Austin City Saloon. To my surprise the music scene there is just the opposite of that in Louisville. They are packed and even at times having lines outside the door. What I have tried to do is see what works for them and compare. Austin City supports live entertainment and that is a first step, but what I think contributed the most is they have a supporting radio station! 98.1 The Bull. They are at the club most every night and always sponsoring several events. I might be wrong but when WAMZ sponsored and supported The Village Pub it was a success, but when they left and sponsored another club across the river the business declined. It does take partnership with club owners, musicians and advertisement. When was the last time you heard a band schedule announced on the air? I don't know the magic answer but I would like to bring my music back home to Louisville. Thanks for listening to me for I am willing to learn!!!!!!!!

Richard Douthitt

Louisville, KY

Late Starts, Low Performer Quality

Just wanted to voice my opinion on this subject. I haven't gone to see a live show in over 6 months. The last live show I saw was a solo performance by Warren Ray at Dutch's Tavern. I probably wouldn't have gone to this show except it was on a Saturday (no work the next day) and Warren happens to be a close personal friend.

That seems to be pretty much my criteria these days. 1. How late is the show starting? If they say 9pm they usually don't start until 10pm or later. This really bites when you have to get up at 4:30 am to go to work. If the shows would actually start when they say they are going to start I might go out to more, but I have gotten burned too many times waiting on "the crowd" to show up. I know economically and egotistically, waiting on "the crowd" is the right thing to do but acts will alienate some fans like me this way.

2. Do I know the artist or have I seen them before. I will usually jump at any chance to see bands I know such as Paul K and the Prayers, Bodeco, Will Oldham, Warren Ray, Serpent Wisdom, etc...It takes a bigger leap of faith for an unknown or up and comer.

3. Quality! Maybe this should be the #1 reason. I have heard a lot of hype about a lot of bands and most of them never live up to the hype. The only two acts I can think of that lived up to the hype I heard were 1 local act - Bridget Kaelin and Nate Thumas and 1 touring act - Garrison Starr. I was blown away by both of these acts and had heard as much before hand. Yes, after writing about it, Quality is MY #1 reason I don't go out to live shows as much anymore. Late starting times would be reason #2.

Todd Fuller

Louisville Kentucky

Fear of DUI Arrests

I think the fear of getting arrested for drunk driving has something to do with more people staying home. Even if I have ONE beer at a club, I don't feel comfortable driving home. I tried to call a cab from Headliners one night and got tired of waiting (over 45 minutes and still no cab) and finally called a friend...and that was after drinking three beers.

Rick Hancock, Louisville