Song Of The Day 3/20/2016: Little Joe Cook – “Meet Me Down in Soulsville”

Star Time Preview – There's nothing much that passes for major news in my life these days. There's been a bunch of "almosts" -- almost moved to Boston, almost moved to D.C., almost got employed doing something I'm good at, almost de-cluttered my desk. So when something momentous happens I tend to go full-throttle on the announcements, even if I'm oversizing the scale or if it causes nary a blip on anyone's radars. Such is the case with something I've been planning in some form or another for almost a decade and now feel the need to promote it like it's the Rio Olympics, although I'm sure my thing will go a lot more smoothly and won't require quite as much bribing of public officials.

At some point very soon I'll be back on radio. In recent years there's been a wave of low-power broadcasters, a class of FM stations that was approved by the FCC back in 2000. This new classification was established to stem the tide of homogenization of the airwaves and rejuvenate local radio programming. Here in Seattle there's been a lot of effort in getting some of these microstations off the ground over the last three years, and in 2015 the FCC gave approval for seven of them to start broadcasting in the city. (The Stranger wrote about it last summer.) Most of these stations will be "hyperlocal" -- meaning they'll only be available on FM over a fairly small area, approximately a 3.5-mile radius depending on where their transmitter tower is located. So sleep easy NPR, like we all do when listening to your news shows!

ANYWAY. One of these stations is KVRU, and they'll be setting up shop about a mile and a half from my house very, very soon. I don't know exactly when, but soon. Within weeks. Although that's exactly what the Jehovah's Witnesses said whenever I asked when the New System was coming, but I've verified the documentation on the radio station. Eventually KVRU will be broadcasting from 105.7 FM in the Rainier Valley area, but to start off they'll be streaming on the web for everyone in the world to hear. Like the other six new stations, KVRU will feature home-produced, non-commercial and corporate-free programs with wild diversity and local personalities.

One of them will be me, with something I've been wanting to do a very long: a music show featuring R&B music from the 1950's through the 1980's, with primary emphasis on the '60s and '70s. This is the kind of show I always said I'd do if I ever got back on public radio, after leaving Olympia and KAOS eleven years ago. I was just waiting for the right opportunity, or for someone to beg me. Thankfully nobody lost their dignity and KVRU came along.

The show's called Star Time. Now, again, I don't know exactly when it's going to launch. I don't even know what day or time it's going to occupy yet (though I will be pushing hard for Tuesday or Wednesday nights). I do know that the first episode, which I produced at home, is almost done. The music part is finished. Now I just have to record my voice. Scratch that: First I have to lose my self-consciousness about speaking in my natural voice, then I'll be recording my voice.

So I thought I'd spend the week previewing Star Time with seven songs that are all going to be on Episode 1. Don't worry about my giving it all away; there are 31 songs on Episode 1. We'll have more songs and more about this story over the next week, because for Christ's sakes, it's major fricking news in my house, almost as big as Lucie dying her hair blue. And almost as influential.

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