Back after a 45 Year Vacation!
By Jimmy Latham
Growing up in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, my first experience with radio was when my high school assistant principal bought an Army surplus AM transmitter and let students pretend to be top 40 DJ’s during their study hall (free period). Our booming signal reached the lunch room, smoking court, and right to the edge of the parking lot!
Later at Auburn University, I worked the midday shift at the campus station, WEGL-FM, plus weekends on some of the area’s commercial stations. After about 6 months, the current music director, graduated and the staff elected me Music Director for the station. Before that, my musical interest had been primarily southern rock, but that changed quickly as I had to program the music for all the shows. Because our station had such diverse programing, that included rock, blues, jazz, big band, and classical, I discovered a whole new world of music, way beyond the hits of the day. My fascination with all music has never stopped. My time at the campus station also included interviewing, on the air, the various rock groups that played at Auburn, and announcing those groups at the concerts. Radio and music have always been a fun diversion to my career in commercial design/build construction.
After a lifelong career in the construction industry, Beth and I began to search for the right place to retire. Big Canoe checked all the boxes! We built a new home in the Bluffs and moved here in June 2022. Big Canoe is truly amazing and we are all lucky to live in such a beautiful place.
My show, the Big Canoe Lounge has the theme of the listener taking a comfortable seat in the cool, dimly lit back corner of a jazz lounge, having their favorite beverage, and relaxing with the music. We explore the world of smooth jazz, with a little funk and soul mixed in for good measure. My weekly segments include; a “Twist of Motown”, a new reimagined jazzy version of a classic Motown tune, the “Roots of Jazz”, a look back at historical jazz tunes from many years ago, and “CoverPlay”, two very different versions of the same song. I am also fortunate to have many of the current smooth jazz artists on the show, with interviews and insight into their music.
I am more than excited to be back on the air after a 45-year vacation! Our station founders, Craig Looney and Dinnis Keefe have brought back the original magic of radio. Inside the Gates Radio recreates the time when the listener had a direct connection to the station. All of our hosts create themed shows that make you think about and enjoy the music, not just a rotation of 40 songs over and over. Just text one of us and you will find us responsive to you, the listener. Big Canoe has tons of unique and special resources. Community Radio built by residents, and serving our residents, is one of our treasures. Check us out at: insidethegatesradio.com.
Live Show: “The Big Canoe Lounge” Tuesday Nights at 6:00 P.M. (EST)
Text during Live Show 205-799-3348