Radio’s appeal has been consistent as America’s most popular medium. According to Nielsen 92% of US adults listen to the radio every week. Who among us doesn’t have a favorite radio station or DJ that we remember fondly? I have several from the past and some that I still enjoy. There is a relationship that develops between listeners and DJs. When you hear your favorite DJ or radio station regularly, it can be like hearing from a friend. Add to that, music is one of life’s most enjoyable experiences (that from Psychology Today). Music can bring us pleasure, provide a means of escape, evoke feelings of nostalgia, and becomes a part of who we are. It can get us excited, help us to calm down and make us feel happy. That is powerful.
Growing up in Wisconsin, my family always had music on. Being the youngest of five boys, my older brothers exposed me to bands like the Beatles and the Rolling Stones while I was young, while the other kids at school were listening to bubble gum artists. And while I do enjoy the many options available on TV, my preference is still listening to music.
While in college at the University of Wisconsin I was a DJ at the student run radio station WSRM. This was 1980-1981. I enjoyed it but felt it was not a career path for me. Two of my older brothers had tried that, and I saw how difficult it was. The hours were long, and the pay was low with little to no job security.
Over our careers my wife Debbie and I lived in seven different states, and at each place I found radio stations to keep current with the latest music. I heard unique regional acts and learned which artists resonated with music lovers all over the country. Fast forward to 2019 when we bought our home in Big Canoe. Debbie moved here first with our pets while I stayed back and finished my career in Insurance. When I read in Smoke Signals that a new radio station formed in Big Canoe, I thought how cool it was, and became excited at the possibility that I might be able to be a DJ again.
Beats Working was a name that I thought was fun. The double entendre captures the essence of how to start the weekend; something upbeat and fun, while also being glad to be done with the work week. I start my Beats Working program a little earlier (4:00 PM) than my fellow DJs so people can still listen to the show before they start their weekend.
Each week I include music from the early days of rock and roll (the 1950s) to present day (2020s) and all decades in between, with the largest share coming from the 1960s to 1980s. There has been so much music put out over the years, and I try to include the great tracks that artists have created throughout our lifetimes. And I include different types of music, not just Rock, but Rhythm and Blues, and Alternative. Music can be like an old friend. If you hear a tune you forgot, it can give you a wonderful feeling, and bring back memories, where you were, what you were doing, who you were friends with, etc.
It’s also fun for me to engage with our listeners. I have two segments on each show where the listening audience gets to play along, the Canoe Connection and the Double Take. In the Canoe Connection, I play four songs that have a theme running through them, and listeners text me with their guesses on what the theme is. I have had many interesting guesses (trust me!), and some have given me ideas for future shows. For the Double Take, I play two songs that have the same title, but are completely different songs, and the audience votes on which one they prefer. Often listeners have strong opinions on which artist should win. The comments that come in with the voting are very entertaining!
Last year Debbie created a Facebook page for Inside the Gates Radio, and she too has a real calling for this. The pictures she finds that go along with the shows and programs are outstanding. We have over 800 followers and likes on Facebook.
Being a DJ is a way to share my love of music with friends and family. Since starting my Beats Working show, I have had friends say that I missed my calling, while others have said I have found it. Either way it is a lot of fun. Sharing music is a great joy, and it has been wonderful to be a part of the station’s success. I cannot wait to see what the next few years bring. I hope you can listen and play along every Friday at www.insidethegatesradio.com!
It Beats Workin’!
Jeff Weigl firstname.lastname@example.org 703-727-5789