We can make a lot of different arguments about how radio, and how we consume it, has changed through the years. But many of us agree on something that’s been lost along the way: its larger place as a discovery tool.
It’s easy to hear (and re-hear) your favorite hits on any number of stations, but getting tipped to things you haven’t come across before, new or old? Getting surprised on a daily basis? Harder these days, unless you’re a satellite subscriber.
When Vanderbilt’s college radio station WRVU went off the air five years ago, Nashville, specifically, lost a beloved local station that surprised and educated listeners across the city, pretty much every day. It’s been missed by many.
So many of us have been hugely excited about the work of a team of community radio devotees and volunteers, banding together to build WXNA, a freeform station that’d pick up where WRVU left off, with music programming across all genres, plus anything else creative locals felt was worthy of local airwaves and local ears.
This past weekend, WXNA became a full-fledged reality, as the station sent out its first sounds over 101.5 FM on Saturday, June 4.
If you set your dial to WXNA, you’ll catch some favorites from the WRVU annals, like longtime favorite blues/R&B/jazz show “Nashville Jumps” and Janet Timmons’ finger-on-the-pulse “Out the Other.” There’s lots of new stuff, too.
Just a tiny sliver of what you can catch as WXNA unfurls 82 original shows over 120 hours every week:
- Hosts covering just about every music genre imaginable, from funk and soul (Grimey’s co-owner Doyle Davis’ “D-Funk”) to dance bangers (longtime Nashville Scene writer Lance Conzett’s “Pop+Lock”) to classical (longtime Nashville Scene writer John Pitcher’s “Fearful Symmetries”) and beyond
- Local musicians taking the host mic, including Paul Burch (“River City Red Hot & Blue”), David Olney (“Free Fall”), Tommy Womack (“Tommy Womack’s Happiness Hour”) and more
- Food-scene talk on “Yum Yum Eat Um Up!” with onetime local restaurateurs Dawn and Gene Kote
- Comedy exploration on “Nashville Standup Sits Down” with Nashville comedians Chad Riden and Mary Jay Berger
- Local talk on “Nashville Haps” with Nashville author Ashley Crownover
The chances that you won’t be introduced to something you haven’t heard before, be it music or information: very, very slim.
You can check out the full debut programming schedule at WXNAfm.org, and listen online there, too.
To tune in the old-fashioned way, set the dial to 101.5 FM, and you should be able to pick up our new “Low Power, High Voltage” station if you’re in most of the central core of the city, from North Nashville to East Nashville, Belmont to Berry Hill.
If you’re a diehard music lover, a classic radio devotee or you’re among the longtime Nashvillians who’ve missed 91 Rock, prepare to fall in love, and hard.
A big congrats — and big thanks — to all the folks involved with WXNA. We’ll sure be listening.