U of M radio station celebrates college radio day | Arts & Culture
Wednesday was College Radio Day and schools across the nation hosted events to raise awareness and hopefully reach new listeners.
And Memphis’ own WUMR, U-92 FM “The Jazz Lover” is participated as well. The station broadcasted live from The University of Memphis Campus from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The special broadcast was held in the College of Communications and Fine Arts Plaza, which is the space between the Theatre and Music building.
This is the second year WUMR has participated in College Radio Day. And Christopher Davis, Program Director for WUMR says this year was not simply about the music – it was about sending an important message.
The station chose to celebrate college day by alerting people to the dangers of texting while driving. They had a mangled car on display and talked about the dangers of texting while driving. “The Jazz Lover” crew encouraged passersby to sign an online pledge against texting while driving.
WUMR is the only jazz radio station in Memphis, and Davis said having the car at the event caused people to stop and take a second look - or should I say listen.
During the broadcast the man in the picture above (the one standing in the middle, wearing a U of M sweater) actually came up to the table, and told the WUMR crew he was hit by a driver who was texting on the road last year. The man says he was driving to The University when the crash happened. His car was totaled, and he ended up with a cracked spine in addition to other injuries.
According to Davis, doing live remotes on campus is generally a great way to interact with students. And some of them might not have been interested in jazz previously.
“They hear the music, and really it helps us to connect to the campus more because when you tell a typical student that we are a jazz station, they tend to think of it as old people’s music, but when they actually get to hear it in person, they get a different opinion of it,” said Davis.
Another reason stations are participating in college radio day is to celebrate their independence. College radio stations don’t have the same financial limitations as commercial radio stations. Therefore, this means they have freedom to play what they want to play.
And Davis said this means some artists that would never be heard get a chance to have their music played on-air.
Overall, the day was considered to be a success, and Davis said the station plans on doing it again next year.