Monday, December 2, 2019

WPVM's Dr. Herb Johnson Shares His Art

Dr. Herb Johnson, treasurer of Friends of WPVM Inc, has been an art collector for many years, a passion he inherited from his father—a jazz musician in the 1920s-30s and then owner of an art gallery in Chicago in the 1940s. Dr. Johnson's art interests include American print makers and American primitives of the 1930s as well as traditional West African tribal art.

Also known for sharing pieces of his art, three of Dr. Johnson's donations to the Asheville Art Museum are now on display with other American prints. He is shown above at the recently re-furbished museum beside a collection of prints from the 1930s and early '40s, featuring scenes that are urban, industrial and rural in a range of printmaking techniques. The exhibit includes his gifts by Reginald Marsh, Grant Wood and Helen West Heller—artists who Dr. Johnson believes truly express the iconic American print movement in the 1930s.

Helen West Heller - Isometric Architecture  1941

Grant Wood - In The Spring 1939

Reginald Marsh - Merry Go Round 1930

Friday, November 1, 2019

WPVM Featured in "Capital at Play" Magazine

Ms. Davyne Dial and Dr. Herb Johnson, president and treasurer of Friends of WPVM, Inc.—and husband and wife—are featured with nine other regional non-profits in the November issue of Capital at Play magazine. The couple is profiled in an informative two-page spread about how they came to be involved with the station.

Additionally, other station volunteers, including Blaine Greenfield, host of “Blaine’s World,” and Jessica Rice, host of “NC Serves Veterans Radio Hour,” are featured in a section called “Fun for a Better WNC.” 

Davyne and Herb thank editor Fred Mills and his staff for including WPVM is this distinctive annual issue! The magazine is available at a number of locations in the WNC region.

Thursday, October 10, 2019

WPVM General Manager a Hit in NY!

Davyne Dial, WPVM general manager, 
was a recent guest speaker at the Grassroots Radio Conference in Rochester, New York. Her topic, “Social Media Savvy,” showed her audience how to incorporate live video to Facebook, cameras, smart phones, and mics to capture action or live programming. Davyne also explained to the radio station attendees how to use social media to help establish their brand in their particular communities to vastly increase their reach and engagement.

Asked about the response, Davyne, who used PowerPoint to enhance her presentation, said her audience seemed dazzled—they had no idea such connections were possible. Verifying this, feedback from her audience was enthusiastic, like from Theresa Mitchell, radio commentator and music programmer for KBOO in Portland, Oregon: “A great presentation! You did a terrific job!

A radio personality who later watched the video of Davyne’s talk confirmed this, calling it a “‘revelatory presentation that a vast majority of community radio stations are not knowledgeable about...and Davyne, with her immense technical expertise, presented the facts in a way that her audience could get it!

Monday, September 16, 2019

Bluegrass Banjo

Raymond Fairchild

A favorite of WPVM listeners is its play of old and new regional music—especially featuring the distinctive music of the banjo!

Here are three great local banjo stories to enjoy:

Dom Flemons

An entertaining 5-minute listen from Blue Ridge Public Radio (BPR) writer Cory Vaillancourt featuring Haywood County’s “elder statesman of mountain music” Raymond Fairchild and Grammy Award-winning American songster Dom Flemons.

Billy Scribbles and Mikey 
Merrill on Asheville streets
Billy Scribbles—travel writer, folklorist and busker (including playing banjo and spoons on the streets of Asheville)—shares a Facebook post about playing with Raymond Fairchild. A delightful read!

Photo on left of Billy with Mikey Merrill of Madison County. “The Reverend,” as Billy calls him, is the real deal!

(Here’s a short picturesque video of Billy playing banjo during his current adventures on the road out west.)

Roscoe Holcomb
The Discovery of Roscoe Holcomb and the High Lonesome Sound

A 2015 article from The New Yorker magazine by Amanda Petrusich on Roscoe Holcomb; Bob Dylan described Holcomb's work as exhibiting a certain untamed sense of control. 

WPVM presents "Land of the Sky" radio show on Sundays at 7:00-9:00 pm which features 78 rpm recordings of regional music—with lots of banjo! Plus the station’s weekday afternoon programs highlight current musicians influenced by traditional regional sounds such as Steep Canyon Rangers, Carolina Chocolate Drops, and many other artists with local roots; along with vintage recordings by Bascom Lamar Lunsford and Jimmie Rodgers.  Enjoy!

Monday, August 26, 2019

Women's Equality Day

On August 26, 1920, after three generations of an unrelenting, brilliant, courageous, political campaign, women in the United States won the right to vote. 

In 1971, to honor and commemorate this historic event, Congresswoman Bella Abzug introduced a Congressional Resolution (she had to introduce it again in 1973 when Congress passed it) to ensure that this date would be commemorated with the designation of Women's Equality Day, which is now celebrated on August 26th each year.

Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi leads a Women's Equality Day
 celebration in 2016

Tuesday, August 20, 2019


Each year on August 20th, National Radio Day recognizes the great invention of the radio. Celebrate the news, information, music, and stories carried across the airwaves.

Several inventors had a part in the invention of the radio in the late 1800s. Amazingly, not just one person can be credited with its beginning. Each component developed through invention and discovery. As these technologies converged, the radio came to life.
In the paragraphs that follow, a noted international effort contributed to the conception of the radio. In Germany, the research of Heinrich Hertz proved electricity could be transmitted wirelessly. Elsewhere, the multiple patents of the prolific inventor Nikola Tesla provided the radio with the Tesla coil. Born in Croatia, Tesla also contributed many patents involving alternating current advancing the science and production of numerous inventions. When it comes to the first commercially available wireless, Italian, Guglielmo Marconi receives the honor.   
Quote mark
 In radio, you have two tools. Sound and silence. ~ Ira Glass

While entertainment and music fill the airwaves today, they were not the radio’s first functions. First, the wireless radio served the military. It also provided a regular public service role. Much like the dits and dots of a telegram, the wireless transmitted information. On board the Titanic at the time of its sinking, a Marconi wireless broadcast the ship’s distress signal. However, in 1906, the first radio broadcast of voice and music purely for entertainment purposes aired. Reginald Fessenden transmitted the program from Brant Rock, Massachusetts for the general public to hear. The Canadian born scientist would go on to many more successes in his lifetime.      
As wireless came alive, the first broadcast stations began airing programs in the 1920s. News and world events were the first items over the airwaves.
  • Radio ownership grew. In 1931, two out of five homes owned a radio. By 1938, four out of five owned a radio.  
  • According to FCC statistics, at the end of 2012, there were more than 15,000 licensed broadcast radio stations in the U.S.
  • On October 1, 1999, the first satellite radio broadcast occurred. Worldspace aired the broadcast in Africa. 
The founder of National Day Calendar hosts a radio talk show.  The “Guru of Geek” Marlo Anderson hosts the Tech Ranch, featuring discussions on technology for everyday life.  Click here to listen.

HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalRadioDay

To celebrate National Radio Day, listen to your favorite radio station. Give special recognition to the station, radio personalities and the programs that make your days better.  Use #NationalRadioDay to post on social media. 
Educators, join the National Day Calendar Classroom to get your students involved in National Radio Day with crosswords puzzles, a podcast and more! Every week the classroom offers a variety of lessons and projects to keep children engaged and learning. 

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Celebrating Women

In celebration of the Suffrage Centennial—when women won the vote in August 1920—and as a way to support the modern women’s movement, WPVM recently premiered a special interview program, “Women Fighting the Good Fight.” 

The Women's 
Suffrage Movement
The first show featured Justin Souther, the senior book buyer and store manager at Malaprops (Asheville’s renowned bookseller) and Cornelia Powell, fashion historian, guest speaker and writer. 

Justin brought a number of books from the store to “show and tell” focusing on the suffrage movement in the U.S. as well as in Great Britain, sharing stories of courageous women who gave their lives to this 72-year-long struggle for the vote. Cornelia (who is presenting a series of lectures over the next year around the Southeast—one titled, “Dress to Protest: What Women Wore to the Revolution”) interjected anecdotes from suffrage history. 

Remember the Ladies
Cornelia will join Davyne Dial—WPVM’s general manager and tech diva extraordinaire—at future randomly scheduled programs throughout the next year. (Plus, Justin will return as more books on women’s suffrage and woman-centric topics hit the book shelves at Malaprops.) Stay tuned. ~

The Woman's Hour
ps: Check out WPVM’s website page with listings of Suffrage Centennial celebrations—including exhibitions and lecture series—around the country over the next year-plus! Do you have plans for a celebration or commemoration that is not listed on the WPVM site? Then please email us and let us know so we can add it to our group!

(Other books Justin shared about: Votes for Women and Death in Ten Minutes.)