Uncle Willis // Timothy Willis

Name & DJ Name:

Timothy Willis aka Uncle Willis

Name of Show/Day & Time:

Storytime With Uncle Willis, Monday evenings, 7:00 to 8:00

Show’s Format/Has It Morphed? 

In my family, my nieces and nephews know me as a storyteller; I’m that uncle. I play old-time radio classics, audio books and original radio plays. I like to find the ones based on stories by writers like Edgar Allen Poe and HP Lovecraft. I look for that strangest stuff out there! I’m intentionally looking for B-grade radio plays—they’re archived, they’re in the public domain, complete with commercials from their time period, the ‘40s and ‘50s. Those old low-budget plays seemed to get to explore the more bizarre subject matter since they didn’t have to answer to CBS, Lux and other big sponsors.  

I’ve also gotten to profile about a dozen guests over the three years I’ve been on the air, and I want to feature more. I’ve read some of my own poetry and, ideally, I’d like to divide my hour into half music and poetry, the other half live radio play performances, which is actually how I started my very first show, with live skits performed by voice actors from the community.  

I made the little intro I play at the start of each show, playing slide guitar with a shot glass and other effects on my bass, and I just recorded it till I got that Twilight Zone feel.

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Kelly Ann Zwager

What is your name?

Kelly Ann Zwager

What is the name of your show? When is it?

The show is called Midnight Ideas, and it’s on Sundays 3-5pm.

Describe your show/What is your show’s format?

The name was inspired by a sign that I saw outside a bar – I didn’t know it was a bar – in a town in Oklahoma that shall go unnamed. I was visiting my sister and we were chatting in a parking lot and I looked across the street and I saw this one-story, small, blockish building with no windows, sort of, in a field – if you can picture it – surrounded by trees. And there was one of those signs that is also an arrow pointing to the building from the side of the road, with the magnetic letters stuck to it, and some of the letters had fallen off and I thought it said “MIDNIGHT IDEAS.” It just said “Midnight Ideas” with an arrow pointing at this nondescript building and it just got my brain reeling. I was like, “What happens here? I need to know! What is this place?” Then my sister told me, “No, it’s Midnight Riders, it’s a bar.” It’s like a biker bar (laughs). Oh. The fantasy sort of fizzled. But that feeling, it really got me. And I started thinking about, as a writer, a lot of the things that I feel compelled to express find a way to be said in the middle of the night, just as I’m getting tired, and letting go of the days events, and slipping into the dreamy ether. That’s when walls go down and windows open between worlds and things get flooded – so I really try to focus on songs that I think deal with subjects that probably kept the person that wrote them up at night until they were out there. Sometimes it’s real broody, sometimes it’s kind of sexy, it’s kind of all over the place. So there’s not much of a theme there, other than what keeps you up at night.

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