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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The Wondering Minstrel // Dennis Overman

Name/DJ Name:

My name is Dennis Overman, aka Obie, aka the Wondering Minstrel.

What is your show called? When is it? What is the format of your show?

The Wondering Minstrel – with an O – wondering. I’ve experienced a rebirth of wonder. It’s Tuesdays from 2 to 3. I’d like to think of it as a showcase, where songwriters can come in to play their original stuff, if they’ve got it. I started off thinking there were so many songwriters hanging out and I know a lot of them, but they’re not pros, they don’t even play gigs, they’re local, homegrown people, and that’s who I originally thought would come knocking down the doors to get in here. I have lean times and all of a sudden it will pick up. I noticed in the summer it picks up, because people are traveling around. But basically it’s a showcase for songwriters: it’s sort of like an open mic.

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DJ Comma // Donna O’Donovan

Name/DJ Name:   

Donna O’Donovan, aka DJ Comma

Name of Show/Day & Time:

Calling Sound, Sunday mornings, 9:00 to 10:00

What is your show’s format/has it morphed? (Featuring Poets & Music.)

I always choose the music for my show first, and then I pick the poetry a day or two before (or sometimes that day, before the show). I often read it cold—to me, that’s really exciting. Usually I’ve done a super-quick scan first, checking for FCC-unfriendly words, but reading and hearing it for the first time, I’m taking it in right along with you guys. I usually read only three poems—it feels fresh that way, like it’s manageable in those bursts, and it seems easier to hear the authenticity that the actual poet bestows on us. 

I’ve really enjoyed the weekly consistency of dedicating myself to my show. When I started out with the poetry format, I asked people to tell me some of their favorite poets on Facebook, and the lists I compiled from that was so helpful. Poetry was my main artform when I was young. I’ve learned a lot about music, too, doing my show—I like playing edgy musicians, or I like to think of them as edgy. Maybe they aren’t and it’s just because I’m such a softy!

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