Every week Valley residents and visitors tune in to WMRW 94.5 FM Warren to listen to friends’ and neighbors’ shows. The WMRW radio station was founded in 2004 and is located upstairs at the East Warren Community Market. This week, The Valley Reporter is featuring some of those DJs and programmers who volunteer their time each week.
The shows and DJs are varied as their music and content. Tune in next week for more DJ and programmer profiles.
According to its website, the goals of WMRW are to “allow the most community members as possible to create radio shows with the least amount of bureaucracy. Our secondary goal is to provide views and information that are not generally available in the mainstream media through alternative news and educational sources.”
Lost in the oscillating steam of sound
Listening to music is cathartic – getting lost in the oscillating stream of sound. Every Friday from 2 to 6 p.m. Mehurons’ fish counter manager Garry Jackson transforms into a DJ, hosting the “Weekend Warm-Up” – four hours of unrestricted rock.
Initially, he said, he “had been in a cover band which was slowly dissolving away and one of my bandmates had heard that they were going to start a radio station.” They soon after started performing “live Dead shows from start to finish” and were “the second show on air.”
Jackson said he “decided that I liked it so much that I would do another show with all different kinds of rock ’n’ roll” and has been DJing there for the past 14 years.
Growing up, “my father always had music playing in the background,” Jackson says. “That’s where it all started for me.” Now, “sitting alone in a room is a nice thing.”
Jackson plays primarily rock ’n’ roll “from the ’50s to artists that come out today – classic rock ’n’ roll where I do more album cuts than I do the hits.” Jackson, who moved here at 18, when he was “old enough to fight,” reminisces about “this old town and what it was like growing up” on his show as well.
He sees it as “a way for me to give back to the community.” In that studio, “There’s no outside pressures there’s no inside pressures” for Jackson, just him, listening to music. “I get that four hours alone in that room and it’s therapeutic for me,” Jackson says.
For a release, find Garry Jackson on WMRW 94.5.
Buy small! A unique way to help
Starting a small business is difficult. Not only do the day-to-day operations have to be managed, but the most challenging thing is finding clients. Geri Procaccini, Fayston, has been tackling this problem from 5 to 6 p.m. every Tuesday with her weekly show.
As a programmer for WMRW, her show “Mind your Business” initially interviewed “local businessmen about who they are and what they do and how they help the community,” she said. It has now transitioned to interviewing “nonprofit workers and people interested in talking about something” as well.
Procaccini's initial interest in being a programmer began, she said, when she'd "just moved here the station was being put together and I just wanted to be part of it.” She describes herself as “about as tech illiterate as you can get,” but still the process of becoming a programmer/DJ is simple: “If I can do it, you can, though it might not feel comfortable for a few weeks.”
Procaccini has continued working to “give business people some free exposure.” She describes it as “a lot of fun, and you meet a lot of interesting people.” For her, “the hardest part is contacting people and having to remind them three or four times, but once they get to the station, it’s a lot of fun.”
“Without exception, everyone says what a great time they had,” she says. It makes coming back every week easy and rewarding: “I enjoy it, they enjoy, and it helps the community.”
An engaging programmer, Procaccini's show can be found on WMRW 94.5.
Weaving a web of sound
Every Tuesday, from 9 a.m. to noon, WMRW DJ Keith Davidson weaves an intricate web of sound on his show “Spider Music.”
As a young kid in college, Davidson, of Moretown, remembers being “fascinated that you could call up and the DJ was actually there and that they were weaving their own web of sound.” Over time, this fascination morphed into a desire to be on the other side of that metaphorical wall, fielding calls and selecting tracks.
Davidson first entered the DJing arena when he joined WNCS, “This kind of primordial college radio that had recently started.” He describes it as a “sporting ground for all,” and he was first introduced to George Thomas, a WMRW DJ whom he respected.
At first, Davidson took whatever time he could get on air and fondly reminisces about “staying up all night, getting the butterflies and everything.” Davidson still feels this rush when he sits down in the studio these days.
Describing the studio as his “own inner sanctum” and being “part of my own religion; I feel off if I don’t do it,” Davidson has done over 500 WMRW shows.
Now, to most people, DJing seems easy. Pick one song and then the next, but this isn’t how Davidson creates his web of sound. He says the two most important things about DJing are “no dead airspace and good segues.”
These segues between songs distinguish a good DJ from an average one. “It’s all about the in-between, you want to have a thematic interplay between the songs,” he says. When “your heart is beating with the beat, you can’t just jar the listener.”
Davidson also makes a point of making the music he plays relatively diverse as he knows “My parents want to hear Sinatra, Bach, synthesized music, not necessarily to appease them but to be inclusive of everyone.”
A prodigious DJ, Davidson’s show is engaging and fun to listen to. Find him on WMRW 9