The Blues According to Danny

    Community Post: Interview with Community DJ Danny Dicker

Danny may posses a quiet personality, but he speaks through the music he plays here at WDCV. Danny does his research on his music, knows the many covers of his most favorite songs, and could tell you the background story of most blues songs and their singers. His show name, The Crossroads, echoes a Robert Johnson song with the same name. The blues artist inspired not only Danny’s show name, but also his love for blues and rock. During his one hour show, Danny plays both old and new songs that have charmed him with their unique sound. He attempts to create a diverse collection for his listeners by connecting some jazz songs to his favorite blues artists and using music to talk about the                                                                                   unique time period in which we live today.

Danny has only been a DJ for two years, but has already found a home here at WDCV. He moved to Carlisle about seven years ago with his father, and works in the Dickinson catering business throughout the day. He enjoys seeing live music, though he admits it’s been hard to support that passion as he gets older and must work more. To make up for this, Danny plays his own favorite music with his guitar. During the past four years, his talent has grown by playing great blues and rock songs, most commonly by The Black Keys, one of his favorite bands. He could talk forever about this band, their differing sounds throughout their albums, their seemingly soon-to-be break up, and that one chance he almost had to see them live. It is his love for this band and others alike that bring out his true personality, one wrapped tightly around bluesy guitar riffs and a steady rhythm.

                             

His favorite artists range from Mac DeMarco to BB King, from The Beatles to Isaac Hayes. Danny’s favorite backstory of a blues song is the history of Blind Willie Johnson’s “Dark Was the Night, Cold Was the Ground.” A mixtape containing this song was shot into space for other life forms to find, as a representation of what our music sounds like, to convey human emotion.  Danny explained how this song was chosen to express the feeling of loneliness, and it only makes sense that it should be floating in space by itself until other life forms eventually find it. These backstories that Danny discovers bolster his love for music. They are unique, and present a special imagination to each song that he cannot find in any other genre. It only makes sense that Danny is so excited each week when he arrives at the WDCV station for his show, because it gives him chance to share this beautiful genre with all of his listeners.

 

 

Tune in to Danny’s show, The CrossroadsThursdays from 10pm to 11pm, to hear a taste of the blues!

 

 

 

If you have any questions, email Julia Ormond at ormondj@dickinson.edu. Thanks for reading!

Love For Sinatra

Community Post: Interview with Community DJ Deeg Shank

Dolores “Deeg” Shank is the perfect example of a music lover who is committed to the appreciation and exploration of what she loves most. She grew up outside of Philly and at a young age of 12, she discovered Frank Sinatra on a John Denver TV special. Once she witnessed Frank’s charisma and smile, and heard his stylish sing, she was taken. Flash forward to sophomore year of high school, when Deeg would listen to her favorite radio station constantly, which sponsored a four hour show dedicated solely to the lovely creations of Mr. Sinatra. This radio show inspired Deeg to create her own Sinatra show when she arrived at Dickinson College as a freshman.

She loved being a WDCV DJ throughout her time as a student, and missed the opportunity to be on air once she graduated and moved on. But after twenty-three years without WDCV in her life, Deeg returned, and of course continued her Spotlight on Sinatra show, just like she had done as a student. Deeg taught high school for many years, but has now retired from that and taken on dancing. Deeg’s spare time is filled with ballroom dancing, belly dancing, swimming, cooking at the local pool as well as substitute teaching at Big Spring High School during the school year. It is through activities like this that Deeg is introduced to much of the music she listens to outside of Frank. She is very open to ballroom music and Top 40, and in fact recently attended a Justin Bieber concert that was mostly enjoyable. Over the years she has also seen a variety of other artists, including John Denver, James Taylor, Jimmy Buffet, Bruce Springsteen, Michael Buble, and The Rolling Stones, while she laments never having seen Michael Jackson and George Michael.

                                  

Her love for Frank has taken Deeg on quite a journey throughout her life. She saw him in concert 12 times throughout his life, one of which he gave her a kiss on the cheek. Additionally, Deeg has met two of Frank’s children, been to his favorite restaurant in New York City multiple times, and has become well known in the Frank Sinatra community due to her full back tattoo devoted purely to Frank. Deeg receives compliments on this creation from those who both love Frank and just barely know about him. She decided to get this tattoo as an homage to Frank, the one artist who has inspired her throughout her whole life. Deeg’s love for Frank stems from his originality and musical expression throughout his years as a famous singer. She admires the way in which he lived his life completely by his own standards, and no one else’s. In Deeg’s opinion, he is a great man, who deserves the recognition she hopes to bring him through her show.

Deeg only plays songs by Frank Sinatra, but she loves playing covers of his songs to spice up her show and bring new voices to her listeners. Her favorite albums by Frank include “Nice and Easy,” an album filled with slow ballads, “Trilogy,” recorded in 1979 when Frank was 63 years old, and a couple Bossa Nova albums created back when Frank collaborated with Antonio Carlos Jobim. Deeg has been sending Frank Sinatra’s music into the air waves for years now, and finds joy in the fact that someone, somewhere will hear his music and smile. This has been proven to her when a listener called in one evening to thank Deeg for playing such great music while they were stuck on the side of the road with a flat tire. Because of Deeg’s radio show, that experience wasn’t as awful as expected. Moments like those prove to Deeg that her music, her love for Frank, and her dedication to WDCV are a positive force in this world. 

 

Listen to Deeg’s show, , from , for an insight into Frank Sinatra’s best creations.  

Listen to Deeg’s show, Spotlight on Sinatra, Mondays from 6pm to 8pm, for an insight into Frank Sinatra’s best creations.  

 

 

If you have any questions, email Julia Ormond at ormondj@dickinson.edu. Thanks for reading!

If All Music Is Sound, Is All Sound Music?

 

Community Post: Interview with Tom Wilkins

Tom Wilkins has been a WDCV DJ for the past 5 years. He moved to Carlisle when he married his wife, about 28 years now. He has spent the past 15 years teaching high school with a focus on special needs education, though Tom seems adamant about retiring soon. Tom sought interest in WDCV when his daughter went off to college and joined her college’s radio station, which inspired him to follow in her footsteps. He reached out to WDCV and has been spinning albums ever since.

Initially, he chose a specific theme for each week, picking from all different styles of music. After a couple years, Tom found this extremely restrictive and felt the limits of his weekly themes when, one day, a listener called him during his radio show. The caller asked why he chose to play such mainstream music when WDCV’s mission is to play underrepresented artists. Although this caller possessed a rude attitude, his question shook Tom in multiple ways. Why did he feel the need to play music he knew people could easily listen to, when what he really wanted to play was music that intrigued and challenged him?

From that moment on, Tom began playing untraditional music. “Experimental, weird music,” as Tom put it. Some names are more recognizable, like Brian Eno, one of Tom’s favorite artists, but others are more strange to the common listener. The songs and artists he plays are typically more recent, though this genre of music has been around for a very long time. Tom describes his taste in music as “familiar enough to engage you, but unfamiliar enough to challenge you.” He wants to share the music that makes him think, the music that requires active focus rather than passive listening. He questions, “if all music is sound, is all sound music?” To Tom, all sound can be music if you open your mind to it. He spends a lot of time searching for more music to share with his listeners each week, either by reading magazines or listening to shows similar to his own, which allows him to connect with others who share his taste in music. This show is important to Tom musically, and he hopes that through listening in on his radio show, others too can learn to appreciate music that is abnormal and untraditional, yet challenging and intriguing.

                  

Listen in on Tom’s show, String Theory, on Tuesdays from 8pm to 10pm to hear Tom’s favorites! 

 

If you have any questions, email Julia Ormond at ormondj@dickinson.edu. Thanks for reading!

“The Teacher Creature”

Community Post: Interview with Community DJ Mike Conrad

Mike Conrad is the host for Jazz on The Rocks, which airs Saturdays from noon to one. His relationship with WDCV began many years ago when he was a student at Dickinson College. Back in 1964, the station was in a different location and streamed an AM signal. During his time at Dickinson, Mike was a DJ and engineer. Once he graduated, he began teaching at Cumberland Valley High, and left his WDCV days behind for different dreams.  

Because he loved radio so much, Mike searched for more opportunities to get on air, and finally found a gig at WHYL FM, another local yet larger Cumberland Valley radio station, in which he had a four hour show every night. Eventually, Mike moved on and continued his search for a way to get on air. He worked for WIOO, an AM Carlisle station, WSBA in York, and later WKBO in Harrisburg. As Mike stated,  “these were the golden days of “top 40” radio and I was right in there rocking and rolling.” During his time as a rock jock on KBO, the station capitalized on Mike’s primary occupation and he became known as “the teacher creature,” complete with his own set of custom jingles. It was great fun for Mike, and filled his desire for radio.

      

Eventually, Mike got married and had a family.  His duties as a father and teacher necessitated leaving his on air job, but he continued to do voice-over work during this time, of which he continues today.  Because of Mike’s passion for radio, he still searched for a radio station that could fit into his schedule. Three years ago, Mike got a show on WDCV, and began producing Jazz on the Rocks from his own production studio.  Each show was and is recorded by himself, then sent into the station, where it is automatically played every Saturday. This process is very easy and flexible for Mike, and allows for him to live outside of the Carlisle area while simultaneously DJing for his very first radio station.  Although the “teacher creature” no longer rocks the airwaves, listeners to Jazz on The Rocks hear relics of those bygone days in the form of various jingles and other production elements.  Radio has always been one of Mike’s favorite passions, and he thoroughly enjoys the opportunity to DJ his hour on WDCV each week.

 

Listen to Mike’s Jazz on the Rocks, Saturday from noon to 1pm, for a special hour of Mike doing what he loves most!

 

 

 

 

 

 

These photos were given to WDCV as a gift from Mike Conrad, who captured them when he was still a student. 

 

If you have any questions, email Julia Ormond at ormondj@dickinson.edu. Thanks for reading!