Community Post: Interview with community DJ Davis Tracy
When he was young, Davis Tracy yearned for a family TV, but he got a radio instead. This gift sparked a passion for radio that has lived on throughout his entire lifetime thus far. He would listen to a multitude of stations, from popular music to radio theater. This passion stuck with him throughout his schooling, time in the army, professional career, and to this day Davis spends two hours every Monday morning playing bluegrass CDs for his loyal listeners.
Davis started his show, Bluegrass @ Dickinson, in the 80s, when vinyl was still popular. Over time, Davis has switched to CDs, though he questions what he’ll do when those go out of style as well. Because of the popularity and age of his show, Davis has connected with many bluegrass artists and labels who send him bluegrass music. This way, Davis finds new voices, sounds, and twists on his favorite genre each week. This relationship also allows Davis to curate larger bluegrass events, such as Bluegrass on the Grass, a Carlisle community event that occurs every summer on the Dickinson campus. Inspired by the fun he found in playing with his own band, Country Bob and the BBQ Boys, and help from other bluegrass lovers, Davis introduced Carlisle to a bluegrass festival that is now one of the town’s most popular community events. Davis of course wanted to show people how lovable bluegrass is, but also had the intention of depicting Dickinson as an approachable and desirable place to visit. The town had other popular music festivals in the past, but they mostly focused on orchestral music, a genre that Davis believes to be less accessible. Bluegrass, on the other hand, is easy to dance along to, and brings joy to many listeners, and Davis himself.
Before Davis’s WDCV career started, he served as a United States Army Officer in the early 70s, and participated in many Outward Bound wilderness classes, in which he learned survival skills and the ability to get along and work with others who were different than him. Davis then went back to school and earned a Master’s and Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology. He worked at Dickinson College as a counselor in the Wellness Center for 29 years, and as a faculty advisor for WDCV for over 10 years, where he made many improvements for the station and the students involved. In 2010, Davis retired, and has since worked part time at Franco Psychological Associates in Carlisle in addition to continuing his WDCV radio show. He starts his day around 5 am every day, occasionally accompanied by his beautiful labradoodle, Freddie, who loves to snuggle up next to anyone he takes a liking to, which is most everyone.
Davis has always loved music and been invested in it.He played tenor guitar in high school just because no one else was playing it, but discovered his love for guitar at Lehigh University. Davis never did participate in college radio when he was attending Lehigh, but he met his “radio mentor,” Paul Campbell, while attending the University of Tennessee. From this experience, Davis learned to appreciate bluegrass more, as well as the importance of college radio. He finds that college students have a refreshing on-air presence that commercial radio voices don’t possess. Davis loves to hear the progression and growth of student DJs, whether that be their professionality on air or their music tastes that first developed in high school. This student connection is what Davis misses the most about advising WDCV, though he is grateful he still has the opportunity to share his music with his listeners, and enjoys listening to student and community DJ shows alike. Davis is loved here at WDCV because of how much he has done for the station, and how committed he still is!
Listen to Davis’s show, Bluegrass @ Dickinson, on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday, from 8 am to 10 am!
If you have any questions, email Julia Ormond at email@example.com. Thanks for reading!