Radio stations today pride themselves on playing music from the top of the lists, which is why it’s typical to hear the same song on three different radio stations, multiple times a day.
This has never been the case with East Tennessee’s WDVX, 89.9 FM.
WDVX focuses its music on local artists, and many of the songs are performed live. This music falls into the category of Americana, which encompasses blues, bluegrass, celtic, folk, cajun and various other genres, according to Tony Lawson, WDVX program director.
This unique radio station was created by a group of people, including Lawson, with the desire to give the people of East Tennessee a station that represents their home, according to the WDVX website.
This desire created a radio station unlike any other that broadcasts a feeling of home.
“It is almost like stepping into a piece of the past,” Andrew Sayne, long time fan of WDVX, said. “Genuine love for good music made by good people. No corporate agenda.”
After broadcasting from a camper for five years, WDVX made the Knoxville Visitor’s Center it’s perma- nent residence in 2005, Lawson said.
The radio station proves its unique style through its music and sense of family as an independent, listener- supported community station.
“That is one great thing about working here,” Lawson, who is also a DJ for the station, said. “The people, the relationships and the community building. That is the most important, because doing that gives the station life to go forward.”
WDVX holds various live shows throughout the week to cater to its diverse audience. One of these shows is The Blue Plate Special. This show started in the camper as the occasional live set of music among recorded music. Now, it is held Monday through Saturday at noon and is always live, featuring two acts.
This show is free to the public and also streams online for the webcast fans.
“It’s nice for the music to come here,” Lawson said. “We have shows every day. It’s sort of like a music lover’s dream.”
There is also a weekly show called Tennessee Shines that begins in August. This show is held Monday nights at 7 p.m. Tickets are $10 and free for students.
One of the most unique shows that WDVX pres- ents is Kidstuff, a show dedicated to the children of Knoxville. The last Saturday of each month the stage area is transformed into a child riendly setting. The chairs are moved so children can sit with their shakers and interact with the show, which is sometimes put on by kids with musical talents.
WDVX has held the title of Bluegrass Station of the Year eight times, the most recent in 2012, by the Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass Music Association.
Sayne said the music at the venue is a nuche envi- ronemnt that offers something many patrons can enjoy.
“You may not hear your new favorite death metal song on the station, but you will hear some great old time music no matter what time it is,” Sayne said, who enjoys playing music himsef. “No other station even comes close to that much local momentum.”