Though there wasn’t a lot of fanfare, Poplar Bluff’s first public radio station, Black River Public Radio, made its on-air debut Friday, June 5.
But, there will be a big splash on June 19, when the group hosts is second fundraiser to raise money for equipment and programming for the new station.
“We are on-air, which is very exciting,” said Robert Smith, one of the organizers of the new public radio station. “We’re playing a variety of music, but this is just the beginning of what we will be offering the community.”
The June 19 fundraising event will be held at Black River Gallery, and will feature live jazz music, great food, and perhaps most importantly, great company in the manner of like-minded residents who love the idea of alternative programming that only a public radio station can offer.
“We’re just beginning to develop our ideas of what type of programming we will carry,” said Smith. “But we think the public will find it very interesting. We will feature music and programming not typically heard on commercial radio. There will be something for everyone, and there will be much more developed in the near future.”
Smith believes this will present a number of fantastic opportunities for local business and talent to get increased exposure that they wouldn’t normally receive through commercial media.
Dan Jackson, also on the Black River Radio Board, envisions programming opportunities featuring jazz, blues, and other genres of music not typically heard on commercial radio, as well as the opportunity for community discussion on topics that can help Poplar Bluff grow and develop as a community.
“We see a lot of people benefitting from a new public radio station,” said Jackson. “We can see small business, schools, non-profit organizations…all kinds of people and groups who will now have a more audible voice in the community because of the addition of public radio to our community.”
A Facebook page has been set up for Black River Radio, and the public is invited to use the page as a way of offering their suggestions about programming for the new radio station, and to keep track of all the news surrounding the new venture.
The June 19 fundraiser will kick off a big weekend in Poplar Bluff, with the Friday night event leading the way to Saturday’s Music On Main Street event, which will feature area musical artists.
It is hoped Black River Radio will be a great platform for many of those musicians to be heard in the future.
“The timing on our event and the Music on Main Street event just could not be better,” commented Jackson.
Jackson will be among the area musicians showcasing area talent as part of the Black River Radio Band, which will feature Jackson on bass, Ryan Humphrey on drums and vocals, Pete Parysek on keyboard and vocals. Lending her talent as a jazz vocalist to the event will be Judy Richardson-Rockwell.
Luecke Distributors will be providing beverages, and food will be provided by local restauranteurs.
A silent auction will also be held as part of the event, with donations made by many local artists and business people.
“It’s going to be a fun night,” concluded Smith. “And it’s all for a great cause. Public Radio is all about the community. We want to see the community heavily involved in its development.”
Admission to the event is $25 at the door.