Wednesday, January 6, 2010

1620 on the AM dial

There’s a little AM radio station in town, KENC, that broadcasts at 100 milliwatts. That kind of power covers about ten square blocks in town. I start to lose it by the time I cross the river and make for the home stretch. But recently, this little station made some big noise.

KENC is non-profit and operated by Ken Cartwright, a resident luthier, music promoter and shopkeeper, among other things. Ken is extremely civic-minded and has the radio station as a community service. It is mostly a one-person operation, and most of the music is run off of his iTunes program; yet he does a live show in the morning and other folks have their own programs of music, story telling and the like. Real down-home.

A few months ago, Ken was married over the radio, meaning that the ceremony was broadcast live in town and on his internet feed. This event was picked up as a news item, and the story was run in the Portland newspaper, “The Oregonian.” Whether or not it was this publicity that set the FCC to come a-callin’ is anyone’s guess. But come they did, and, from what my luddite mind can glean, shut KENC down over the length of a cable to the transmitter. More news was made. A ruckus ensued, letters were written, and milliwatt station operators across the country held their breath.

To make a long story short, and because I am not doing any fact-checking, a couple days before Christmas, Ken received word from the FCC that they were dropping the case against KENC, and he’s back on the air.

A fair amount of the music on KENC is old-timey country and bluegrass, a bit of gospel, doo-wop, and other music folks pushing sixty or yearning for a simpler time would enjoy. I guess I fit in there somewhere for I’m streaming to it as I write this. Here’s the link.


Crash said...

Nice story, nice station. I'm one of those people you talked about, except on the other side of 60. Thanks for this.

joxum said...

Certainly sounds ok in Denmark.

Sometimes I think this internet-thing is here to stay...


Oooh: Word verification word is very on-topic: banit

Memphis MOJO said...

One of the things I like about your blog is that you find items like this and make a nice story about it.

bastinptc said...

Thx guys.