Numerous people, changes involved with ‘Acoustic Sunday’

Sometime in the fall of 1989 when Triple Play Records was not even 2 years old, Jim Spehar, then the owner of radio station KKLY, asked me if I would host a show on his FM station.

This show, Jim said, would be made up of acoustic music from artists such as Chris Hillman, Neil Young, Bob Dylan, the Eagles, Guy Clark, Townes Van Zandt, Nanci Griffith and others. It would create a mix of music that at that time was not available here in the Valley.

At first, I told Jim, “no.”

I did not have any experience and I wasn’t a disc jockey. That’s what I think I said.

What I meant was that I was nervous about going on the air.

To Jim’s credit, he was persistent and encouraging, and by the end of the year I was persuaded to do the show. I think it was Jim who decided to call it “Acoustic Sunday.”

When we started the show in January 1990, we took CDs and/or records to the studio on 23 Road and recorded them onto three big reel-to-reel tapes for playback Sunday morning and a replay Sunday evening.

The whole process sometimes took five hours if we made a lot of mistakes, which we did at the start.

Twenty years later, it is all about hard drives and voice tracking and it all gets done in about an hour.

I think I have only done the show live twice in 20 years.

When the show started, Ron Wilson was a very frequent co-host. Ron had moved back to Grand Junction and started Sandstone Entertainment in 1989.

Jim would pop into the studio sometimes when we were recording and question whether a song was “acoustic.”

Ron and/or I would respond with “the definition of acoustic in the dictionary is ‘more than one instrument.’”

That was the only time that there was a hint of disagreement about the show.

Ron and I had a lot of fun with “Acoustic Sunday.”

Other folks who have hosted or co-hosted with me include Karen Sjoberg, who worked for Jim at the time, and Jim Marshall and Steve Thompson, who both have great radio shows on local community radio KAFM.

Seek their shows out and listen.

Last, but not least, was Jim.

Jim did an hour each morning before I would come on with the show and he did a great job, in my opinion.

At that time, the Federal Communications Commission was sensitive about what went out on the air, and I know that on a couple of occasions some pretty choice words made it.

Once, I knew it was coming, and tried to call the studio to prevent it from happening, but to no avail. I was sure my mother was listening that day, but I never did hear anything about it.

I felt a little better when I heard Jim play the live version of James Taylor’s “Steamroller Blues” one Sunday.

Either way, I am thankful to Jim for talking me into doing “Acoustic Sunday” and to all of those (like Kim Gordon, Dave Beck, Brad Leggett, John Reid, Robert St. John, the Loud Guy and others) who helped keep it going for all this time.

Without it, Triple Play Records may not be here at all. Or at least we wouldn’t be what we are today.


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