The HiTek Redneck Radio Show s a one-hour, commercial free broadcast featuring all original songs by Arkansas artists, all packaged up and presented in a format that harkens back to the days of "personality radio", where the disk jockey played the songs and gave valuable insight into the artist, chatting along over the heads and tails of the featured songs. Then throw in some classic old recordings, comedy bits, old radio jingles, live tapes, interviews with artists, and incredible studio jam sessions and you never know what's going to play on each week's broadcast. As a bonus, every Sunday night Bob Ketchum monitors the AIR chat room LIVE during the show to answer questions, take requests, or fill in intimate details of the songs being played. It's a non-stop laugh riot and many nights the artists themselves are also in the chat room to talk about their music or add to the mix.
How easy is it ? . . . . On any Sunday night at 8PM Central Time, all you have to do is click on the banner/link below, go to the AIR website (www.arkansasinternetradio.com), and hit the PLAY button on the music player where it says "Listen Now". The chat room window is located just below the player bar and logging on is as easy as… well, falling off a log…..
How Did All This Come About?
In the words of the HiTek Redneck himself:
"The HiTek Redneck Radio Show was born on Facebook. In researching new ways to expose recordings made here at Cedar Crest Studio, I explored some Internet Broadcasters and ran across the Arkansas Internet Radio Facebook page. After adding them as a Facebook friend, I became acquainted with station owner Wayne Willems, who also happened to run the Little Rock Entertainment Agency. His goal with AIR was the same as mine, to further the exposure of Arkansas talent. I told him that I was also trying to get some of the music I had recorded through the years to the ears of listeners around the state and even the nation if I could figure out a way to do that. Wayne suggested that I send some MP3 files of bands and he would place them into his broadcasting program, which I did. But a few days later it occurred to me that no one knows this music as intimately as I do, being the engineer that recorded it all in the first place. Also, since I had retired from broadcasting years ago, I must admit that I missed being a DJ. I hatched a plan to kill two birds with one stone, and contacted Wayne with my own suggestion to furnish him with a pre-packaged one hour show of my own design. My mission statement was to play only music recorded by me through the years with an occasional track from other Arkansas songwriters that submit their own recordings through me. To "spice it up" a bit I explained that I wanted to fashion the program after the old "personality radio" days of the late 60's and early 70's. I still had all of my old one-liners and DJ jingles in the archives, and dragged them out to insert during each broadcast, along with a huge collection of bits and pieces from my 1-year stint with Ray Miller in the 80's on KKTZ, called the "Best of Bob and Ray". I had very early recordings from the 60's and lots of studio jam sessions that I could also include. In addition I planned to conduct fresh new interviews with many of the artists that record here, featuring them in future programs.
I uploaded my first show to the AIR server as a sampler and asked Wayne for his thoughts. He wrote back almost immediately and told me that he would be happy to generously give me a one-hour block each Sunday night at 8PM to see how the show would do. The very first broadcast was on February 21, 2010, and we haven't looked back since.
There are basic differences between radio broadcasts and Internet streams. The most obvious is that in a radio broadcast, the program is (usually) live on the air. It is instant gratification and is broadcast over a wide area, depending on the station's power wattage and coverage area. Listeners may be asked to call in with song requests, but that's about it. On the other hand, Internet Streaming has several distinct advantages. First, the broadcast is saved to an MP3 file and stored on a server where the listener may pick and choose not only the program they want to hear or might have missed during the initial original broadcast time/date, but they may also (in our case) download the entire one-hour show and play it on their own computer whenever it is convenient for them.
Another advantage is the AIR chat room. During each live broadcast on Sunday night, I personally monitor the show from my own computer and maintain a presence in the AIR chat room for the entire hour, giving information about songs, players, sessions, and other details about the artist being featured. In this fashion, each and every listener who is also in the chat room may "talk" to the DJ personally and get the inside scoop about any particular song or artist. Real camaraderie is building among the regular fans of the show who log on every Sunday night. They often make requests which I try to fulfill the following week. An interesting bonus for me is that I get valuable feedback from listeners about artists and songs which may help me in future promotions. But the best thing about it all is that the Arkansas talent is at last getting some real exposure."
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