THINGS I LOVE ABOUT NASHVILLE, EPISODE ONE
I drive a 2002 Subaru Outback, with a busted CD player and no iPod-playing capabilities, but you know – I don’t mind, because my AM dial works just fine.
There are many things I love about Nashville, but near the top of the list is WAMB 1200 AM. In the world of broadcast it goes by “Adult Standards”. To me, it goes by “Old-Timey Goodness”. From The Andrews Sisters to Herb Alpert, it’s a format that makes all my low-fi, easy listening dreams come true. I felt I was due for a tour after several years of loyal listenership, so I recently tracked down the WAMB powers-that-be (via the station’s befitting website), and they very generously invited me in.
Housed on the bottom floor of the Roundtree Apartments on the outskirts of Nashville, WAMB has been in the same space, with the same analog equipment and the same wall decor (mostly) as when the ribbon was cut in 1975. A few computers and CD players have been added to the arsenal, but for the most part, the place is a time capsule… an incredible time capsule. Fifteen hundred square feet of wood paneling, reel-to-reel tape machines, a wall of still-in-use vinyl records, paperwork done on TYPEWRITERS… my visit was as close to a time warp as maybe I have ever come.
Dave Eastman (seen above and below), the “afternoon drive announcer” weekdays from 3pm to 6pm, was on the mic during my visit… such a nice guy. He graciously let me invade his personal space while in the middle of a busy workday. Dave is a self-proclaimed metalhead, raised on hair bands as high schooler in 1980-something Los Angeles, yet has a deep appreciation for the golden oldies of easy listening. So much so that he has won himself a few octogenarian sweethearts. I could tell by the high volume of call-in requests from ladies at the beauty parlor getting their hair set.
For those of you in the Nashville area, the station plays totally awesome music on weekdays from 12pm until 6pm. After 6, the frequency switches to an all-mariachi format. On weekends, the programming looks something like this (cut and pasted directly from the station’s website):
|Let’s Talk Computers||Saturday 8am|
|The Safe Money Show with Steve Lux||Saturdays at 9am|
|Great American Song Book Dick Robinson||12pm to 2 pm|
|Big Band Jump with Don Kennedy||2 to 4 pm|
|Howard Wilks Gospel Show||6 am to 8:30|
|Christian Science Sentiel||9 to 930 am|
|Grace Baptist Church||10:15 to 11:30 am|
|Try the light with Ken Binkley||1130 to Noon|
|Your hit parade||12 to 1 pm|
|WAMB Bandstand with Bill Barry||1 to 2 pm|
|Big Band Jump||2 to 4 pm|
|First Presbyterian Church||4 to 5pm|
|John Michael Grogan Success for Today||11:58 to noon Monday through Friday|
|The Senior Spotlight: A 2 minute report of news specifically geared to the seniors of middle Tennesee, hosted by paul day, editor of fifty forward newspaper||11:50 am|
Please listen! Help make it popular. I want WAMB to live forever!
Special thanks to Mr. Bill Baird and Mr. Bill Barry for letting me to roam the station freely without any questions asked.
(Mr. Bill Barry, the station’s manager)