The great thing about trains is that they have a schedule. If you go to Gate 5 at 10:20, you’ll find the train for Belham express. The terrible thing about train schedules is that they don’t have room to tell you exactly what you will find once you reach Belham. They assume you know. But do you?

That can also be said about WRGY’s printed schedules you can find here and there. Yes, Fur Peace Ranch is on-air Saturdays at noon…but what IS Fur Peace? Sounds a bit disturbing, actually. This is when you nudge the person next to you at the gate and mutter. “Do I want to go Belham… and why?”

Well…I’ve been to WRGY and it’s quite a nice community actually. But like any set of buildings there will be some you want to pop in on, a few you will linger in and some you’ll “save for another time, ahem”. That’s what makes it a community…it has a bit of the carnival and thrill rides…. how many metaphors have I mixed, Martha?

Let me point out some items of interest while we wait here at the gate. I think I’ll lump programs together into say, subject matter. Let’s start right off with “news and information” shows. That can be sort of dry for some folks who really just want music. That’s okay, you might want to avoid Monday then. Monday evenings are packed with shows like With Good Reason and Reveal. They’re broadcasts that focus on a specific subject and spend the hour investigating and discussing the topic with the goal of increasing knowledge. The subjects are generally of national interest. Not much of a laugh factor here. Another three shows that would be described as “fact-based” would be Big Picture Science, Living on Earth and Planetary Radio. Big Picture is also on Mondays, but I separated it because of its sense of humor and fun. A cheeky, punny and friendly show that is also fact-based. Saturday’s Planetary Radio is similar in that the folks on the show are obviously having a blast talking about what they love. Space. That Final Frontier. Living On Earth on Thursdays at 7 is, as the name implies, focused on the fact-based issues and dilemmas we dance and balance with here on Planet Earth. It’s a serious show about serious subjects and its investigative work has won a host of prizes.

But what about the music? WRGY has a large library thanks to donated music from listeners over the years. We also have shows curated by local talent as well as regional and national hosts. Our stellar local show is at 10 A.M. Monday through Friday.
One of our founders, Ron Hoar, spent hours researching and narrating introductions for hundreds of songs. This very popular Oldies Hour is dedicated to Ron and his work at WRGY. Regionally we have an invaluable “sister station “, if you will, at WXNZ,
Skowhegan. They provide us with the professional level kids program Short Stories and Tall Tales, as well as local musicians at the Guest Room and the Maine Zone. We rotate these shows at the 4 p.m. hour on weekends.

If your ear for music is tuned to live performance, you’ll be happiest at Fur Peace Ranch Ozark Highlands Radio and Woodsongs, where the presentations are live in studio or a stage audience. They tend toward acoustic-driven (not always) singer- songwriter, small ensemble formats. Good clean fun, as they say. For shows similar in approach but curated from recordings, you’ll like DJ’s Jive Cafe, Folk Alley, Paul Ingles 10,000 Good Songs, and International Americana. With the live shows, it’s all about the performer, with the curated setlists, it’s all about the DJ and “the mix”. Currently our format would likely be labeled as “roots, alt/country, folk” with Paul Ingles maybe the only one coloring outside the lines there.


But WRGY doesn’t end there. We have a highly regarded cooking show, Milk Street Radio, hosted by Christopher Kimball, three philosophers duking it out in the cerebral stratosphere at Philosophy Talk, classical programs from New York Philharmonic, Millennium of Music and other rotating ensembles, And two hours of classic country every weekday at 7 and noon.

And WRGY Presents is a lot like that brown paper “grab bag” at yard and bake sales. It’s going to be local (or of local interest) it’s going to be good, but bag #1, #4 and #12 will never be the same. Sometimes we even wait until Thursday morning before we
know what we have. As Leonard Cohen says, “there’s a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in”.

Schedules are static. WRGY is not. We’re getting new volunteers with new program ideas. We’re reaching out to more regional and national programmers who are on the unaffiliated, independent path of curating music. It’s exciting, in a Wild West kind of way. All to suggest that our schedule listing reflects what a week would look like if “not much” was happening in our musical world. But that’s not always the case. Always have an ear out for station updates, and check out our occasional updates on Facebook,
InstaGram and Twitter.

And enjoy the ride!

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