Local Radio Jim Dees of Thacker Mountain Radio Hour

Published on September 9th, 2020 | by TLV News


Thacker Mountain Radio Hour expands into Memphis and Chattanooga, Tennessee

The Thacker Mountain Radio Hour will start its fall 2020 season with more listeners than ever. The Oxford, Mississippi-based music and literature show has announced it will now be heard on WUTC at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and on WYXR, a new public radio station debuting October 1 in Memphis

The Thacker Mountain Radio Hour will begin its 23rd year on the air Saturday, September 12, on Mississippi Public Broadcasting (7 pm) and Alabama Public Radio (9 pm). The show is also heard in Oxford every Thursday at 6 pm on WUMS (92.1 FM). 

Bryan Lane, station manager and program director of WUTC in Chattanooga said it was Thacker’s mix of literature and music that drew his station’s interest.

“We are very pleased to acquire the rights to broadcast The Thacker Mountain Radio Hour,” he said. “This show reflects our quest for more high quality local and regional spoken word and music programming reflective of our community.” The show will air Saturdays at 3 pm (ET).

Jared Boyd, program director of WYXR in Memphis said he appreciates the show’s mission.

“Thacker brings people together and exposes them to new ideas,” he noted. “Having Thacker as a part of the WYXR family is an opportunity for us to reach out to Mississippi. Memphis and Mississippi are so culturally linked.” WYXR is expected to announce its air time soon.

Alice Pierotti, executive producer-director of Thacker Mountain Radio Hour says the Thacker crew is excited about the new affiliates.

“We’re thrilled to be expanding into Tennessee and partnering with Chattanooga’s WUTC and Memphis’ new WYXR station,” she said.

Pierotti also noted the show recently concluded a summer fund raiser among listeners and supporters that successfully raised $25,000.

“Thacker fans really stepped up over the summer to keep the show going for the fall,” she declared. “We are eager to grow this new audience into longtime listeners.”

The show was also recently awarded a 2021 Mississippi Arts Commission grant worth $12,000 for operational expenses and a 2020 “rapid response grant” for $1000 to help with virtual programming. These grants are a portion of the nearly $1.4 million in grants the Commission awarded in 2020-2021.

Since last spring when the pandemic hit, the radio show has moved to Taproot Audio Design, the home studio of sound engineer, Jeffrey Reed. Thacker host Jim Dees conducts author interviews by phone or teleconference. Musicians, including the show’s house band, The Yalobushwhackers, send in their musical performances electronically.

“We miss the live audience,” Dees admits, referring to show attendees at Off Square Books, the remainder bookstore on the Oxford square that serves as the show’s broadcast home.

“But we’re also grateful for the facility and funds to produce the show. Now we have people in three states that want to listen to it. We intend to deliver.”

Guests for the upcoming fall season include B.B. King biographer Diane Williams and gospel rocker Reverend John Wilkins (September 12); Southern short story master Ron Rash, roots guitarist Luther Dickinson and neo-soul songwriter Kyshona Armstrong (September 19); memoirist Aimee Nezhukumatathil and Grammy-winning multi-instrumentalist, Dom Flemons (October 3); and Dispatches From Pluto author Richard Grant (with his new book about Natchez) (October 16).

The show will host nominees for the 2020 Willie Morris Southern Literature Award on October 24, and gonzo southern author George Singleton (November 7).

B.B. King biographer Diane Williams and gospel rocker Reverend John Wilkins will be featured on Thacker Mountain Radio Hour September 12, 2020.
Neo-soul songwriter Kyshona Armstrong will be featured on Thacker Mountain Radio Hour September 19
North Mississippi All Stars and former Black Crowes guitarist Luther Dickinson will be featured on Thacker Mountain Radio Hour September 19, 2020.
Southern short story master Ron Rash will be featured on Thacker Mountain Radio Hour September 19, 2020.
Thacker Mountain Radio Hour Wraps Fall Season, Looks to 2021

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About the Author

The Local Voice is a bimonthly entertainment guide and newspaper based in Oxford, Mississippi, covering and distributed in North Central Mississippi, including Oxford, Ole Miss, Taylor, Abbeville, Water Valley, Lafayette County, Yalobusha County, and parts of Panola County, Marshall County, and Tupelo . The Local Voice is distributed free to over 255 locations in North Mississippi and also available as a full color PDF download worldwide on the internet.

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