The Thacker Mountain Radio Hour wrapped its fall season last week, its first without in-person audiences at Off Square Books. The show, bowing to COVID restrictions, put together each broadcast in-studio with host Jim Dees interviewing authors by phone and using recorded musical performances, including those by the show’s house band, The Yalobushwhackers.
Thacker producer Alice Pierotti said the show survived thanks to grants and a summer fundraising campaign that raised $25,000.
“We’re grateful to have been able to put together twelve more radio shows to add some joy and a sense of normalcy to 2020,” Pierotti said. “We appreciate all the love and support that kept us going.”
Now the show is adapting its annual holiday fundraiser—normally a well-attended party at Southside Gallery—to an online event, “Wish You Were Here.” The show has assembled holiday goodie bags that are now available in exchange for donations at the show’s website, https://thackermountain.com/.
The various “Goodies” include local art, custom-made Thacker coasters, T-shirts, caps and tote bags, plus cocktail recipes and an original photograph of Rolling Stones’ front man, Mick Jagger, by noted photographer Dick Waterman.
Memberships can be purchased for $20 for students, $50 for individuals and $75 for family/partners. Memberships are good for one year.
In the meantime, the long-running show has also announced its winter broadcast schedule of programs culled from recent broadcasts. Authors to be featured in the coming weeks include Pulitzer Prize-winner Rick Bragg, acclaimed novelist Wayétu Moore, “Sean of the South” essayist, Sean Dietrich, and Willie Morris Award For Fiction nominee, Margaret Wilkerson Sexton.
Musical guests will include the Memphis Ukulele Band, Americana songwriter Will Kimbrough, Memphis jazz-soul guitarist Joe Restivo and gospel powerhouse Elizabeth King.
The schedule will be updated frequently on the show’s website.
The Thacker Mountain Radio Hour is broadcast every Thursday at 6 pm on WUMS (92.1 FM) in Oxford. It can be heard every Saturday, online and on the air, at 7 pm on Mississippi Public Broadcasting (90.3 FM in Oxford) and at 9 pm Saturdays on Alabama Public Radio.
Additionally, the show is heard Fridays online and on the air at 9 am on WYXR Memphis (91.7) and every Saturday at 3 pm (ET) on WUTC (88.1) in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
The show will resume new studio shows, without an audience, Thursday, January 21, 2021 with author Nikki Giovanni. Other upcoming 2021 guests include acclaimed essayist Kiese Laymon, novelist Brit Bennett, whose latest book, The Vanishing Half, has just been optioned by HBO, and Mississippi author, Ralph Eubanks.