Why I Am A WWOZ Member: Here's My Story, What's Yours?

Published on: October 12th, 2019

906 J Pegues and Irma Thomas [Photo by Kichea S. Burt]

J Pegues and Irma Thomas [Photo by Kichea S. Burt]
J Pegues and Irma Thomas [Photo by Kichea S. Burt]

"First and foremost it’s the Music, and WWOZ is and always has been about Discovery, Protection, and Perpetuation of our Musical Culture.  ‘Oz is not just providing us access to the richest history of music on this continent but also walking us parallel with and keeping us up-to-date with what’s new in New Orleans, Louisiana, and Mississippi River Basin-based music.  It is said, 'I care not who writes a people’s history as long as I can write their songs.'

"Second, it’s about the way WWOZ cultivates a live connection to our Musicians.  'OZ is Nourishing our Musical Heritage by providing sharply-focused live and recorded programming from which our children learn the history of our music.  This ensures we have a foundation to continue to grow that heritage in order to make certain our children can not only replicate the history but also interpret it for their and future generations.  I’ve heard it said, “A musician is someone who loads $5000 worth of gear into a $500 car to drive 100 miles for a $50 gig.” ‘OZ supports our musicians by opening the station’s doors and providing musicians a place right in the studio to showcase their chops so that we can hear, watch, and learn about them.

"Then, it’s about The Future.  If WWOZ were not here to “Guard the Groove,” to make certain our music lives on in the hearts of the world’s people, then who would bring that unique musical gumbo to the folks across the Americas, in Australia and New Zealand, in Europe, and in Asia – all those places people listen from and call in from to contribute and become members?  Only WWOZ makes it possible for the world to listen, to love this culture, and to be able to share it even if they’ve never been to New Orleans or just can’t be here right now. Welcome Home, World!

"Louis Armstrong said, “Musicians don’t retire, they stop when there’s no more music in them.”  WWOZ exists to make certain there is a future for our culture by broadcasting and amplifying the music to greater audiences through each successive generation so that, when a great man lays down his horn, there’ll be a new one there to pick it up.

"Finally and pointedly, WWOZ gives me no ads, turns loose a cadre of colorful and knowledgeable show hosts, and lets me listen to a music library beyond belief.  Where else are you going to hear that 1926 recording of “I’ll Take That New Orleans Music” by Big Mama Thornton? Nowhere but WWOZ!"

-J Pegues,
WWOZ Member & Volunteer
Chair of the WWOZ Board of Directors

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