A Brief History of Lotsa A Cappella on KDHX
Lotsa A Cappella hit the KDHX airwaves for the first time at 3 AM on a hot Monday in August 1994. I was filling in for a programmer who was on vacation (later I found out that this person would not return to KDHX). The very first song that I played was the Persuasions' Good Old A Cappella followed by Scream Dream by Ted Nugent (a suggestion from my brother John), which was not in the least a cappella! This first show featured plenty of a cappella music, though probably only about half the songs really fit that description. After one of the first few songs I played, I forgot to turn off the CD player on the board as I started the next song, so that two songs were playing simultaneously, and I didn't notice until both songs were finished! By 6 AM (a three-hour time slot) I was exhausted.
For four months I got up early every Monday morning to make it to the station for the Lotsa A Cappella show. In December 1994, the program committee offered me a time slot on Sunday mornings, where Lotsa A Cappella stayed until August 10, 2008.
After a year and a half on early Saturday mornings, Lotsa A Cappella returned to Sundays in an hour-long format, from 7 AM to 8 AM starting March 14, 2010, where you can hear it on 88.1 FM, KDHX St. Louis MO (or on the web at kdhx.org).
Rick Yakimo had been a volunteer at KDHX long before I even knew about the station. He edited the Airwaves Magazine (a print version of the KDHX newsletter), answered phones at pledge drives, and helped organize festivals and other activities, as well as holding down a full time job as a nurse. He started as a cohost and programmer on the Lotsa A Cappella show in December of 1994, when the program was on from 3 AM to 6 AM Monday mornings.
Lotsa A Cappella then moved to a new time slot, Sunday mornings from 8 AM to 10 AM. Rick showed up faithfully every other Sunday morning (his real job required him to work alternate weekends) for many years, carrying several large cases full of CDs from his personal collection.
Rick was tireless in researching sources for more a cappella music to play on the show. He owned a large collection of a cappella CDs, both because he genuinely liked to listen to the music, and to add variety and depth to the Lotsa A Cappella show that was slowly building an audience.
Long before KDHX had its own website where programmers could enter playlists, and before the e-waves / ewaves Yahoo group existed, Lotsa A Cappella's playlists could be found on the world wide web because Rick was posting them on the newsgroup rec.music.a-cappella. Rick was also a great help to me in many other ways, on and off the radio, and a lot of what you hear on Lotsa A Cappella to this day, is due to his influence.
Rick earned his PhD in Nursing in 2003 from Saint Louis University. Dr. Rick Yakimo currently teaches and does research at SIUE School of Nursing (Southern Illinois University Edwardsville) and at UMSL School of Nursing (University of Missouri St. Louis).
Fred Davis was a faithful listener who would call the show once in awhile with a request. At an a cappella concert in 2000, Rick and I were having a conversation before the show started. Fred was sitting behind us, recognized our voices and introduced himself. Then after I'd been doing the show solo for awhile (starting in late 2001), Fred called and asked if I needed a cohost, reminding me that we had met at the concert. I told him that I didn't mind doing the show alone, but wouldn't mind having a cohost. He came to the show as a guest in January of 2002, and on March 10, 2002, after the KDHX program committee approved his application, he became my regular cohost.
Fred and I did the show together (sometimes one of us would take the week off) until he got his own show on KDHX in January 2004, and for a couple of years he played a mix he called "My Kind Of Music" on Friday mornings from 4 AM until 6 AM, until he got tired of getting up so early! Fred has retired from his regular job as a mail carrier and is a part time musician and DJ at local events.
Angela Pancella had been a KDHX programmer and DJ, doing a show aptly named "The Eclectic Mix." She left the St. Louis area for awhile, but later came back to KDHX as a volunteer producing calendar and announcement spots. Many times, she'd do her production work on Sunday mornings at the KDHX studios, so we'd see each other briefly every week. I knew that Angela liked a cappella music and that she was a huge fan of The Nylons; in fact, she wrote a book on founding Nylons member Marc Connors. She told me that she had submitted a proposal to the program committee to do another show on KDHX, but a time slot hadn't opened up yet. Then one morning she asked me if I needed or wanted help on the Lotsa A Cappella show. I told Angela to come on down and help me out. She was really smooth at running the board, and added a slightly different slant on the music.
Angela helped out during the 2005 Spring Pledge drive, and started as regular cohost of Lotsa A Cappella on Easter Sunday, March 27, 2005. Her last show was January 29, 2006. Angela has moved out of the St. Louis area again, working at non-profit organizations such as Woven Oak, Our Daily Bread, and Peaslee Neighborhood Center.
I'd like to express my immense gratitude to all three of my regular cohosts throughout the years. I know that I am not the easiest person to get along with!
I'd also like to thank my guest cohost, Chris Tess, who helped me out on a couple of early shows. Way back when he was a college student, Chris was instrumental in helping me discover lots of sources for a cappella music, and allowed me to borrow some of his CDs (one of which - The Columbia Kingsmen - I have never returned!).
I've also had a whole lot of help during the KDHX pledge drives from various folks who helped me "pitch" (which basically means "beg for money"). Among the pitchers, Mark "Sunnyboy" Mason has helped me from the beginning. He is a true friend. Other good friends who've helped out as pitchers include Rich Barta, Stacy Bernard, Hound Dog Brown, Tony Cabanellas, Jeff Corbin, Keith Dudding, Emily Gruber, Jean Ponzi, Linda Serafini, and Mark Silverstein.