WNCW is one of the most influential and important radio stations in traditional American music, a progressive roots station that’s been broadcasting from Isothermal Community College in Spindale, NC (just east of Asheville) since 1986. It reflects and shapes the culture of its region, one of the nation’s hubs for folk and bluegrass music. If you love roots music, it's as essential a part of driving around the Great Smoky Mountains as WWOZ is to hanging out in New Orleans.
Program and operations director Joe Kendrick loved radio all his life and got his first experience while a student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He graduated in 1991 and started volunteering at WNCW. He worked there on and off as he made his living in business but came on full time in 2006 as morning host. Today he’s Director of Programming and Operations.
Recently, and independently of the station, he notes, Kendrick launched the new multi-media series Southern Songs and Stories, a podcast and blog about the musical culture of the Blue Ridge and the Piedmont. In our conversation above, he explains the vision and the show and some of the artists and scenes he's profiled so far.