By Zachary Swickey
April is undoubtedly a great month for music. On top of Coachella kicking the festival season off, April also has Record Store Day (4/21) and just so happens to also be Public Radio Music Month (PRRM). Artists from just about every genre – including the Black Keys, Dave Matthews, the Roots, the Civil Wars, the Decemberists and Jack White – have even show their support with an open love letter of sorts to public radio.
For those of you not in the know, public radio is a great place to discover new bands and artists. NPR, for example, frequently gives album sneak previews and first listens with some of the best indie and mainstream bands around.
A wealth of notable artists have signed their name to the open love letter to public radio, which essentially reads like a list of heartfelt “thanks you’s.”
“Thank you for taking chances. Thank you for playing our music even when – especially when – it doesn’t sound like everything else on the radio dial,” the letter begins.
Quite the appropriate statement since I can personally recall hearing White Stripes first single “Hotel Yorba” from their breakout album White Blood Cells on public radio months before the band started to blow up with their following single, “Fell in Love with a Girl.”
“Thank you for inviting us into your studios and asking us intelligent questions. Thank you for introducing us to some of the most important music in our lives, music that made us who we are,” the letter continues, before signing off, “Thanks, public radio, for being who you are. Happy Public Radio Music Month.”
Throughout the tough times, the music community has always come together to support public radio, which inspired NPR, local radio stations and musicians across the county to spend April spotlighting how non-commercial radio supports all the different genres of the music community – even less mainstream fare like jazz, bluegrass and classical.
Select radio stations will have special events in celebration: WFPK in Louisville will host a PRMM interview with Chris Walla, guitarist for Death Cab for Cutie; WFUV in New York City will air a live broadcast of Rodrigo y Gabriela from Radio City Music Hall; and KOPB in Portland, Oregon, will have Decemberists bassist Nate Query hosting as guest DJ.
You can tune into the airwaves of your own public radio stations across America or join the fun online at their website as it will be a month-long celebration of public radio’s vital role in our nation’s musical life.
Check out the full letter, after the jump!