NPR’s Music Month to showcase local artists

By Brenton Ward | @kykernel

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Hoping to make noise about the benefits and need of local radio in communities across the nation, National Public Radio will feature its second annual Public Radio Music Month this April.

Public radio’s influence on America’s music scene is substantial. Over 180 public radio stations have full-time music formats, while another 650 play music as part of their programming.

Public radio airs more than five million hours of music per year, with the majority of that belonging to local programming.

UK’s own public station, WUKY, airs 80 hours of music a week, with a wide range of genres. This month, every other hour will feature either music by local talent or an act recorded at WUKY’s studio.

“Its very important that new (musicians) have a stage, or a venue, or an outlet, otherwise, we will miss a bright new artist,” said Gail Bennett, market director for WUKY.

UK’s public radio station promises to continue their focus on local music during this year’s Music Month. They are airing performances from local venues like Natasha’s, hosting live on air interviews and performances by local and national artists, as well as features on new and emerging local talent. It is including many who participated in Lexington’s 10-in-20 Project, a compilation vinyl recording of local musicians.

Music’s connection to the local economy is also something Music Month hopes to highlight.

“These musicians are business people. They’re employing people in their band, they’re employing people in the clubs, they’re employing the people recording their music,”music director Mike Graves said.

The station has also partnered with Shaker Steps, a live music video blog, and each week will feature a live performance on their YouTube channel.

With all they have lined up, WUKY is determined to make this year’s Music Month a success.

“We take our local mission seriously,” Graves said in a public statement that he shared with the Kernel. “That includes supporting local groups that share our passion for local music, and using our role in the community to help amplify their impact. In this case, everyone wins – our listeners, our partners, and Kentucky’s musicians.”

To learn more about this year’s National Radio Music Month visit NPR’s website at