Tag: Asheville


Each year on August 20th, National Radio Day recognizes the great invention of the radio. Celebrate the news, information, music, and stories carried across the airwaves.

Several inventors had a part in the invention of the radio in the late 1800s. Amazingly, not just one person can be credited with its beginning. Each component developed through invention and discovery. As these technologies converged, the radio came to life.
In the paragraphs that follow, a noted international effort contributed to the conception of the radio. In Germany, the research of Heinrich Hertz proved electricity could be transmitted wirelessly. Elsewhere, the multiple patents of the prolific inventor Nikola Tesla provided the radio with the Tesla coil. Born in Croatia, Tesla also contributed many patents involving alternating current advancing the science and production of numerous inventions. When it comes to the first commercially available wireless, Italian, Guglielmo Marconi receives the honor.   
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 In radio, you have two tools. Sound and silence. ~ Ira Glass
While entertainment and music fill the airwaves today, they were not the radio’s first functions. First, the wireless radio served the military. It also provided a regular public service role. Much like the dits and dots of a telegram, the wireless transmitted information. On board the Titanic at the time of its sinking, a Marconi wireless broadcast the ship’s distress signal. However, in 1906, the first radio broadcast of voice and music purely for entertainment purposes aired. Reginald Fessenden transmitted the program from Brant Rock, Massachusetts for the general public to hear. The Canadian born scientist would go on to many more successes in his lifetime.      
As wireless came alive, the first broadcast stations began airing programs in the 1920s. News and world events were the first items over the airwaves.
  • Radio ownership grew. In 1931, two out of five homes owned a radio. By 1938, four out of five owned a radio.  
  • According to FCC statistics, at the end of 2012, there were more than 15,000 licensed broadcast radio stations in the U.S.
  • On October 1, 1999, the first satellite radio broadcast occurred. Worldspace aired the broadcast in Africa. 
The founder of National Day Calendar hosts a radio talk show.  The “Guru of Geek” Marlo Anderson hosts the Tech Ranch, featuring discussions on technology for everyday life.  Click here to listen.

HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalRadioDay

To celebrate National Radio Day, listen to your favorite radio station. Give special recognition to the station, radio personalities and the programs that make your days better.  Use #NationalRadioDay to post on social media. 
Educators, join the National Day Calendar Classroom to get your students involved in National Radio Day with crosswords puzzles, a podcast and more! Every week the classroom offers a variety of lessons and projects to keep children engaged and learning. 
Celebrating Women

Celebrating Women

In celebration of the Suffrage Centennial—when women won the
vote in August 1920—and as a way to support the modern women’s movement, WPVM recently
premiered a special interview program, “Women Fighting the Good Fight.”

The Women’s 
Suffrage Movement

The first show featured Justin Souther, the senior book buyer
and store manager at Malaprops (Asheville’s renowned bookseller) and Cornelia Powell, fashion historian, guest speaker and writer. 

brought a number of books from the store to “show and tell” focusing on the
suffrage movement in the U.S. as well as in Great Britain, sharing stories of
courageous women who gave their lives to this 72-year-long struggle for the
vote. Cornelia (who is presenting a series of lectures over the next year
around the Southeast—one titled, “Dress to Protest: What Women Wore to the Revolution”) interjected anecdotes from suffrage history. 

Remember the Ladies

Cornelia will join Davyne Dial—WPVM’s general manager and tech diva extraordinaire—at future randomly scheduled programs throughout the next year. (Plus, Justin will return as more books on women’s suffrage and woman-centric topics hit the book shelves at Malaprops.) Stay tuned. ~

The Woman’s Hour
ps: Check out WPVM’s website page with listings of Suffrage Centennial celebrations—including exhibitions and lecture series—around the country over the next year-plus! Do you have plans for a celebration or commemoration that is not listed on the WPVM site? Then please email us and let us know so we can add it to our group!

(Other books Justin shared about: Votes for Women and Death in Ten Minutes.)

Our Beloved Patron

Our Beloved Patron

Welcome to
WPVM’s new blog! Most fittingly, our first feature is Dr. Herb Johnson, the
station’s main and most beloved patron.

Recently Dr.
Herbert Johnson had a revelation while sitting in the lobby of WPVM 103.7 community
radio station in downtown Asheville—a station which he and his wife, Ms. Davyne
Dial, manage since acquiring the FCC license in 2015. He was looking at the old
black and white photographs on the wall, taking him back to his childhood in
Chicago when his father was a professional musician, playing during the Big
Band era of the 1920s and ‘30s with the likes of Paul Whiteman, known as the
“King of Jazz.”

“My God!”
thought Dr. Johnson—who has had a long and fascinating life full of both
disappointment and success—”my life has come full circle! It started out
in ‘show business’—listening to my dad on the radio—and now it’s circled back
again!” Indeed, a feature of WPVM 103.7FM is their musical programs of vintage
music including live and recorded Big Band music.


The decades
in-between have been just as revelatory. Dr. Johnson graduated from medical
school at Northwestern in 1960 (attending less out of his own passion and more
because his immigrant parents were committed their sons be “professional” men),
but he was not happy in private practice—a time when family medicine was
becoming too much about the business of medicine. After a stint in the Public
Health Service, Dr. Johnson was assigned as doctor aboard the legendary tall
ship USCGC Eagle, a Coast Guard
training cutter (built in Germany before WWII), but had to retire from the
Coast Guard (retiring as a full colonel) when he became sick with encephalitis.
Suffering organic brain damage, Dr. Johnson spent nearly a decade relearning to
speak and to walk. Wondering what to do during his rehabilitation time, he
“heard” the message: “you’ll read what you’ll find most boring” and, in turn,
read every available book on the stock market. (The only one he found not boring was Andrew Tobias’ The Only Investment Guide You’ll Need,
reading it twice!) As a result, he became a very successful investor.

It was not
the last time Dr. Johnson heard “a mystical voice,” as he calls it, speaking to
him, sending him messages of guidance and instruction. Although he moved to
Asheville in 1989 because of the VA hospital, there could have been a “message”
of a more intimate nature in that decision because he met Ms. Dial a year later
and they’ve been together ever since. In Asheville, Dr. Johnson, putting his
successful investments to good use, became the largest personal donor to
UNC-Asheville, starting a book scholarship for students. But the real satisfaction for Dr. Johnson—highlighting his
generous spirit—was the deep pleasure of philanthropy!

Back to that
“full circle.” When they had the chance to acquire the FCC license for the
long-dormant community radio station WPVM 103.7FM, Dr. Johnson and Ms. Dial
didn’t want to pass up an opportunity to give back to their much-loved adopted
city. Concerned with the country’s dwindling sources of independent media, the
couple welcomed their new career, investing
time, money and joy in the station! Through the not-for-profit Friends of WPVM,
they’ve established a dynamic community voice, with a roster of informed and
entertaining show hosts including programs featuring music of all stripes—and
with a little “show biz” vibe! ~