A Pokey Little Radio Station
April 30, 2011 9:03 PM   Subscribe

What are some pokey radio stations that play old country/forgotten 45's/big band/bluegrass/rockabilly from the 1920's-1960's that I can listen to online for free?

I recently traveled through Charlottesville, VA and Knoxville, TN and I liked their radio stations that played old forgotten songs. I like driving to them, but I think they would make good background music for cooking, cleaning, creating, and web-browsing.

Do you know of any stations like this that stream online? (Usually they are end-of-the-dial stations resting beside NPR and the religious stations.

I am not opposed to podcast recommendations, but bonus points for radio stations that reveal a little bit about the region where they are from, either from the DJs or featured programs.
posted by shortyJBot to Media & Arts (24 answers total) 57 users marked this as a favorite
I don't know of whole stations streaming 24.7 old-time country but I do seek out the shows that play it across the radio dial.

The Old-Time Country Radio Show
WREK Atlanta, specifically Joe Bussard's Country Classics
Sinner's Crossroads with Kevin Nutt on WFMU
posted by Miko at 9:10 PM on April 30, 2011

One more -
Galax, VA WBRF Classic Country
posted by Miko at 9:12 PM on April 30, 2011

KEXP has Swingin' Doors and Shake the Shack. Both of them tend to mix in some new with the old.
posted by milkrate at 9:44 PM on April 30, 2011 [1 favorite]

I bet the station you heard in Knoxville was WDVXhey exclusively play the music you described.

I wish I could recommend Nashville's college station, WRVU, but they've been thrown into turmoil lately and have lost almost all of the DJs who specialized in rockabilly and old country and so on. grumble
posted by Toothless Willy at 10:26 PM on April 30, 2011

The Dick Spottswood Show from WAMU-FM's Bluegrass Country in Washington, DC:

Music scholar and Washington radio personality Dick Spottswood highlights the many facets of folk culture in the United States on his two hour show. Reaching back to the 1890s and the beginnings of recorded sound, but concentrating on music from the 1920s through 1950s, each of Dick’s programs brings listeners a surprising collection of recordings – from cylinders through 78′s and LP’s.
posted by apartment dweller at 10:27 PM on April 30, 2011

Also: the most recent (last 4 weeks or so) Dick Spottswood Shows are archived so you can stream them.
posted by apartment dweller at 10:31 PM on April 30, 2011

On cable TV, the Marty Stuart Show has many guests from 50s and 60s.
posted by valannc at 10:43 PM on April 30, 2011

For the 1920s end of the spectrum, you might enjoy the Jimmie Jazz Show.
posted by chez shoes at 11:28 PM on April 30, 2011

Have you heard of Pandora? Tell them what you want to hear and they play it.
posted by LarrenD at 2:14 AM on May 1, 2011 [2 favorites]

For the Big Band and jazz stuff, try Hot Jazz Saturday Night.
posted by fings at 6:12 AM on May 1, 2011

Best answer: WMMT
posted by Thorzdad at 7:15 AM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]

Best answer: You want KBRD.org, America's 9th Best Radio Station.
"Whether you like piano rolls, pre-1920 cylinders, 78s from the 20s, 30s, 40s and 50s or early 45s and mono LPs, this is your station. Over the air we transmit full bandwidth with uncompressed sound to beat even the fm stations in quality.
On the internet we maintain full spectrum by streaming in the original monaural and not wasting bandwidth. Better than CD quality."
posted by MexicanYenta at 2:32 PM on May 1, 2011 [2 favorites]

Not a whole station, but a program on a local NPR affiliate: Blues Valley. You can listen online Saturday nights, 8:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m. EST.
posted by Orinda at 3:37 PM on May 1, 2011

Toothless Willy: "I bet the station you heard in Knoxville was WDVXhey exclusively play the music you described."

They webcast, too. WDVX rocks! Next time you're in Knoxville stop by the WDVX station for a free live lunchtime concert!
posted by workerant at 7:29 PM on May 1, 2011

Saturdays on WNCW are all bluegrass all the time and a lot of it is very old. The rest of the time it's a more eclectic mix but they're often likely to play exactly the stuff you're describing just out of the blue. And on Thanksgiving they play food songs all day long, which has made me very happy for ten Novembers now.
posted by mygothlaundry at 7:36 PM on May 1, 2011 [1 favorite]

Ah, I was just coming in to recommend "Spindale", but mygothlaundry beat me to it.
posted by travertina at 9:39 AM on May 2, 2011

There's an internet radio station called Folk Alley I like a lot for background music. It's one of the streams pre-loaded in the Radio tab in iTunes, which is how I found it. It's a mix of folk and bluegrassy stuff, and a mix of old and new.
posted by kostia at 3:35 PM on May 2, 2011

KCEA spins those Big Band music platters 24 hours a day from Menlo-Atherton High School in the SF Bay Area.
posted by JDC8 at 6:49 PM on May 2, 2011

We don't actually have such a station in Charlottesville. My guess is that you were listening to WTJU, our college radio station, which plays every variety of music under the sun, and you happened to be driving through when there was an interesting show on. The sort of music that you're describing is my most favoriteist style of music—it’d be great if we had a station here that played that kind of music!
posted by waldo at 8:13 PM on May 2, 2011

RBI: Radio Bluegrass International is an online-only station run by the International Bluegrass Music Museum in Owensboro, Kentucky (about 40 miles from Bill Monroe's birthplace in Rosine). It's got a collection of shows that air at specific times, but the station itself broadcasts 24/7.
posted by josyphine at 8:08 AM on May 4, 2011

Response by poster: Thank you for all the great suggestions, guys! I can't wait to have a porch-sitting day and check out these. THANKS!
posted by shortyJBot at 1:11 PM on May 6, 2011

Response by poster: Also, another description for what I'm looking for: music that makes me feel like I am in an old cartoon.
posted by shortyJBot at 6:24 PM on May 6, 2011

Re: your last request--this was just posted on the blue.
posted by apartment dweller at 1:44 PM on May 10, 2011

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