WXNA-FM — Build It and It Will Rock!

WXNA-FM — Build It and It Will Rock!

By Randy Fox

When I moved to Nashville in 1986, one of the aspects of Music City that most appealed to me was the opportunity to listen to WRVU-FM, 91 Rock. I can still remember the excitement of driving down West End one day and hearing a Sex Pistols song played back-to-back with a Patsy Cline classic.

It wasn’t just the free-form, in-your-face attitude of such programming that appealed to me. I was constantly discovering new bands, new styles of music, and receiving a musical education — from Afro Pop to klezmer, from krautrock to zydeco. It was how radio should be — exciting, diverse, informative, unpredictable, and most of all, programmed by real human beings rather than marketing studies or computer algorithms.

Twelve years later, I got the chance to be part of the excitement when I gained a spot on WRVU as a community-volunteer deejay, and I brought my own specialty show, the Hipbilly Jamboree, to the airwaves. But WRVU was an odd duck — a hybrid of college radio and an independent, freeform community station. The spirit of independence and community service could only last as long as the powers-that-be at Vanderbilt looked the other way. In 2011, they glanced back, and WRVU left the air to become a student-only Internet station.

A group of former community volunteer deejays, however, couldn’t let the idea of exciting, independent radio die. There were other great, independent stations in Nashville — WVOL, WRFN — but there was still room for more, and the concept of WXNA “Low Power, High Voltage Radio” was born. After more than two years of filling out paperwork and navigating the FCC labyrinth, we received our construction permit to take to the air as WXNA 101.5 FM. With the go-ahead, we now had to build a station from the ground up — and that requires money.

So what better time to kick off an official fundraising campaign for independent, free-form radio than Record Store Day? This Saturday, look for the WXNA booths at Fond Object, The Groove, Grimey’s, and Third Man Records. Learn about plans for the station, check out our merchandise, and dig deep to help build a sweet dream of anarchy in Music City. 

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