College Radio Cuts: Complaints about “Women’s Programming” at KTRU, Rice University, 1980s

I am making a lot of painful cuts in the book manuscript right now, so I’m archiving them here.

“Dear KTRU,” the letter read. 

“Your station is Houston’s finest and I enjoy it. That said, I must register one complaint. There is far too much time devoted to ‘Women’s Music.’ Why not let DJs play good music and assume some will be written, sung, or played by women? The ‘Women’s Music’ shows are…politically commendable and morally correct, but alas, tedious listening.”

This listener, writing sometime in the mid-1980s, suggested that Rice University’s station program more Black artists if they wanted to “devote air time to a minority group which is otherwise ignored on your station.” A “healthy dose” of “Screamin Jay Hawkins, James Brown, Slim Harpo and Otis Redding would be like a shot of B-12.” Adding “Aretha, Martha Reeves and Mavis Staples would have a veritable blood transfusion.”

Source: Undated letter, KTRU Records, Box 27, Folder 8.

1 Comment

  1. jimjewell says:

    i’m with that guy in Houston. i went to a wedding there in the late summer of 1967. It was 95 degrees and 95% humidity with three guys driving around in a car without A/C. The station that played “black” music had a DJ on most of the daytime who played two 45’s: James Brown’s “Give the Drummer Some,” and Wilson Pickett’s “Mustang Sally.” Loved it.

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