“Leave Regular Radio Behind” is their motto, they focus on local 518 artists, they dig through endless catalogs of forgotten songs, they are supported only by their listeners; they are Exit 97.7 WEXT and they command a unique on air musical experience rivaled by many. Presented from March 21-28, WEXT-FM announces the Songwriter Showcase, an ideal platform respecting various musicians, navigating the sound waves to where songs begin.
The Songwriter Showcase is a group of songs played on air from years past through current or new artists. The rotation of songwriters presented range from Neil Young to Josh Ritter. There will be songs that are political to songs that tug on the emotional heartstrings and everything in between. The Songwriter Showcase is only one example of programming 97.7 WEXT presents. Other special shows include countdown lists that no other radio tackles such as: the 500 greatest bands and albums of all time, as well as 977 greatest songs of all time. Other equally unique programming includes the 200 women who rock on International Women’s Day and an entire week is devoted to songs of freedom and protest.
The EXIT 97.7 began July 7, 2007 making this year their lucky seventh anniversary. The station is not only proud of their commitment to music but also maintains a strong community based ideal sponsoring events such as Tulip Fest, Lark Fest and Art on Lark. Members of the community are also invited to partake in MY EXIT programming where the listener creates their own playlist and becomes the DJ for an hour. WEXT is a huge supporter of local talent, providing 518 artists with an outlet for their creativity with live in-studio performances. Local musicians are showcased throughout the day.
Defying commercial radio, WEXT has a stronghold on local public broadcasting, setting their own policies and program decisions based on the desire and needs determined by open communication with the community. The community-owned and operated station relies heavily on financial support of its members, as there is no commercial advertising on air. During the Songwriter Showcase, listeners will have an opportunity to make a contribution during WEXT’s spring fund drive. In exchange members will receive a gift. Based on the contribution, each member will be able to choose from CD’s such as the re-mastered Uncle Tupelo’s No Depression, or concert tickets to upcoming shows. The sold out James Taylor show at Tanglewood is one package offer. Other available contribution packages include tickets to Shawn Colvin and Steve Earle at the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers featuring Edie Breckell at The Palace Theatre or Jake Shimabukuro at The Egg.
Exit 97.7 WEXT is still in its infancy yet the station has become a staple of the community and did so through grassroots efforts using the co-op paradigm as its model. Turn the dial to 97.7 FM and be the judge. Contributions can be made online at exit977.org or by calling toll free 1-800-272-6492.