It came out of nowhere, almost, just over a month ago.
Suddenly, KVMR-FM had a shot at an exclusive interview with folk legend Buffy Sainte Marie, who will be headlining the night of July 16th at the 19th annual California Worldfest, which the eclectic Nevada City radio station will be broadcasting in its entirety at 89.5 FM and streaming at kvmr.org.
Some technical issues were quickly resolved, like Hawaii being considered international call rates at the station. Duh. It’s like a U.S. state, last we heard.
But KVMR engineer Dave “Buzz” Barnett made sure two of the native American show Dreamwalk hosts, Jennifer Robin and Skip Alan Smith, were able to talk with Sainte Marie, one of the ‘60s classic folk music pioneers with such searing folk songs as “Now That The Buffalo’s Gone,” “It’s My Way,” and “Universal Soldier” at her home in the Hawaiian Islands.
“I’ve got a herd of goats, a horse, a kitty, more chickens than I count and wild pigs that show up in the middle of nowhere at a farm near the Pacific Ocean,” explained a chuckling Sainte-Marie.
The results were an unabashed, provocative, evocative, often laugh-filled and always enlightened half-hour interview with Buffy, which will air at 11 a.m. Thursday (KVMR 89.5 FM,kvmr.org streaming).
“This was so much fun for us,” said co-host Robin, who challenged Sainte-Marie when she asked her how she could be so outspoken as she was.
“People have always been more aware of me in the rest of the world than here,” she replied. “But in the U.S., a lot of me ended up being blacklisted.”
She likened her activist songwriting process to dreams she might have, some trivial, some heartfelt, more importantly, some about world or social issues.
“Those are not just an easy going love song, it’s a song you want to work on. As a songwriter who is good at writing a 3 1/2 minute song that could change somebody’s life, well, that’s a pretty good feeling, more like journalism…”
And Sainte-Marie says it’s exactly what she’s not done throughout a 50 year career.
“They say you make it rhyme through moon, June and swoon and make sure you can dance to it.”
Nope, that’s not Buffy.
But you’ll hear the real Sainte-Marie this Thursday at 11 a.m. and rebroadcast during KVMR’s extensive coverage of California Worldfest a week from now.
Oh, what does she want on her gravestone?
“Carry it on,” she replied, the title of another of her classic songs.
“I want to encourage people to keep pickin’, keep playin’, to keep creating music. Do not give up…”
The station’s month-long 9 a.m. “Water is a Better Splendored Thing” series of special reports continues with a Friday report on how drought can effect the protein in beef, a Saturday story about how a Fresno family farmer has to make water decisions about what he can grow, and a Sunday feature on so-called water rights.
A weekly wrap-up of news and oddities about community radio station KVMR (89.5 FM, kvmr.org streaming), a noncommercial station offering diverse musical programming, independent news and provocative public affairs from about 180 volunteer “citizen-broadcasters.” A video and other information about the station’s new building is available at <bridgestreetproject.org> Complete program listings are available at kvmr.org