On the Air: Two award-winning broadcasters celebrate 25 years as alternate hosts of KVMR’s Wednesday Music Magazine
Special to Prospector
They both have won the John Nichols Award for Excellence in Music Programming on KVMR 89.5 FM.
And they both have been honored with the Bill Tuttle Award for Lifetime Achievement in service and programming at the Nevada City community radio station.
Later this month, Connie Coale and Jenny Michael will celebrate being alternate week hosts of the Wednesday Music Magazine for 25 years.
And it’ll mark the fifth anniversary since they were the first voices heard on KVMR from the station’s new building and studios when they signed it on Feb. 25, 2015.
During the Wednesday Music Magazine, of course.
“We were both incredibly honored” to inaugurate the new studios, according to Jenny.
“How fortunate we are,” she adds. “Not many people have been alternating program hosts this long and have the friendship we do.”
“KVMR has given us this incredible friendship,” agrees Connie. “And it grows deeper every year.”
“It’s like family,” says Jenny.
“And KVMR has become our extended family,” adds Connie with a smile.
The 25 year festivities will take place during the station’s winter membership drive on, duh, Wednesday, Feb. 26 (4 to 6:30 p.m., 89.5 FM, kvmr.org streaming).
Normally, that would be Connie’s week, but they’ll be doing the silver anniversary program together.
‘FANTASTIC’ & ‘FABULOUS’
“It’ll be the best of the last 25 years ago together,” predicts Jenny. “It’ll be fantastic.”
“And fabulous,” says Connie.
Indeed, that likely means adding some Joni Mitchell; Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young; and perhaps a touch of George Harrison added into the mix since it’s the day after his birthday, you know.
“Our musical tastes are very similar, complimenting the sharing of the Wednesday Music Magazine as well as fundraising together during membership drives,” says Connie. “We have a great time being in the studio together.”
Back in the early ‘90s, Connie had a couple of radio shows before moving to the Wednesday 4 p.m. spot to alternate with Jenny, who was starting her first KVMR program assignment.
Over the years, they’ve shared another feature.
“We both love having live music in the studio,” according to Jenny.
And that’s because “we’re fortunate to have so many incredible musicians in our community,” notes Connie.
“I like singer-songwriters who tell stories,” she explains. “I love unique voice and harmonies.”
MORE THAN HOSTS
But they’re both way more than just program hosts when it comes to KVMR.
Connie was editor of the station’s program guide in the mid-’90s, helped produce some live concert broadcasts back then, was an organizer of the new building tours more recently (and Jenny was a tour guide) and, for many years, she’s provided and cared for the greenery in the building.
“Yes, I’m the plant goddess,” she beams. “I’m a gardener at heart.”
Meanwhile, Jenny has been in charge of the KVMR Celtic Festival merchandise tent since it began nearly 25 years ago, and that’s no two-day job. She also serves on the Festival’s artist selection committee. And she’s currently on her second go-around on the station’s Program Committee.
Plus you’ll see both of them volunteering for many of the festivals, events and outreach opportunities involving the station.
The two of them became better friends when Jenny’s son, Jake, enrolled at the Nevada City Charter School for 4th to 8th grade, a few years after Connie had founded it in 1994. She retired as director/teacher in 2015.
“I’m still very proud of starting that school,” Connie recalls. “It made a difference in so many children’s lives, honoring who they were, creating a strong self worth and the love of learning.”
And Jake was one of them.
“Attending Nevada City Charter School was an incredibly positive pivotal point in his life,” Jenny recalls. “He was always a very sensitive young man and that personality type, especially in boys, can often be overlooked, suppressed and dominated in a traditional school setting.”
“He absolutely blossomed and flourished there, and he’s now working on getting his Bachelors in Music at Sac State’s School of Music.”
A DAY APART
Connie and Jenny would sit down regularly to go over Jake’s school work and the talk once turned to birthdays. Connie’s is May 22 and Jenny’s is May 23.
“One May, we both realized it at the same time,” exclaims Connie, after years of knowing each other.
“And we couldn’t believe that we didn’t know our birthdays were on successive days,” says Jenny with a big smile.
Still another reason to celebrate — in style — alternating the same time with listeners for 25 years.
On The Air is a weekly irreverent look at KVMR 89.5 FM, its sister station 105.7 FM and its experimental stream at kvmrx.org
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