Folksinger turns disc jockey for KVMR on-air fundraiser |

Folksinger turns disc jockey for KVMR on-air fundraiser

John McCutcheon hugs good friend Joanna Robinson backstage at a 2012
Photo courtesy KVMR | Photo courtesy KVMR

Folksinger John McCutcheon isn’t even on tour right now, but he’ll still be “at” KVMR-FM this Friday morning to help the station’s 35th Birthday Membership Drive.

Actually, he’ll be in Atlanta, where the KVMR audience favorite is recording a special two-hour show for the Nevada City radio station’s folk spot from 10 a.m. to noon this Friday (KVMR 89.5 FM, streaming).

He’ll be picking out some of his favorite songs, musical influences, and will likely spin some storytellin’ yarns about the material as well, while the time slot’s Laurie DesJardin is on vacation with her family.

Look for something about the late U. Utah Phillips to be in the mix. Phillips and McCutcheon were close friends, both helped form a touring musician’s union, and McCutcheon sang at Phillips’ memorial service five years ago at Nevada City’s Little League Field. Oh, McCutcheon also shares Phillips’ lifelong passion for baseball as well.

A multiple Grammy nominee over the years, McCutcheon has performed more than 20 annual concerts for the eclectic noncommercial community radio station.

McCutcheon joins local world class music artists Roy Rogers (blues slide guitar) and Alasdair Fraser (fiddle) in “deejaying” special membership drive shows on the listener-supported media outlet.

Copies of the McCutcheon special are available with a gift to the station membership drive at or by calling 530-265-9073, ext. 203.

And the award goes to…

As KVMR seeks financial support in its current membership campaign, not everyone knows the station had won a variety of national honors from the National Federation of Community Broadcasters between 1997 and 2005 (when the NFCB discontinued the competition ).

The accolades include:

Community Impact Awards (presented to station as a whole):

2002 — For coverage and programming related to mental health issues and the tragic shootings at the HEW Building, accepted by News Director and “Who Cares” host Joan Buffington.

2003 — For programming, partnerships and collaborations with arts and peace organizations in the aftermath of 9/11.

Ironically, this award was discontinued after KVMR’s back-to-back honors.

Golden Reel Awards:

1997 — Golden Reel Award, Merle Kessler for the commentaries of Ian Shoales, shared by KVMR/KCRW (Santa Monica).

1998 — Special Merit Award, Steve Baker, The Morning Show, Local Drivetime Programming.

1999 — Special Merit Award, U. Utah Phillips and Steve Baker, Fourth of July Parade Coverage, Live Local Public Affairs.

2000 — Golden Reel Award, Anna McHugh, Raven Radio Theater/KVMR, The Public Defender, Local Public Affairs Programming.

2001 — National Volunteer of the Year, Tim O’Brien (co-winner)

2002 — Special Merit Award, Joan Buffington and Dawn Fischer, HerStory women’s history features, National News/Public Affairs Programming.

2002 — Special Merit Award, Molly Fisk and Steve Baker, Nevada City Remembers New York City, Live Local Public Affairs.

2005 — Golden Reel Finalist, Dawn Fischer, Mission Statement, Station Promotion.

The awards were given through 2005.

Once in a lifetime

Now that KVMR’s life has covered almost two generations, the station — a relative “grandfather” in the world of community radio — has begun honoring some of its longtime talent.

In fact, KVMR’s Program Committee has voted Lifetime Achievement Awards over the last decade to several of its broadcasters for their quality work on air and off air in support of the station. The Bill Tuttle Lifetime Achievement Award is named for the late Tuttle, who retired from the State Department of Aging to start a radio show on elder issues and the positive aspects of growing old on KVMR. “Over 60, Sunnyside Up” then ran for some 24 years. When Tuttle ended the show at age 91 and “retired” again, he was the oldest regular working radio host in the country.

Other winners of the prestigious Tuttle Award include Eric Rice, Mikail Graham, Dawn Fischer, Len Gorsky, Allison Miller and Chris Towne.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Grass Valley and Nevada County make The Union’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.


Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User