KVMR: Where a Hall of Famer handles your event announcement | TheUnion.com

KVMR: Where a Hall of Famer handles your event announcement

Steve Baker
Special to Prospector

When you submit an event or class for KVMR 89.5 FM's Community Calendar or public service announcements, chances are Hall of Famer Barbara Graves will handle it for you.

"I've been here from the days we typed them individually from paper submissions," she said. "Now we process them all via internet."

Graves' volunteer work sorting and writing announcements may seem mundane, but it's important to a radio station that wants to help non-profits and individuals get the word out on what's going on locally and regionally.

It used to involve cutting the finished announcements and taping them to differently colored index cards, depending on the type of event it was. That took time.

Now it's pretty much a breeze and can be done via internet from her Grass Valley home to the in-studio computers.

"Which is good," said Graves. "You see, we have three times as many (announcements) as we did in our old building."

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Credits Gustafson

Graves credits Gary Gustafson, who volunteered a couple years ago "to put the submission program together."

"We had talked for years about getting a program for the calendar and PSAs until Gary came along," Graves said with a smile. "Let's just say it took him a little longer than he thought it would to create the program."

Graves also does some receptionist duty and outreach work at the Nevada City radio station, where she's been volunteering since 2003.

For nearly a decade, she did a weekly on-air feature describing available cats and dogs at the Nevada County Animal Shelter. Now John Rumsey does that as part of his "Four Strong Winds" program alternate weeks at 10:30 a.m. Wednesdays.

Her love of independent, hand-picked music-styled radio goes back to her days listening to KFAT in Gilroy when she lived and worked in the Bay Area.

"That's where I learned I could like what one broadcaster plays and not necessarily what another plays," said Graves.

"I felt like I had a real connection with some of the (KFAT) broadcasters," she said. "They're real people and very approachable."

That, Graves decided, was "exactly the kind of radio station I liked."

Neighbor's suggestion

When she retired from her graphic arts career to move to Grass Valley, it was her neighbor Ken Ebi, a onetime KVMR board member, who urged her to listen to KVMR on Saturdays to hear a KFAT-like station, Graves said.

Not too long after, she happened by KVMR her very first time. It was during a 2002 membership drive, the phones were buzzing, and, within minutes, Graves was answering a phone.

Suddenly, she was … a volunteer.

"I went in to see what KVMR looked liked, and I haven't looked back since," said Graves.

She sure hasn't.

In fact, in 2013, she was one of seven people inducted into the original KVMR Volunteer Hall Of Fame in its very first year.

Bluegrass broadcast

KVMR 89.5 FM (kvmr.org streaming) will present around 40 hours of the California Bluegrass Association's annual Father's Day Weekend Bluegrass Festival, beginning today through Sunday, aptly known as Father's Day.

The big news is the return of bluegrass legend Del McCoury. While a band including two of his sons has been touring extensively in recent years as the Traveling McCourys, father Del, 79, has not made nearly as many appearances.

But he and the Del McCoury Band will close out both Saturday evening and end the festival Sunday afternoon.

KVMR's 33rd broadcast of the bluegrass festival runs noon to 10 p.m. Thursday, 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday (89.5 FM, kvmr.org streaming).

On The Air is a weekly irreverent look at Nevada City's volunteer-driven, eclectic community radio station at 89.5 FM and streaming at kvmr.org. Complete KVMR schedule available at the station's website, http://www.kvmr.org. The station features an easy-to-use archive of all music shows for two weeks and talk shows for two months at archive.kvmr.org.