News

Thanks to CB Wismar for this lovely article on some of the history of KZE!

WKZE – Main Street Magazine

The very nature of radio broadcasting in the United States has gone through what Shakespeare termed a “sea change” in the 100 years since KDKA in Pittsburgh, PA, took to the airwaves on November 2, 1920 to announce that Warren G. Harding had defeated James D. Cox in the presidential election. Harding won in a landslide. The few residents of western Pennsylvania and neighboring Ohio who had receivers found that out the night before America’s daily newspapers carried the news.

Radio had the advantage of being instant, filling its broadcast area with “free” information. The revolution had begun.

AM, then FM … satellite channels then streaming services across the internet. Some things about radio programming have change over the past 100 years while others – the fundamental services of information and entertainment – have doggedly remained the same.

A radio station for Salisbury, Connecticut

It took a full 66 years between that first broadcast on KDKA and the granting of an FM broadcast license for station WKZE -FM assigned to Salisbury, CT. There was a “daytime” license in place for an AM station, but the addition of an FM license changed the radio landscape in western Connecticut, southern Massachusetts, and western New York.

Ownership changes, format re-alignments, locating the right place for the station transmitter, and finally placing the broadcast studios in Red Hook, NY, are all mile markers on the road to what is, today the station that reaches across the Mid-Hudson Valley to portions of the southern Berkshires and the Litchfield Hills. WKZE-FM, 98.1 … “the home of musical diversity.”

A family affair

WKZE-FM’s broadcast format is, at the very least, an eclectic presentation of carefully curated music that spans a rich variety of genres, a refreshing consciousness of the communities the station serves, and the local businesses that comprise its advertising roster. All of those elements are flavored with a justifiably earned measure of pride.

Station owners Will and Barb Stanley came to the “Album Adult Alternative” formatted station after years of being fully immersed in New England radio. From Hanover, NH, and White River Junction, VT, down the Connecticut River Valley to Northampton, MA, they have been “radio people” working together for over three decades. The owner/operators have a very clearly focused approach to broadcasting. “We are musicians at heart,” offers Will Stanley. “We hire people for the station who are truly engaged in music, and we make them into radio people. It makes a big difference.”

A fine example of that transition is Rick Schneider who hosts the Monday through Friday 6 to 10am Up and Running Morning Show and serves as the station’s Music Director. A trained vocalist, Rick appeared with several bands in the Hudson Valley, developed an affinity for engineering, mixing and recording the bands that appeared in local venues, then made the jump. “I was serving as the announcer for Thursday sessions that were being broadcast across the valley,” he remembers. “One day, the local station made the off-handed suggestion that I ought to think about being on air. I tried it. It stuck. And, here I am.” Since 2007, Schneider has been on air and is responsible for the fascinating mix of music that fills the WKZE-FM day.

Blurring the decades

“I assemble all of the playlists, finding connections between genres that range from jazz and world music to folk, rock, and classic American Songbook offerings.” The station welcomes what Schneider terms “thoughtful” suggestions from the listening audience, many of whom are regular listeners and respond to the “musical diversity” that has become the hallmark of the station.

From the deli counter to the control room

Afternoon drive time host Will Baylies remembers the energizing moments when his radio career began. “I was a PoliSci major at Bard College,” the production director of the station recalls. “When I was a junior, the college station, WXBC, went on the air and it was truly student run – with all that term implies. Folks wouldn’t show up for on-air shifts. The station would go dark for a while. It was as undisciplined as it could be.” Undisciplined except for Will Baylies. “I had a weekly show on Friday night from midnight to 2am. I always showed up. It was energizing.”

College behind him, Baylies, a California native, decided to stay in the area and found work at a local deli. With his keen sense of music history and appreciation of music of all genres, he met the Stanleys across the deli counter. Casual conversations led to an appreciation of both the dedication and the eagerness to learn projected by the young man from Bard College. “I started out as an intern – just learning the techniques and tricks I’ve been on-air since 2004.”

Gone are the days when a radio signal went only as far as the transmitter could send the radio waves. WKZE-FM streams its signal, live, on its website … a fact that allows Will’s father, who now lives in Oregon, to keep up with his son on a regular basis. “We know the community – the businesses – the farmers. And now, so does my dad.”

Local means local

While the radio programming services that fill the nationwide appetite for country, classic rock, Gospel, urban contemporary, and the other mass market formats attract national advertisers, WZKE-FM is a true local voice and respected force. Advertisers are businesses that dot the Hudson Valley and neighboring communities in Massachusetts and Connecticut. Not only do many of the advertisers voice their own commercials, but the station gives them additional time to do station identification spots throughout the day. John and Cindy, familiar voices on the air from their spots promoting their store, North Elm Home in Millerton, NY, summed up their attachment to the local station: “WKZE is the hometown voice we need more than ever! They are a comforting radio station keeping us all in touch.”

Several years ago, a sponsor came to the studio to voice his own commercial. Will Stanley heard the resonant tones of a local business owner and was pleasantly surprised. “He was a dead ringer for Karl Cassell, the legendary NPR voice that was a national fixture on Morning Edition for years.” Stanley asked him to voice the legal station identification that plays at the top of every hour, and those who remember Cassell’s resonant voice are still fooled every time it airs. Since the rules adopted by the Federal Communications Commission allow stations to place their studios within a 25 mile radius of the city of license, the hourly signature acknowledges both. “This is WKZE-FM, 98.1. Salisbury … Red Hook.”

Reaching out

With a deep affinity to music and the performing arts, the Stanleys have ensured that entertainment opportunities in local venues are promoted on a regular basis through their Arts Calendar feature.  Whether it’s the weekend concerts at Infinity Hall in Norfolk, CT, or the next scheduled performance at the Bardavon in Poughkeepsie, NY, or what’s happening at Daryl’s House in Pawling, NY, the schedules are promoted and attendance encouraged, often with on-air ticket giveaways.

The activities on the many non-profit organizations that dot the area are equally featured, provided as part of the Community Bulletin Board announcements that highlight the fundraising activities that are eager for attendees.

Through the seasons, through times of national emergency, through the economic, physical and social challenges that have beset the country, the enduring role of radio stations has kept audiences informed and entertained. WKZE-FM is a singular example of that service, lifting the spirits of its listeners by consistently “celebrating musical diversity.” •

WKZE-FM is at 98.1 MHz on the radio. Online, the station information and streaming service can be accessed at 981kze.com.

Welcome in the New Year and Kiss 2020 Goodbye with DJ Faith!

Commercial free from 9pm until midnight.

9:00-9:30pm:  A Tribute to some of the great artists we love and miss

9:30pm-midnight:  The best of 2020, sprinkled with other great tunes to raise your spirits

Ring in the New Year with good vibes and the great music you can only find on the Home of Musical Diversity, 98.1 KZE!

The WKZE Staff is proud to announce our Favorite Albums of 2020!

Here’s our list, in no particular order…

Rick – Bob Dylan “Rough And Rowdy Ways”

Corey – Khruangbin “Mordechai”

Will S. – Drive By Truckers “The Unraveling”

Dick – Sara Thomsen and Paula Pedersen “Winter Wanderings”

Lydia – My Morning Jacket “The Waterfall II”

Paul – Nightshade – Mercury Rev “The Secret Migration” (Deluxe Reissue)

Paul – Sunday Brunch – twain “Days of Effort and Ease”

Jerrice – Ane Brun “After The Great Storm”

Faith – Sarah Harmer “Are You Gone”

 

KZE Holiday Dance Party, Tuesday, December 15th at 8pm, on KZE’s YouTube & Facebook pages!

98.1 KZE and Professor Louie & The Crowmatix continue our tradition of spreading holiday cheer with our annual Fundraiser for the Center for Prevention of Child Abuse in Poughkeepsie, NY!

CLICK HERE FOR THE YOUTUBE EVENT PAGE

Click here for a special invitation from Professor Louie & Miss Marie!

This year our party may be virtual, but our joy is very real, and the only thing you’ll catch is the dancing bug! Invite your friends and we’ll share some love and light together. For updates, subscribe to KZE’s YouTube page, and find our event notice on Facebook.

We cannot forget the real good we do for children in need this time of year. Once again we’re asking for your donations to The Center for Prevention for Child Abuse in Poughkeepsie, NY. You’ll be entered for a chance to win some fabulous prizes (see below)! For more information about The Center for Prevention for Child Abuse and to donate now, visit thecpca.org, and read more below.

Happy Holidays from all of us here at 98.1 KZE!

3 Ways to Give:

  1. Online https://www.thecpca.org/seasonofgiving/
  2. Phone 845-249-4873
  3. Mail: Pledge Your Amount to WKZE & mail a check to: 35 Van Wagner Road, Poughkeepsie NY 12601 with the memo WKZE for Kids (Check Payable CPCA)

Select a gift in honor of someone, and CPCA will send them a holiday card letting that person know about your generosity!

Read baby Olivia’s story and see the impact you are making this holiday https://www.thecpca.org/baby-olivias-story/

5 Children Die A Day from abuse but it only takes 5 minutes to save a life

**********

DRAWING TUESDAY, DECEMBER 22 DURING THE UP & RUNNING MORNING SHOW WITH RICK

Donate $20 or more and be entered to win a Gift Certificate from one of these great businesses! Thanks so much to our amazing sponsors for their generosity!

*You must check the box “This is part of the WKZE Fundraiser” on your online donation form to be entered. One entry per person, please. Donate between Tuesday, December 15th and Friday, December 18th to be entered into the raffle drawing. Thank You and Good Luck!

Bop-to-Tottom

The Culinary Warehouse

Hummingbird Jewelers

Town and Country Liquors

Williams Lumber & Home Centers

Winter Sun & Summer Moon

Congratulations to our winners of a $100 Gift Certificate!

Bodhi Holistic Spa, Yoga & Salon – Georgene from Pleasantville, NY

Hummingbird Jewelers – Dale from Stanfordville, NYLe Perche Bakery & Bar – Marilu from West Shokan, NY

Oblong Books and Music – Paul from Millerton, NY

Swoon Kitchenbar – Karen from Athens, NY

The Culinary Warehouse – Pat from Red Bank, NJ

The Dreaming Goddess – Diana from Beacon, NY

Winter Sun & Summer Moon – Elise from Rhinebeck

Thank you to all who entered and to our great sponsors! Click here to view the contest entry page.

Congratulations to all our winners, and thanks to everyone who entered! Special thanks to Billy Denter of Overlook Bicycles in Woodstock, NY, for contributing four amazing bikes given away over four weeks! Not to mention the cool videos he made for all of us each week showing off the bike. View all the winners, watch videos and check the out the amazing bikes by visiting the contest page.

Overlook Bicycles will ship any bicycle part or accessory directly to your doorstep! They also offer drop off and pick up service for purchased bikes and repairs. View their inventory and available services at OverlookBicycles.com

Thanks to everyone who entered the KZE Valentine’s Day Drawing Drawing!

Inspired by last year’s KZE River Tour and the amazing towns we visited, we decided to change things up this year. This year’s theme was “Love Where You Live.” We invited you to share the place YOU love most with an artistic representation, and we were not disappointed with many lovely entries received! Below are our top picks.

WINNER

Rose & Joe Esposito

original water color and ink drawing on greeting card.. and four shark’s teeth!


Many thanks to our wonderful sponsors who provided the incredible Grand Prize Package!

  • A beautiful piece of jewelry from Hudson Valley Goldsmith in New Paltz, NY HudsonValleyGoldsmith.com
  • A special Valentine Bouquet from Dancing Tulip Floral Boutique in Saugerties, NY     DancingTulipFloral.com
  • A one night stay at Emerson Resort and Spa in Mount Tremper, NY, with a couples massage and dinner at Woodnotes Grille. EmersonResort.com

FINALISTS

Amy Fall

painting, View of Mt. Mohonk, a treasure of the Hudson Valley

Robin Mariposa

The Hudson Valley is the place for me,

the beauty that surrounds me is as lovely as can be,

I grew up in New York City, no flowers, no trees,

here we have those, and mountains, lakes, and bees.

The view from my window is a dream come true,

I live in the woods now, and every season, every day, is so beautiful too,

home is my very favorite place to be,

I can cook, paint, write, and listen to WKZE!

A getaway to Mount Tremper with all the bells and whistles too,

Is an incredible prize to win,

absolutely perfect for a lucky “two”.

Mary & Warren Rivers

This was taken in Jamaica Ocho Rios!  My husband saw it on my Birthday. Without him, I would never have seen it.  I feel it speaks directly to us and for the 35 years we have spent together! We are going on our 35th wedding anniversary and we would just adore this prize.  My husband is always overworked, but much loved.

Angela Bove

“Song for the Woods”

It’s a song I wrote inspired by a weekend trip I took with my partner a few years ago. It was our first real weekend away together and we stayed in a small cabin in the woods in New Hampshire. It was a beautiful, secluded getaway among the trees, and to this day it’s one of my favorite memories.

Lost with you for two days

So far out of town

Safe in the trees’ embrace

Never want to come down

All that we could desire

All that we were

The soft light of the fire

In the turning hour

Lost with you for two days

In that little home

The woods set your eyes ablaze

We had a life of our own

Of all that we had left

Of all that we had there

The song of our breath

Forever in the air

 

Enter KZE’s Valentine’s Day Drawing Drawing to win a prize package for two! This year our theme is “Love Where You Live!”

William Clarke "Love From Sunrise To Sunset: Nature of The Northeast"

William Clarke “Love From Sunrise To Sunset: Nature of The Northeast” – KZE Valentine’s Contest 2019 Winner – This illustration is inspired by my love of the beautiful area we live in. From The Hudson to The Housatonic, the natural beauty of this Tri-State area is something very special. A walk/ride/commute near a misty field in the early morning or catching the vivid colors of a cold winter sunset are just two examples of things that make me LOVE living here. -William Clarke

Time to flex your creative heart muscles! Inspired by last year’s KZE River Tour and the amazing towns we visited, we’ve decided to change things up this year. We invite you to share the place YOU love most with an artistic representation – a drawing, poem, song, sculpture, anything you can make! It could be your house, in nature, on the water, in town… anywhere you love to spend time and want to share with the world!

Grand Prize includes:

  • A beautiful piece of jewelry from Hudson Valley Goldsmith in New Paltz, NY HudsonValleyGoldsmith.com

  • A special Valentine Bouquet from Dancing Tulip Floral Boutique in Saugerties, NY     DancingTulipFloral.com

  • A one night stay at Emerson Resort and Spa in Mount Tremper, NY, with a couples massage and dinner at Woodnotes Grille. EmersonResort.com

To Enter:

Email your submission to Valentines@wkze.com, send it in the USPS mail, or drop it off at our Red Hook studio before 4 pm Thursday, February 13th.  The Grand Prize Winner will be chosen at random from the top five submissions chosen by the KZE staff.  The winner will be announced on the air on Valentine’s Day, Friday, February 14th at 9:30 am with Rick during the Up and Running Morning Show, and in our News Section at WKZE.com. View previous submissions by clicking here.

Good Luck!

The WKZE Staff is proud to announce our Favorite Albums of 2019!

Here’s our list, in no particular order…

Rick – The National “I Am Easy To Find”

Corey – Y La Bamba “Mujeres”

Will S. – Daniel Norgren “Wooh Dang”

Professor Louie – Che Apalache “Rearrange My Heart”

Will B. – Los Lobos “Llego Navidad”

Dick – Ellis Paul “The Storyteller’s Suitcase

Lydia – Carsie Blanton “Buck Up”

Paul – Mercury Rev “Bobbie Gentry’s The Delta Sweete Revisited”

Sally – Lizzo “Cuz I Love You”

Jerrice – Lady Moon & The Eclipse “Le Petit Prince”

Faith – Marco Benevento “Let It Slide”

Oilda – Marvin Gaye “You’re the Man”

Spend Christmas with 98.1 KZEs Annual Commercial Free Acoustic Christmas!

Starting 6pm Tuesday, December 24th through 6pm Wednesday, December 25th, enjoy acoustic-only music. Plus no commercials until 6am on December 26th! KZE provides the perfect background music for your Christmas festivities. Share the gift of musical diversity with the ones you love!

Christmas Day Commercial Free Holiday Programming:

6pm – A Christmas Carol – Radio Theatre from 1939 featuring Orson Wells.

7pm – A KZE Parlor Session w/ Josh Ritter Recorded Nov. 17, 2015

8pm – The Beatles Abbey Road At 50.

On September 27, 1969, the Beatles released their last recordings and most popular album ever, Abbey Road. “The Beatles – Abbey Road at 50” radio special features fascinating interviews with John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Starr and George and Giles Martin. You’ll hear the beautiful new stereo mixes of classics like “Come Together,” “Something” and the medley from Side Two of this monumental album.

9pm-Midnight – A Holly Jolly Holiday Mix

Additional Christmas Programming:

Saturday, December 21st

8am, New Harmony: A celebration of Christmas music in the folky tradition. North American, Celtic and even some bluegrass tunes.

7pm, Movin & Groovin: The James Brown Xmas Funktacular!

 

Sunday, December 22nd
7am & 10pm, Putumayo World Music Hour: Blues Christmas! This week it’s a focus on a home-grown style of world music, born right here in the USA, the Blues. Although Blues tunes can be sad and downhearted, there are a lot of great festive Blues songs. Join Putumayo as they sort through their musical collection of Christmas Blues songs.