Radio 1190 goes vinyl to honor the 100th anniversary of Edison’s Victrola
Down in a basement room of the UMC, Radio 1190’s music blared while stickers and graffiti smothered the walls. CDs were stuck in between the fluorescent lights, and the staff sat on large blue couches, eating, talking and rocking out.
The DJ wasn’t using the new, up-to-date equipment but was standing over three turntables and placing the needle into the large grooves of the records. The desk was covered in album covers, and there was not a CD in sight.
On Thursday, Sept. 21 Radio 1190 put away the CDs and vowed to play vinyl records all day for an event called Vinyl Destination. The station pulled from its collection of 20,000 records and staff members’ personal collections.
Brook Cole, student general manager of Radio 1190 and senior integrative physiology major, stood up with headphones on and got ready to switch to the next album. She was only playing vinyl records in her segment, and she explained that it’s much easier to have dead air time with this older technology.
“With Vinyl Destination I definitely have more freedom in what I play,” Cole said. “It’s cool because it’s a tribute to an older medium. You don’t have the opportunity to do that at other stations.”
The station had three turntables set up in the DJ booth and jammed to old and new records all day.
“This event is fun for our listeners because they can enjoy the sound the records have,” said Mike Flanagan, general manager of Radio 1190.
The station decided to throw the event in honor of the 100th anniversary of Thomas Edison’s Victrola record player.
“The phones have just been ringing off the hooks. It’s something other radio stations just aren’t doing,” Flanagan said.
The station normally has two turntables set up and mixes between vinyls and CDs all day. A third turntable was brought in for Vinyl Destination, and DJs were only in the booth for an hour, a change of pace from their regularly scheduled three-hour segments.
“Today is definitely a little more labor-intensive,” Flanagan said. “You are actually getting up, putting the record in the player and the needle in the groove.”
Radio 1190 is hoping to do the event again soon because it allows them to play all different types of music and share the sound quality of vinyl records, which people still enjoy listening to.
“People are still buying and using vinyl records,” said Jon Byerley, an employee of Albums on the Hill. “The sound quality is a little warmer than a CD.”