WDVX: Grassroots Radio
WDVX Radio came into existence because a like-minded bunch of people around East Tennessee wanted a radio station that represented the culture of the region and celebrated the music that emerged from generations of people swapping tunes and playing on the porch, and its modern evolution. Cumberland Communities Communications Corporation was incorporated in 1991, the first step in creating the radio station.
Radio Station in a Camper
As happens with grassroots efforts, it was November 1997 when WDVX actually went on the air. The efforts of a number of passionate people brought a new sound to East Tennessee and the world. At its foundation were Campbell County native and DJ Tony Lawson (now WDVX Program Director), broadcast engineer Don Burggraf, and a small board of directors that included Appalachian land trust innovator Marie Cirillo. A small, donated camping trailer parked in a campground off I-275 became the station’s first permanent home.
The station plays a wide range of music: Bluegrass, Blues, Gospel, Old Time, Celtic, Alt-Country, early Jazz, classic Country, Cajun, American roots, and on and on.
In 2004, WDVX moved into new studios inside the new Knoxville Visitor Center in downtown Knoxville, and a brand new tradition was born. The Blue Plate Special, which had been a short set of recorded music in the camper with occasional live performances, developed into a daily live lunch-time concert before a studio audience. Nowadays the show is 6 days a week, always at noon, and features two acts – local or touring musicians who provide top entertainment to music fans from around the globe.
Live performance is a big part of WDVX programming. The station also produces a monthly show for kids and kids at heart called “Kidstuff,” “First Friday Live,” to coincide with the city’s monthly arts celebration and “Tennessee Shines,” a weekly radio music and spoken word program that originates from a local musical pub.
WDVX produces at least three free live concerts in the downtown Knoxville’s Market Square each year, and a festival at Ijams Nature Center, a 244-acre park minutes from downtown Knoxville.
The station airs Tennessee Farm Table, a weekly, locally produced program that features area farmers, seed savers, chefs, and food enthusiasts.
WDVX partners with community organizations throughout the area to promote the arts and culture of the region. We invite you to tune in at 89.9 FM, 102.9 in downtown Knoxville, 93.9 in Seymour/Seven Islands area, wdvx.com, or attend a live performance and become part of East Tennessee’s Own.