WESU 88.1 Celebrating 75 Years of Underground Music

Wesleyan's student-owned radio station, 88.1 FM WESU was founded in 1939. It celebrates 75 years of broadcasting in 2014.

Wesleyan’s student-owned radio station, 88.1 FM WESU was founded in 1939. It celebrates 75 years of broadcasting in 2014.

For 75 years, 88.1 FM WESU has provided a platform for the enjoyment of underground music and under-represented genres generally absent from commercial airwaves.

The year 2014 will mark WESU’s 75th Anniversary, and “we’ve got a metric boatload of events and special programming to celebrate,” said DJ “Cheshire Cat” Bryan Skowera ’99. “Rather than air just our selections, we want our listeners and friends to contribute to our playlist by helping us pick the songs.”

This month, WESU is broadcasting “75 Years of Socially Conscious Music,” a program that features listener and staff suggestions that reflect both socially conscious music and WESU’s 75-year-old commitment to free form radio. Socially conscious music includes protest music, songs that call attention to injustice and songs that rail against inequality.

February will feature “75 Years of Lyrics Beyond the English Language,” and the station is seeking input on favorite recordings whose lyrics are in a language other than English, regardless of genre. Make a song suggestion here.

March’s theme will be “75 Years of Female Artists” in honor of Women’s History Month. Make a song suggestion here.

In addition to the “75 Years of…” series, WESU plans to offer physical and virtual exhibits of WESU artifacts and audio, and launch a capital campaign fueled by a series of live fundraising concerts and events. This campaign, according to WESU General Manager Ben Michael, will fund necessary station upgrades such as installing a back-up power system and replacement of the station’s 25-year-old mixing boards. Members of the station also hope to produce a film project that documents the history and significance of WESU.

WESU radio, founded in 1939, was named the Hartford Advocate’s “Best College Radio Station” in 2013. Vote for WESU again here, or make a pledge online here.