“You’re listening to?”

“You’re listening to?”

In days past, WELY was a radio station where many had the opportunity to offer their talents, music and personal time through volunteering. Dozens of on-air personalities past, no longer given the opportunity, left us a piece of themselves for all ages and interests to enjoy, even participate, and the range of listeners were offered their choice of what appealed to them.

Today, if we choose, we listen to several personalities whose talents are good but limited because of commercial parameters and a so called program director. Why can’t we have a community supported radio station like WTIP in Grand Marais (wtip.org) or WOJB in LaCourderai Wisconsin, (wojb.org). Tune them in, here the difference and visit their websites. They produce exceptional programing, educational for many interests, and a vast variety of music and information, using NPR and MPR, eliminating the canned commercial crap and redundant syndicated voice that belongs on KQ and WEVE, not our home town station. This is not, back in 1995, what Charles Kuralt envisioned.
So, why can’t we?

Mark Haarman
April 4, 2011

2 comments to “You’re listening to?”

  • A background on WELY radio, its beginnings to the present, the history of owners and managers and various personalities past and present could be remembered, in a book. It would be a tribute to an historic audio and vocal era, a small town radio station with the best call letters in the country, offering the emergency and personal messages, Fishermans Headquarters, and the likes of polka Don, Charles Kuralt, Dave Huston, Bob Cary, Dave Staubitz, Dan Erzar, Mike Hillman, Roland’s temperatures, high school sports broadcasts, city council moments, memorable interviews, and even live radio theater. Surely there is someone able to compile a nice read of radio Ely. On sale soon we hope.

  • Greg Spalj

    I couldn’t disagree with your post on WELY more. Everyone has different tastes when it comes to radio. I think WELY does a fine job of varying the programming. Personally, I don’t care for the Twins games’, Polkas, the religious programming on Sunday morning (and I do not refer to Ray Nargis even though he could be considered spiritual in his approach to life), eighties music on Saturday night but that doesn’t mean I think that these programs are bad, or should be removed. I know that many people in Ely enjoy these programs and so WELY should air them. WELY is a community radio station and this community is, to put it politely, nothing if not diverse. Its radio station should reflect that diversity. My guess is that Grand Marais’ radio station reflects its community as well.

    And Ely is not a wealthy town and is certainly not capable of supporting a public radio station. With all of its pressing problems, the ownership of a radio station should not even be on the “to do” list.

    Also, which canned syndicated voices are you referring to? Charles Kuralt, Don Shelby, or Russ Albums, formerly Russell Russ? I suspect you refer to Russ given your reference to KQ. Understand though that even if you dislike his voice, he is actually a product of Ely, growing up here in the fifties and sixties. I am glad that WELY uses local talent where it can.

    My hat is off to the program director of WELY, I think she (or he) does an excellent job. What impresses me is that they play music that is actually not on the Billboard 100 but is great music nonetheless. Rarely do I leave town without going to Itunes to find a couple of songs I heard on WELY that I had not heard before but which make it to my most played playlist in short order.

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