Sacred Freeform: The Songs of the Temple, Live From the Garden of the Gods

A few years ago I started doing my radio show Garden of the Gods, on WDBX. I gave it up to move back to Florida for a bit, and out to California for a minute, but now I am back in the ‘Dale (for Round 3 of “The Super Senior vs. SIUC”), and on the air again, every Thursday from 12-2PM!

I named my show after our beautiful backyard, the Shawnee Forest, one of the most biologically diverse ecosystems in North America. My show is usually just as diverse, a format that I have dubbed “sacred freeform,” or even better, “pantheistically eclectic.” I pay homage to all of the Classic Rock Gods, and to all of the no-lesser deities of Blues, Reggae, Folk, Country, Hip Hop, Salsa, World, Punk, and Funk…and all of the liturgical canons in between!

One of the greatest blessings of independent media and community radio is the freedom to choose music by quality, AND quantity, rather than by a corporate controlled media monopoly- whether to play a song 17 or 18 or 19 times, in one day. Some days on WDBX, every other song I hear is completely new to me! Commercial radio is limited by the same rotation of play lists, day after day, week after week, but who among us has a music library that is so strictly limited to one or two genres?

The national and local news that I pick up throughout my day are reasons enough to completely appreciate the active, all-volunteer staff members that I share studio space with, but I am absolutely devoted to their’ music programming! A few years ago I lost a pretty extensive vinyl collection due to water damage, while moving around. When I recall all the musical tips and treasures I’ve picked up ever since starting to volunteer (off-air) at WMNF in Tampa, back in 2001, I find my salvation.

I remember my first few volunteer sessions in Tampa, alphabetizing media, stuffing envelopes, and inputting new album data. One of the DJ’s, Flee, gave me a surplus Johnny Cash compilation, for helping out late one day, and I found a rare Marx Brothers vinyl recording that I had been questing for many years, at his desk. My soul was sold, and for the price of air…

A half dozen years later I walked into the WDBX studio with Brian, for my audition show. He showed me his framed, special-order hologram ticket from one of Jerry Garcia’s last scheduled shows with the Dead, from the month before passed. My own ticket was back in Florida in my bootleg box. The Deer Creek show had been cancelled due to gate crashing, but neither of us had cashed our tickets in for the refund. A long way from Florida, I was home again, and the rest, including the glorious resurrection of GOtG, is musical history…

WDBX counts on its listener supporters to keep freedom of expression alive on our public airwaves! Support your community by contributing to Independent Media! The Songs of the Temple, Live From the Garden of the Gods air every Thursday 12-2PM on 91.1FM in Southern Illinois, or listen online! Listen up!

Many Thanks, Tessy

“The temple bell stops but I still hear the sound coming out of the flowers.”
–Matsuo Basho


One comment on “Sacred Freeform: The Songs of the Temple, Live From the Garden of the Gods

  1. Will you share your next show’s playlist with us on here? Then we could get a look at your freeform offerings!

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