Telling Our Story
Telling Our Story: Liz Fathman

By Liz Fathman
KDHX Donor

I grew up in a musical household in U. City. Music was a constant, from jazz to classical, rock to R&B, soul to funk, show tunes to Bulgarian folk music, and more. There aren’t many genres I would turn away from. In those days, K-SHE radio was about as alternative as it got.

They played whole albums and not a lot of pop, they sponsored a lot of cool rock concerts, and they had a DJ, Ruth Hutchinson, who was, like, 80 years old, but they were still a commercial station. At some point, I discovered Wash U’s radio station and often fell asleep to the Friday night fusion show. My affinity for independent radio had begun.

Fast forward to my adult life in South City, where I learned about KDHX shortly after moving here. I loved the independent programming (and, frankly, the absence of commercials). It was eccentric and energetic, and it was the only music station programmed into my car radio.

I was never 100% sure of what I would be hearing when I tuned in, but that was a big part of the appeal. The volunteers programming the shows were my personal hosts for the couple of hours we shared through the airwaves. Every programmer clearly loved the music they were sharing, and I learned a lot just by listening. I was exposed to music I was not familiar with, and went deeper on genres I already followed.

I’ve had some favorite shows over the years, and I’ve said goodbye to many of them. Some I still miss to this day (looking at you, Brain Sandwich). But with each goodbye, I’ve said, I’ve also had the opportunity to say hello and welcome to so many others. Every change in programming exposes me to something new and offers me an opportunity to learn more.

Living on the south side, as I do, there have been physical and cultural connections all around to a lot of the shows and the music on KDHX. Before they moved to Grand Center, KDHX’s station headquarters were a few blocks from my house. The late great Mangia Italiano seemed to manifest the vibe of many of the shows I listened to and enjoyed.

It would be easy to assume KDHX was a south-side institution. But life in south St. Louis is not a universal reflection of this great city, my hometown. And KDHX is committed to reflecting the whole of St. Louis, no matter where you live.

It’s a rare thing, a radio station that seeks to connect us all through music and the arts. Most places in the U.S. – in the world, even – don’t have anything like this. Commercial-free, independent, volunteer-programmed, eccentric, eclectic, and wild. That’s why I continue to support KDHX.

C’mon, St. Louis. Let’s prove we CAN have nice things.

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