This is a cute, funny story about how mystifying new technology can be. A few years back, new cars were just starting to arrive with car radios that could show song and artist identification – called RDS. At the time, I was managing a group of radio stations, including one on Martha’s Vineyard (WMVY) and we were just getting the RDS system going at the station.
And an artist named Mindy Smith was out with a song called “Come to Jesus”.
So a local listener on the island climbed into her new car one day and looked at her radio to see those words, “Come to Jesus” scrolling across the screen of her car radio. And she thought her time had come.
Streaming live music performances is nothing new for mvyradio, the online version on WMVY on Martha’s Vineyard. The station has been doing it for years. This year, they join forces with NPR and WFUV to provide live streams of all performances from the Newport Folk Festival on August 1st and 2nd – which means if you can hook yourself up to an online connection, grab a beach chair and some sunglasses and find a cool ocean breeze you just might be able to imagine the awesomeness of the real thing.
NPR Music, Fordham University’s WFUV-FM NYC, FolkAlley.com (WKSU) Kent, Ohio, and mvyradio on Martha’s Vineyard and in Newport are covering all acts from the Folk Festival on August 1 and 2 – which celebrates its 50th anniversary with performances by trailblazers Pete Seeger and Joan Baez, and current favorites The Decemberists and Neko Case. At the Jazz Festival on August 8 and 9, NPR Music with WBGO Newark and WGBH Boston are broadcasting and webcasting four complete line-ups from three stages, headlined by Tony Bennett, Mos Def, Miguel Zenon Quartet and The Bad Plus with Wendy Lewis.
Plus, in a cool effort to drive traffic to their site, NPR is offering downloadable music samplers. Music from this year’s festivals can be previewed by downloading two free 12-song “NPR Music at Newport” Samplers (one folk, one jazz), featuring many of the acts NPR Music will webcast and broadcast from both festivals.
This is nothing new for mvyradio, the online worldwide version of WMVY on Martha’s Vineyard. The station started streaming live performances from the Newport Folk Festival in 2005, when Elvis Costello took the stage. (I was there!) mvyradio has made a name for itself in providing live and archived streams of live music performances – their archives include an unbelievable list of great music festivals and musicians – from SXSW and the Ottawa Blues Festival to Amos Lee, Patty Griffin, Ani DiFranco, Emmy Lou Harris, and station friends Carly Simon and James Taylor, they’ve got more performances and interviews than I’ve seen available online anywhere.