It’s hard to believe that a decade has literally flown by. But today, March 10, 2015, Radio Free Texas celebrates it’s 10th birthday.
It started out as a means for El P and myself to hear the music that we liked – Our Kind Of Music. But it has become something larger. RFT has grown into an amazing community of both fans and artists.
As a condensed back story for those who may not know, El P introduced me to Texas Red Dirt music about 10 1/2 years ago. We went to see Kevin Fowler first and then Charlie Robison. I was mesmerized by the music, the camaraderie of the fans and the sheer excitement that this was “homegrown talent”. I dove in. I listened to every single artist I could find. Shortly after my uncontrollable addiction, El P found a way to stream OKOM in our office and he set us up with our own personal “radio station”. I was one happy camper.
Through the unforeseen miracle of Google indexing, Radio Free Texas was discovered by other people. Before we knew it 10 people were listening to RFT, then 50 and then 150. Before we knew it one person told another person and so on until we were not alone. We were not alone by FAR.
We decided to put a “shoutbox” up on the main page just to see if our other listeners would give us a holler and let us know how they found us and where they were. The very first post ever written on our shoutbox read, “Hey from Austin, Texas. I’m TableMom.” And the flood gates opened. Our shoutbox turned in to a chat room. Our little place on the web turned into a family.
A strong family/community grew and grew and then grew some more. Through the last decade we’ve been witness to the birth of friendships, courtships, gatherings, births of children, events, and too many more to list. On the flip side we’ve experienced our own sadness as all communities do. We’ve had to say “see you again someday” to some of our dearest family members.
We’ve weathered storms. Literal, actual storms. When El P and I had to evacuate not once but twice to get out of the way of hurricanes, our RFT family held vigil until we could get to a safe location and fire the station back up. They were there, waiting on us. Waiting for us to be safe and to be there for us personally when we needed them.
Somewhere along the way, I gave our community members a pet name. I call you the “Rowdies”. My Rowdies have been with us through every trial and triumph along the way.
In the world of radio, or internet radio I should say, we are an anomaly. We have hung around for quite a long, long time. I attribute that to the quality of artists that we have the privilege to play and, also, to the quality of each of you that have ever called yourself a community member, a Rowdy, who are such an integral part of our lives both personally and professionally.
We are truly grateful for the experiences we’ve had over the last 10 years and we are excited for the experiences waiting on us in the next 10.
To be present for the birth of relationships, children, the birth of life changing songs, the birth of life changing events is and has been one of the biggest joys of our lives.
We’ve seen artists bloom into super stars because of YOU, the Rowdy. Because you supported them, encouraged them. Bought their music. Supported their shows. Bought merchandise that helped them keep the van going to the next show. You truly are beyond words. Thank you.
We have had the joy of being honored by awards. But I have to be honest. As awesome as that was and as humbled as we were to receive them, we truly only accepted them on your behalf because to Daniel and me… you ARE Radio Free Texas.
As we embark on an extended celebration, we invite you to join us.
I will be in chat at 7pm on March 10th waiting on you. We’ll have virtual cake. We can catch up or just enjoy a few moments together. Maybe we’ll have a power hour. And maybe, just maybe there will be goodies to be given away.
Even though it is happy birthday Radio Free Texas, it is Happy Birthday to you all.
Viva Radio Free Texas! Viva the Rowdies! Viva Texas Forever!
“What is built endures. And what is loved endures.”