Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Interview with Bill Baker

This post is in relation to yesterdays post about the small company "TouRadio" which quickly grew to become 'Information Station Specialist" (ISS), the foremost provider of T.I.S. stations in the U.S.

A couple of nights ago I listened to what I found to be an extremely interesting interview with Bill Baker from about 5 years ago. It's one of the KDX Low Power Hour episodes, a few others of which had been featured here before. While this episode is not really specifically about part 15, it is addressed, and does prove to be a fascinating listening experience for any part 15 hobbyist... or for that matter, you're listening audience. 
Download and listen: Low Power Hour # 78 - T.I.S.

Low Power Hour # 78 - T.I.S. Sept. 3, 2013 (54:56)  Low Power Hour No. 78 is titled "T.I.S." for "Traveler's Information Stations," bringing a visit with Bill Baker of I.S.S., "Information Station Specialists." It's an in depth step into an alternate low power universe with all kinds of creative angles.

Here's my summery and overview of this episode:
Carl introduces the episode and proceeds with the usual "Low Power in the News" segment including announcements of 6 AM NOUO, 5 of which by the same agent being the same who cited KENC, and Gerald Gaulle, others for some on 1710, and curiosities of only 15.209 citations with no mention of 15.219.. And then something about Indian tribes getting kicked off the air.. Carl also ponders upon just who it is making the complaints.. those self righteous rats!.. Carl expresses outrage but the mood quickly changes as Bill Baker enters the scene, then quickly ducks back out again for a moment as Carl fills the gap with a delightful presentation of a low power lesson with fictitious caricatures... Bill Baker returns and the interview begins....

Bill Baker Interviewed. TIS and Part 15 options:
Baker talks for the majority of the hour and there's several things that really jumped out at me - although most of it is about licensed TIS, he does talk a little about their part 15 method towards the end of the interview and some places it's being used, as well as it's installation methods including use of the ATU, even some about linking multiple transmitters in analog, but that discussion is rather brief, most of the interview concerns licensed TIS.-nevertheless in his discussion of TIS he talks about some things that can, or possibly can be applied to part 15..

Groundplanes and Alternatives:
For example he talks about their patented pre-made "powerplane" which some of us have utilized or are at least familiar with ISS' patented PowerPlane® Factory-Assembled Groundplane. You don't see much mention of this on their site anymore because after 20 years of them utilizing it, ISS doesn't really use them anymore since they came up with a better and ultimately less expensive option that they've been using over ten years now; it's easier to install, doesn't tear up the property, and their test have shown it emulates almost equally the results of a 10ft wide ground radial system does- I've noticed the described system on their site before but never really paid much attention to it, is the "Vertical Profile Antenna System" which utilizes a "conductive vertical shaft" made from solid copper as it's base which goes into the ground and supports the antenna, it's all shipped out as one piece on a truck and basically plopped into the ground... It seems like something similar could somehow be modified and utilized for a part 15 system? -I don't know, I'm just speculating.

Who owns TIS and Rule Changes on Permitted Content:
Also found it interesting that about 20% of the TIS stations are actually owned and operated by private entities yet with the license held by the state to meet the FCCs requirements of only government organizations making use of TIS. He also talks about some recent changes to the rules that weather and emergency info can be broadcast - I remember reading about this a few years ago when the rule was changed and thought it ridiculous that it hadn't already been allowable, but as Bill explains there had been several citations issued to TIS stations (evidently sometime around 2007-2009) who had been 
The American Association of
Information Radio Operators
broadcasting such info, and in response to these citations the AAIRO (which Bill and some others had founded) submitted request to the FCC for clarifications on permitted content, which in turn resulted in a rewrite of the rules in relation to permitted content, as well as who may make those determinations of when such content is permissible. Also new permissions where granted of making use of multiple TIS station networks synchronized to broadcast the same feed. So today, due to the AAIROs efforts, TIS are permitted to air such information. This was a big change (although at the time of this broadcast was still in consideration). Bill says ISS created has created an acronym to describe this; "TIDE Broadcast" T=Travel, ID= Imminent Danger, and E=Emergency.

Inexpensive Field Strength Meter
SMR Receiver
Another thing, and it being something I've seen asked several times before.. in fact someone asked just recently again in the forums about where to fond an inexpensive field strength meter.. Where here's an answer.. Bill explains, ISS not only sells but usually also performs the installations of those TIS systems, for which they utilize a Potimatic field strength meter,
Project Manager Tom Coviak compares
size of Potomatic to the SMR Receiver.
but they also do provide a special Signal Measurement Radio Receiver to every agency that has TIS stations installed. He says ISS test have shown that these SMR receivers which have an S-meter on it that registers in increments from 15-99 has demonstrated itself able to provide reading rather accurately in comparison to their own very expensive Potimatics, they also offer these radios separately.. but there's no price shown. I never knew about these but after hearing him talk about it and then finding it on their website (link above), made and inquiry just today.. Haven't heard back yet, but will return with an update. However, truth be told it's really not a necessary item for a part 15 station, but if the price is right it certainly would be a pretty cool addition!

"The SMR Receiver is the first device of its kind capable of measuring and displaying AM signal levels with a useful level of precision... This handheld, battery-operated receiver can be utilized in the field to estimate signal intensities of broadcast radio stations. Though not a calibrated measurement device, it displays relative signal intensity in dbu, which can be used for rough translation to millivolts per meter (mV/m) in a given frequency range using an included correlation chart..

Anyway, I think any part 15 broadcaster would enjoy and find this interview of great interest. Carl also has a lot of other episodes that feature interviews with part 15 operators and their stations. There are a substantial amount of those episodes which I considered to be just as exceptional as this one was with Bill Baker; You can browse the full list of " The Low Power Hour" and download episodes from his archive at: http://kdxradio.com/lph_archive.html Most, but not all of them have descriptions providing an overview. You must contact Carl for permission to rebroadcast on your own station.

A couple other Low Power Hour episodes I've reviewed:
(I really thought there were more, but evidently I never got around to it) 

Charles Hefti - Car Tunes, and the first(?) stereo broadcaster
and
 LPH #3 Neil Radio8Z

 ---------------------------------------------------
---------------------------------------------------
Update already!:
As mentioned above I inquired about the SMR radio a few hours ago and have already received a response:

Sent: Tuesday, February 5, 2019 10:26 AM
To: info@theradiosource.com
Subject: SMR Receiver
 
Hello, What radio is that and what's the price?

Thank you,

Rich
 
======= The response was.. ==========
 
The price is $144 plus a little freight, Rich.
 
It includes a correlation data so you can determine approximate relative electrical field intensity using the display.
************************************
Bill Baker
Information Station Specialists
PO Box 51
Zeeland, MI  49464 USA
616-772-2300 (ext 102)  fax 616-772-2966
************************************
Founded in 1983, Information Station Specialists is the USA's best known source for information radio stations, advisory signage and related products and services.
---------------------------------------------------
---------------------------------------------------

He didn't respond what make/model it was, my hopes were to find some online reviews about it as just an AM/FM/SW/LW receiver as compared to something premium like one of the CCrane radios, which if proved positive would be an added bonus for everyday use (my use of it for only field strength readings would be far and few between, but I'm enthused about that feature) . I was already guessing it would be about $130 so I was close on my estimation. Chances are it's a good quality radio but I could not find a visual match while searching online. It's going to have to wait till this summer but I will be getting one... When I do I provide my novice review about it.
 
If anyone picks one up before I do, please leave a review in the comments or contact me directly.
See more details about it on their website here: Signal Measurement Radio Receiver

Monday, February 4, 2019

TouRadio - Predecessor to ISS

In a past post; 'Making Waves with Part 15 AM' ISS (Information Station Systems) was briefly mentioned, as they are who distributes copies of those video CDs which SeaGrant had produced years ago. But recently I read an article about the ISS history which reveals it originally began as a company called TouRadio in 1983 and at the time only marketed part 15 systems before it expanded to being the primary supplier of TIS stations in the US today.

What I had actually been looking for was campground radio history in general. I recall
experiencing it from my childhood with the family at some campgrounds somewhere; we watched Yogi Bear cartoons on an outdoor screen while listening to it on the radio... plus I always hear stories that part 15 broadcast used to be commonplace at campgrounds, but never have been able to find much of anything documenting it  (an archived flyer, brochure, article or anything).
But I did come across this story..

Bill Baker was camping at Lake Michigan in 1980 when he came up with the idea of creating tiny radio stations specifically to campers, and in 1982 started the company "TouRadio" and setup their first campground radio installation (part 15) at no charge for Mississippi Palisades State Park in Illinois. Then in 1983 he changed the name from "TouRadio" to "Information Station Specialists" and expanded to two products; one being the part 15 systems he started with (estimated 1/2 mile range) and also added to his line up the TIS option (estimated 3-5-mile range)...

The rest is history. ISS Founding and First.
Excerpts:
" In 1980..The idea first came to him while camping on the shores of Lake Michigan. He thought about the potential for starting a tiny radio station to broadcast continuous messages specifically to campers. Since
every vehicle had a radio receiver, it occurred to Baker that it would be "cool" if there were a little radio station in the park where he camped. "I decided to do something," he says. After returning home, he investigated, then pursued his idea. The technology already existed. "All we did was apply a little creativity to integrating, assembling and making it accessible," Baker recounts. "It was a great use of FCC-approved technology and spectrum."
Two years later he formed his own company, TouRadio, in Davenport, Iowa, to offer and install low-power AM radio stations that would allow park officials to communicate directly with visitors. In the summer of 1982, he convinced the manager at Mississippi Palisades State Park in Illinois to try his idea, offering to set up a station at a campground for free. It worked. 


 In 1983, the fledgling company with a new name, Information Station Specialists, officially rolled out its first “Information Station,” a 10-watt, AM-band Travelers Information Station (TIS) with a 3-5-mile-radius range and a companion product with 1/10 watt of power for about ½-mile range. National parks and local visitor and convention bureaus became Information Station Specialists' first customers...."


Oh.. let me pause here for a moment.. I said I couldn't find documentation of part 15 campground radio, but should clarify that I actually did dig up a rather extensive group of documented confirmations of using part 15 in campgrounds besides this story. I think Seafront documents some of these, and also back in 2011 Yellowstone placed orders for, and used numerous Rangemaster AM1000s and Procaster AM transmitters coupled with weather radios to transmit information to campers in the area - I think I've already posted about those stories here, but if not will in the future.. But even farther back then that, in the late 1960s/early 1970s Yellowstone originated and made extensive use of part 15 AM,.. This I haven't posted about yet, mainly because it's been an ongoing research for about 2 years and there's still a few details to finalize. I really hope to have it completed soon.. what a mess. Most of the fragmented pieces of the story I have posted across numerous threads in over last two years at hobbybroadcaster.net, and also have already discussed it with less detailed specifics over at part15.us as well as the alpb.org forums, but it's spread across so many threads it's a little difficult to see the whole picture.. sometime in the next few months I'll provide it here in a better presentational way..

Sigh... excuse me, let's get back on topic to Bill Bakers campground inspired radio company story..

On a whim, I tried checking the internet for more specific information about Bill Bakers "TouRadio", in hopes to find an archive of an advertisement or flyer, but I turned up nothing. However did re-read another article I had seen before 'Bill Baker Hums on Low Power'  - but had missed this little snippet which elaborated a little bit more about his original camping trip..

This is excerpted from that Grand Rapids Business Journal article:
Bill Baker - (pic from Radio World) 
"The idea first came to him while he was camping in Ludington more than 20 years ago. Traveling in the fall during the slow off-season, Bill Baker’s group found little information available on what to do, what to see, or even where to go for camping supplies. A disc jockey at a radio station in Moline, Ill., across the Mississippi River from Iowa, Baker thought about the potential for starting a radio station that would broadcast continuous messages for visitors to the area.

“You don’t know what’s going on up there. I didn’t even know where to buy firewood,” Baker recalled of the 1981 trip to Ludington State Park.
“It occurred to me that it would be cool if there was a little radio station in the park — ‘Hey, you campers, here’s where to buy wood,’” he said. “I had to do something.”

After returning home, Baker investigated and then pursued the idea. Two years later he formed his own company to install low-power AM radio stations that would provide information to tourists.."

Firewood! A lack of firewood is what instigated him to start an information radio company and it became a huge success. TouRadio which became ISS is still going strong today over 30 years later.
Besides their licensed TIS systems, they still offer the license-free part 15 transmitters too, either the budget friendly classic Talking House for only $95, or the audio enhanced version iAM for about $100 more, or the more advanced and complete outdoor self-contained system known as the InfOspot which is most commonly used at parks, historic sites, nature trails and various other locations.

 Bill Baker started out only with a desire to provide campers information on where to get supplies, and made it a reality with little more than a little part 15 transmitter.. Part 15 hobby broadcasters often seem to mostly focus on creating automated AM music stations that, let's face it, usually have few, if any other listeners than ourselves.. One should consider that if you looked around your own area and determined some specialized potential uses for your station you could probably find something that would cause more attraction than just your music taste, something else worth tuning in to your broadcast frequency, making your station more worthwhile.

But of course there's nothing wrong with broadcasting just for the fun of it, but radio deserves an audience.. Think about it, get creative, look around your area and find something special to focus on, things particular to the area, the story behind an historic building, who's that couple playing chess at the local park, where's that bike path go to, is that spooky abandoned house haunted, that crazy squirl that chases cats, where do you get firewood?.. there's always something interesting around your area to include as part of your station programming besides just music.. make your station more fun and interesting, make it more notable!

Ok enough of my opinions..

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Big Fish AM 1700


Callander Bay Ice Village, Ontario Canada
A few months ago I stumbled across a webpage featuring a recording produced by what I assumed was some kind of an organization going by the name PostApocProductions, who in late December 2013 set up a "low power unregulated AM radio station" called BigFishAM for a special event at Callander Bay Ice Village in Ontario to broadcast to "a collection of hundreds of ice huts.”

It's an interesting part 15 AM broadcast story.. or rather, since it took place in Canada it's really an RSS-210 story; which is the regulated Canadian equivalent to the FCCs Part 15 here in the U.S.
But I'm not in Canada, so am going to refer to it as a part 15 station for the sake of familiarity, it's essentially the same thing.

The information about it was vague, so wishing to know more I searched about gathering additional information from a few different places, (most of details found on facebook). Compiled here in a sequential order to present as much of the whole story that I can. The pictures and audio are those which PostApocProductions had posted, and/or those who had participated in the event.

It didn't take long to discover that PostApocProductions is basically one guy; David Merleau, from Lake Talon, Canada. He's has a blog at https://postapocproductions.com You should check it out.

"I am a performance storyteller, radio producer and host, as well as an audio production technician.  I create and program both online and low power terrestrial radio stations, and I work with non-profit arts organizations.."

He's been quite involved in a lot of event broadcasting productions over the years involving AM, FM, streaming, and even GPS apps that translate "tree talk" into English as you pass by them! Interesting stuff. But the only one I've found using part 15 AM was this one called Big Fish AM....

"Big Fish AM is hyperlocal radio broadcast from a low power AM transmitter outside of my fishing hut in the Callander Bay Ice Village."

01/29/14 -"Talk about a fish hut!! Completely insulated, huge
furnace, and even electricity!.. Seems they forgot the generator
though and will have to wait little while longer for Die Hard"
I had attempted to contact Mr. Merleau for more details and was also curious what transmitter he used.. Unfortunately received no response.

Apparently it was an about 6 week long special event for ice fisherman which actually began in late January 2014 and continued on thru mid March. Participants all camped out for the duration inside a bunch of little shacks upon a frozen lake. Each shack included basic living necessities along with a few minor luxuries. Some even had electricity.

David explains the event in a January 29 post:
"Every year hundreds of huts are dragged onto the ice of Callander Bay, Lake Nipissing ON. David Merleau brings you the stories from the lifers to the ice fishing newbies and tales from the tiny tents and the shacks that put most homes to shame!
As you will hear, ice fishing is not about reeling in the big one. No, it is about a love for the harsh Northern Ontario winter and the community that begins to develop the moment the ice begins to form"


The broadcast were to include "a snapshot of life up here in the North. Learn about upcoming events, local businesses, contests, ice conditions, local news, and general all round good fun!"

In a February 1st post David puts a feeler out for some content:
"Once I tried to impress the girl in the passenger seat by driving out on the ice. We got stuck. And then I had to ask her if I could borrow two hundred bucks to pay the tow truck guy!!
Do you have a story about being out on a frozen lake? Fishing? Falling through while making snow angels?
 And feel free to post a recording from the voice recorder on your phone. I will play it for the folks out on the Bay. They'd love to hear you!"


Seems his request received some response, because we hear some of those stories in his first weeks broadcast.. He did a wonderful job enhancing those recordings with sound effects and music as you will hear.. 

Here is a broadcast from week 1, titled "What's Big Fish AM All About?". It's about 4 and a half minutes long, sounds professional, fun, and interesting.
A banjo plays a short tune as David introduces himself and welcomes you to Big Fish AM 1700, talks a little about the station and the introduces you to the people who live in the area. They talk a about the locals and activities, such as stories of vehicles getting stuck in the ice, local eating spots, and more. The episode concludes by telling you about a wild bear that will be featured next week, and David bids you Farwell saying that Big Fish AM is his own personal radio station for his personal enjoyment but if you tune in he won't be disappointed (or something like that). Have a listen:
Pretty cool..
  
"Curious about Big Fish AM? Well here is some moments from our first weekend of broadcasting."
 
Week 1: What's Big Fish AM all about?


The downtown strip of the Callander Bay Ice village..pretty quiet
on a Thursday with 70 km winds but just wait 'til this weekend!
On Valentine's day Dave makes an announcement that Big Fish AM will be making a temporary transformation and leaving Callader Bay Ice Village behind about 4 miles, but to rest assured it will be returning very soon..

"This Saturday Big Fish AM 1700 will be moving its ice hut radio studio six kilometres up shore and will transform into AM 1700 Ice Follies Radio to broadcast all the fun at www.icefollies.ca, North Bay's critically acclaimed Ice Art Party.
Of course this means that we will not be in the Callander Bay Ice Village
on Saturday, but we will resume regular Big Fish AM fun on Sunday, and
Family Day Monday. Til then!

I know nothing about ice huts, but evidently they are something you can easily tow around from location to location because David had moved his entire hut for a couple of days with it's studio enclosed, along with his AM transmitter to the Ice Follies event taking place miles away in the North Bay...

I personally didn't consider the following broadcast at the Follies to be as entertaining as Big Fish AM was, in fact, actually found it a little tedious. But it is interesting and kind of made me feel like I was in a Twilight Zone episode or something. However, since it was an artsy event I guess it's the kind of thing is to be expected..
This episode is about 15 minutes long and features the "artwork" of Gordon Monahan. It's known as "A Piano Talking to Itself" and consist of a piano, very long cables, coils, an amplifier, and I'm not sure what else.. It's a variation of an earlier art project of Gordon which originated in 2010 and has been featured at art festivals and won awards worldwide, so it's apparently a big deal. I think it is best described by this drawing of the original plans when constructed and first exhibited in Poland back in 2010:


Wild huh? So check the following episode out, and then we'll return to another episode of the Big Fish AM broadcast before I conclude this post..

"On February 15th, I ventured out with my portable AM radio ice hut studio to broadcast all of the fun at North Bay’s Ice Follies 2014. Want to know how a piano listens to itself? Sound artist and Governor General Award winner Gordon Monahan has strung wires between a camper trailer and a piano 200 feet away. Take a listen to my short doc on Gordon’s installation."

Ok, So next Dave finishes his participation at The Ice Follies event and returns to Calendar Bay to resume broadcasting... First a couple more of his post outlining what occurred there and then we'll conclude with Big Fish AMs final broadcast..

Big Fish AM
February 19, 2014 ·
...
The Big Fish AM Smallest Fish Contest! Absolutely everybody can enter!
 This Saturday we give away prizes from our sponsors and for a grand prize, local talent Jimmy Golden will play a concert live at your ice hut!
 Contest starts now so post your tiny fish photos!
 (The fish could have been caught anywhere anytime)"
 

Big Fish AM
February 22, 2014 ·
...
"Yes, even the toughest fisher-person must bow to the awesome power of mother nature. It took this monstrosity mere minutes to blow in and completely consume the Callander Bay Ice Village!! The storm won't to be letting up soon. Doesn't look good for our Smallest Fish Contest! Oh Well.."
 
And now here's the "best of" from last Big Fish broadcast, it's as delightful as the first  - and it's the only other low power AM broadcast of his that I could find that was specified as such.. there might be more, he does a lot of quality "broadcast" from parks and such, but the actual medium of those may or may not be AM. I wish more hobbyist would do special productions like this instead of just being a "music station". It would make our hobby so much more productive and notable.
 
Big Fish AM
March 11, 2014 ·
...
"Big Fish AM must roll in the lines for the season. But I will leave you with some shinny lures...Thanks for the support!"
"This is the best of Callander Bay Ice Village Radio 2014"


  
a few more pictures by those who had attended there:
 
 
 
 I you'd like to check out  some other "special event" type part 15 broadcast (unrelated to Big Fish) see some of my past post:
 RECEPTION/TRANSMISSION Event which happened back in 2006. 
And there's also Atlanta Records Part 15 Escapades from back in the 1990s,
and maybe even Charles Hefti - Car Tunes from back in the early 1960s

Thursday, January 24, 2019

It's All a Question of Range with Part 15 AM

This is a copy of one of my own responses posted about a year ago in a Hobby Broadcaster thread of the same title. I thought it worthy of reposting here, with some image illustrations added:


The FCC Certified
Hamilton Rangemaster
FCC ID: NXWAM1000
Excerpted from the HobbyBroadcaster discussion;
"It's All a Question of Range with Part 15 AM"  [https://www.hobbybroadcaster.net/community/index.php?topic=7248] :

An example install.
I had a Rangemaster install several years ago, elevated about twelve foot with a single ground rod in an area with a ground conductivity of 4, in a relatively quiet area (no businesses neons, few power transformers or other factors which often lend to increased interference, in a rural area) and I could barely receive my signal at a mile, and that was with the volume full blast and a lot of static, you could barely hear it, - it's not what I would consider a useable signal. But at a half mile it sounded pretty good (so, a mile radius).
I had another similar installation (about 20 foot, single ground rod) but with a ground conductivity of 8, in a congested area, businesses and tall condos and motels surrounding it, etc. and my range fared about the same as described above.

Now, neither employed an engineered ground with radials and so forth, but I assume with a good engineered ground both those previous installs could have achieved a good signal at around a mile (2 mile radius). But note both described involved more than the 3 meter limit, so were not actually to the letter of the law, at the time it didn't really occur to me.. I wish I had tried it at ground level (like the challenge did) and see how the range was affected. 

What I'm getting to is that based on my own experiences, I find it extremely difficult to believe that any legal install could ever possibly achieve greater than a 2 mile radius. But putting my own experiences aside, historically, the range capability of 15.219 has always been documented anywhere from 1/4 mile to approximately a mile maximum radius, dependent on the area.. So is it possible to legally achieve a 2 mile radius with a usable signal??.. With a premium transmitter and a optimal engineered ground in a high conductivity, low interference area?.. Perhaps, maybe, if your really super fortunate. Maybe, just maybe.
At one time was installed on the pinnacle
of the pavilions roof, tied into it's massive
1 inch copper cable grounding system. 

Yeah, about ten or twelve years ago I have had a Rangemaster 40 or 50ft in the air tied into a massive ground system and achieved an easy 10 miles range of usable signal here on the coast, but it certainly wasn't legal.

That's my take on the matter, based on 75% factual and 25% speculative. But I'm no real expert.

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

RADIO8BALL

Been restructuring the Free Programming page into it's own section and better categorized making it easier to find what your looking for. The categories are broken up better and also an additional section arranged by runtimes... Anyway, It's not live, it's taking me longer than I expected, plus I've got normal life on my ass, so the restructure is just not getting finalized as rapidly as I thought it would.

But, it just occurred to me that other than posting a couple links on the forums there is no link here in the lab.. So here is a very recent and spectacular program that was supposed to be posted weeks ago...

TALK and ENTERTAINMENT:
There are currently 9 selections in this category


This first featured selection under our 'Talk and Entertainment' category was granted and added on December 25, 2018. What better time to receive a gift! It is one of my favorites. It's a very unique and entertaining offering.
The Radio8Ball Show has a fun premise; We have the host, a musical guest, and a one question... What that question is, might come from a phone-in caller, or someone visiting right there in the studio..

The answer to the question is revealed through the assistance of synchronicity, via a spin of the wheel, flip of a coin, or the turn of a card..

That determines the song the musical guest performs live, usually acoustically, right there in the studio as the answer to the question which was asked.

Discussion ensue on how that synchronicity-selected song related to the question which had been asked.

There are also several special tribute episodes to famous old school artist like Joni Michell, Tom Petty, Harry Nilsson and The Posies.

The show always begins with the same theme song (written by Andras Jones), with each musical guest performing there own version so it always sounds different.

Here's a sample of one version (from the Nilsson tribute) which I particularly like, there's another that I thought kind of sounds like the Beatles, and plenty of other cool renditions of it...
 
The lyrics explain the show: 

...

I'll have more to say about this show in my blog, but for now let's move on to airing it on your own stations.. After several communications with Andras Jones (Pronounced On-Dross Joe-n's) the creator and host of Radio8Ball, concerning making the show freely available to broadcast, he ultimately granted the rights with only the following stipulations:

"...I'm totally down (with these provisions):
1. Stations can download the podcasts without my help
2. Stations get in touch with me before they start broadcasting the shows and keep me informed about changes to the broadcast schedule
3. I'd like to approve the language and artwork on our listing before it goes live
4. Note: The podcast is rated "explicit" due to the occassional shit or fuck but most of the shows are FCC clean.

It took me a little time to get my head around what you're doing but now that I get it (I hope) I think it's very cool and am honored to be invited.

Thanks,
Andras Jones"


*Allow me to mention here that I've already listened to a good number of the episodes and as of yet have not noticed any use of explicit language, but you'll have to take it upon yourself to give an episode prior review before airing. I have more to say about this show but that will be in one of my blog post. For now, here's a text copy overview history of the Radio8Ball show: 


Below is from a text copy describing Radio8Ball as provided by the creator and host of the show. Don't forget you can click any of the images to get a closer look.
 
 
RADIO8BALL: Questions Answered. Answers Questioned.

Radio8Ball is a musical divination format created by Andras Jones in which questions are answered by picking songs at random and interpreting the musical synchronicity of the experience. Currently, Radio8Ball is a daily podcast distributed by Starburns Audio and hosted by Andras Jones. Radio8Ball features live songwriters lik Inara George, Allen Toussaint, Jon Auer, Myra Flynn, The Essex Green, Mary Lou Lord performing and interpreting their songs as the "Pop Oracle" answers to questions from celebrity guests like John Trudell,  John C. Reilly, Tig Notaro, Patricia Arquette, Rae Dawn Chong & Viggo Mortensen.

Radio8Ball began on the airwaves at KAOS FM at The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington where the dream seminars led by his father, Richard M. Jones, formed the philosophical underpinnings of what would become his son's creation. Radio8Ball ran on KAOS from 1998 to 2008 at which point events took place at the station which are detailed in Andras' book
"Accidental Initiations: In The Kabbalistic Tree of Olympia" from Sync Book Press, that changed the trajectory of the evolution of the format. What followed was 5 years of live theatrical productions of Radio8Ball in Boston, Seattle, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Joshua Tree and Olympia and eventually, what we consider to be its natural home, as a daily podcast.

There is a Radio8Ball app which, as of this writing, is only available to Android users. Coming soon to iTunes. The R8B app welcomes listeners to ask a question and shake their phone which generates a randomly chosen song from the over 1800 tracks recorded over the history of Radio8Ball. These include famous folks and wonderful unknowns, as well as Andras Jones's own music (which falls somewhere between these two poles). The app also features the daily podcast and allows listeners to shuffle through the entire catalog. It's free. We invite you to give it a shake.
 
 
Visit Radio8Ball at: http://www.radio8ball.com/
 To include the RadioBall Show in your programming contact Andras Jones at: theradio8ballshow@gmail.com

(This program is also listed under our MUSIC SOURCES category)