Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History

Interview with Daniel Luis Shumer, June 15, 2009

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries
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00:00:00 - Work and education

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Partial Transcript: Let's see, what I usually do is I just start and, um, I say that, um, my name is Mick Jeffries...

Segment Synopsis: Shumer discusses his work as a professor at the University of Kentucky, as well as his time as a student at the university.

Keywords: Affordable; Communications; Lexington (Ky.); New Jersey; TV production; Television; WRFL

Subjects: Business writing; Cable; College radio stations; Education; Money; People; Professor; Radio stations; Russian; University of Kentucky; Work

00:03:06 - First impressions of the University of Kentucky

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Partial Transcript: Um, so what I--that's a pre--as a preface
I would say that to asking you, what was your, um, sort of general impression of the University of Kentucky when, when, when you came here?

Segment Synopsis: Shumer reflects upon his initial impressions of the University of Kentucky when he first arrived there in the early 1980s. The music scene at the university is described.

Keywords: Judas Priest (Artist); Lexington (Ky.); MTV; New Jersey; New York; REO Speedwagon (Artist); Stereos; The Clash (Artist); The Clash (Musical group); The Stooges; The Stooges (Artist)

Subjects: Education; Fraternity Brothers; Judas Priest (Musical group); Music; Popular music; REO Speedwagon (Musical group); Rock music; University of Kentucky

00:09:01 - Lexington underground music scene

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Partial Transcript: Um, how did you, um, how did you typically, you know, find this sort of thing?

Segment Synopsis: Shumer explains how he became involved in the Lexington underground music scene. Shumer then examines the small but influential counterculture that this music produced in Lexington.

Keywords: Bands; Bars; Clothing; Clubs; Concert committee; Downtown; Friends; Joy Division (Artist); Lexington (Ky.); Plasma; Roommates

Subjects: Counterculture; High school; Joy Division (Musical group); Music; Opportunity; Underground music; University of Kentucky

00:21:10 - Appeal of music

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Partial Transcript: I wanna ask you, so, you know, what was the allure of this scene?

Segment Synopsis: Shumer illustrates the most appealing aspects of the underground music scene in Lexington, and with underground music in general.

Keywords: Allure; Ambitious; Bands; Lexington (Ky.); Local music; Stage presence; The Slumlords (Artist); The Slumlords (Band)

Subjects: Counterculture; Energy; Expertise; Music critics; Originality; Punk rock; Sex Pistols (Musical group); Underground music; University of Kentucky

00:26:43 - Connection to WRFL

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Partial Transcript: So, well, let's talk about RFL, then.

Segment Synopsis: Shumer talks about his involvement with the early stages of the foundation of WRFL.

Keywords: Broadcast communications; Concert committee; Concert series; Ex-wife; Kakie Urch; Kathleen "Kakie" Urch; Law schools; Lexington (Ky.); Professors; Theo Monroe; WRFL; WUKY; Wife

Subjects: College radio stations; Imagination; National Public Radio (U.S.); Radio stations; Underground music; University of Kentucky

00:31:31 - Influential people

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Partial Transcript: But, Scotty was there, and I think Kakie ran that meeting.

Segment Synopsis: Shumer chronicles the most influential people in developing the concept of an alternative radio station for the university. The support of then-president of the university Otis Singletary, as well as that of then-mayor Scotty Baesler is emphasized. Additionally, students who were the most instrumental in creating WRFL are also mentioned and described.

Keywords: Communications; Doug Collins; Faculty; Kakie Urch; Kathleen "Kakie" Urch; Lexington (Ky.); Mary Beaty; Mayors; Momentum; Otis Singletary; Registration; Scotty Baesler; Support; Theo Monroe; University administration; University presidents; WRFL; WUKY

Subjects: Administration; College radio stations; Frequency; Friend; National Public Radio (U.S.); Neighbors; People; Plastic surgeons; Radio stations; Technology; University of Kentucky

00:42:32 - First song on WRFL / Students

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Partial Transcript: I do remember, uh, the s--the, the selection of the l--of the call letters.

Segment Synopsis: Shumer articulates the debate around which song WRFL would play on the air its first day of broadcasting. Additionally, Shumer briefly discusses a project that he assigns his students relating to WRFL.

Keywords: Adam Ant (Artist); Call signs (Radio stations); Community; Guns n' Roses (Artist); Kakie Urch; Kathleen "Kakie" Urch; Lexington (Ky.); Programming; Projects; Shows; Song requests; Talking Heads (Artist); WRFL; Welcome to the Jungle (Song)

Subjects: Business writing; College radio stations; Guns n' Roses (Musical group); Meetings; People; Radio stations; Staff; Talking Heads (Musical group); University of Kentucky

00:52:03 - Contribution of WRFL

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Partial Transcript: Any observations on the sort of, uh, I, I don't know, I guess the contribution, um, of RFL...

Segment Synopsis: Shumer considers the importance of WRFL to the Lexington community, as well as to the university community.

Keywords: College towns; Community; Lexington (Ky.); New Jersey; Openness; Programming; Radio shows; WRFL

Subjects: College radio stations; College students; Culture; Music; Radio stations; Success; University of Kentucky