Bruce Cohen speaking with concerned folks at the CABOMA jam on July 24th. Photo: Steve Barrett.

Bruce Cohen speaking with concerned folks at the CABOMA jam on July 24th. Photo: Steve Barrett.

As you all know WAMU Bluegrass Country radio service will be shutting down December 31, 2016 if a new owner cannot be found. Bruce Cohen, a big friend to Bluegrass and Old Time music made a special trip to talk to CABOMA members at our last Jam on July 24th about WAMU. He gave members an opportunity to give ideas, voice their concerns, and to get involved.

His summary thoughts of the CABOMA hosted meeting were as follows:

“My sense is that it is better to start over than try to revive Bluegrass Country (BGC) at WAMU.

I suggest that an existing non-profit in the area (CABOMA, DCBU, GWU, or Folkways for example) submit a proposal before the window closes on October 17 at 4pm to acquire the LPs and CDs in BGC’s archives and initiate a streaming service supported not only by donations but also by an endowment of 2-3 million dollars.

Once a non-profit steps up to the plate, I suggest we begin scheduling an event (think Steve Martin, Emmylou Harris, The Gibson Brothers, Dolly Parton, Vince Gill, Del McCoury, et al) in 2017 at Strathmore, The Kennedy Center, or elsewhere to, in turn, encourage foundations and corporations (think The Gates Foundation, Google, Verizon, Martin Guitars, Taylor, Gibson, et al) to provide the $2-3 million endowment.

My next step will be to meet with folks at WAMU to acquire details that I will make available to any non-profit planning to submit a proposal.”

Download the pdf of his entire summary plus his list of questions to ask WAMU for information to non-profits planning to submit a proposal.

So what can people do if they were interested in getting involved?

There are a number of ways interested people can participate in activities that would help save the station or assist in keeping the service alive by other means. There is opportunity to participate, but you should act fast. The WAMU proposal deadline is October 17 (only three months away) and without action, WAMU is slated to shut down in less than 6 months.

If you want to jump in with both feet and join Bruce in his efforts to meet with WAMU, contact him via email at; please use “BGC” in the subject line.

Resources for more information:

For those who want to get involved, the following list of resources can get you started in discussions or will inspire action. Talk to your friends you know are concerned about this issue and come up with ideas.

Friends of Bluegrass Country:
A private Facebook page created to disseminate publicly available information about the sale and/or possible new ownership of the Bluegrass Country music service.”

WAMU’s Bluegrass Country Page. This article is informing of their intention to close:

Request for Proposal (RFP) for the Future of WAMU Bluegrass Country. You can read over the RFP to see what they need in a new owner for yourself:

If you have any questions or comments about this past meeting, go to our comment form or see our Facebook page.