Folk Alley: On the Road Again

        Radio on FacebookJoin us on Facebook

WKSU's Folk Alley Express provides Web and broadcast audio production support to folk music on the beaten path.

My first exposure to PPM was in the mid-1960s. No, not the Arbitron Portable People Meter (PPM) technology currently used to measure radio audience participation, but the now-well-known folk music group Peter, Paul and Mary. Little did I know then that I would eventually be working with, the world's most listened to folk music site with more than 102,000 registered listeners who collectively represent nearly every country around the globe.

The creator of, soon to enter its seventh year of operation, is WKSU-FM's Executive Director and General Manager Allen Bartholet. As I write this, Bartholet, his crew and the Folk Alley Express (motor coach) just returned from the Newport (Rhode Island) Folk Festival. They spent the weekend there providing Web and broadcast audio production support to NPR Music, WFUV and local outlets. The Folk Alley Express experienced its maiden voyage in August 2009 when it first attended the Newport Folk Festival. Its most recent journey prior to this year's Newport event was to the Austin and Dallas, TX, areas to attend folk music festivals.

The Folk Alley Express idea came about when a fan, who felt that Folk Alley needed to be more visible in the community, provided a generous $150,000 gift to obtain a motor coach and subsequently install a recording and production studio in the vehicle. The purpose of the Folk Alley Express is to provide a promotional tool for Folk Alley and to record the best folk music performances throughout the country for webcast at and for broadcast over Folk Alley affiliate stations.

The Folk Alley Express ready to head to Newport, RI, for the Newport Folk Festival.

The Folk Alley Express ready to head to Newport, RI, for the Newport Folk Festival.

The project begins

Early in the project we realized a standard motor coach floor plan was not practical for our application: The motors for the slide outs were at floor level - at least in every model we researched. That eliminated the possibility of stripping a bedroom for conversion into a studio. An alert motor coach salesman realized our dilemma and suggested we consider a toy-hauler-type motor coach - the type with a garage in the back for hauling a motorcycle, ATV or golf cart. That was the answer! The brand new unit we acquired is a 37' long by nearly 13' high Damon Outlaw Model 3611. The interior includes an 8' wide by 10' deep by 6.5' tall garage, a queen-size loft bedroom located above the garage, a rear full-size drop down tailgate, plus all the other appointed comforts of home.

-- continued on page 2

Acceptable Use Policy
blog comments powered by Disqus

[an error occurred while processing this directive]

Today in Radio History

Milestones From Radio's Past

The history of radio broadcasting extends beyond the work of a few famous inventors.

Digital Edition

Each Issue as a Digital Edition

Read each issue online in our Digital Edition Format in your Web browser.

EAS Information More on EAS

NWS XML/Atom Feed for CAP Messages

The feed provides feeds for all US states and territories.

Wallpaper Calendar

Radio 2014 Calendar Wallpaper

Need a calendar for your computer desktop? Use one of ours.

The Wire

A virtual press conference

Information from manufacturers and associations about industry news, products, technology and business announcements.

Join Us Facebook Twitter YouTube LinkedIn
Radio magazine cover

Current Issue

National Public Radio

Building For The Future

Browse Back Issues

[an error occurred while processing this directive]