“We were forced to cancel our summer tour of cities around the state,” Thacker producer Alice Pierotti said in a statement. “This has resulted in an exponential decrease in our operating budget. We’re going to be asking our listeners and supporters to help us through this extraordinary time.”
Pierotti said the goal of the fundraising effort is $25,000, an amount she is optimistic can be met.
“In March, when we suspended live shows and went to an all-studio format, the outpouring of love and support was overwhelming,” Pierotti noted. “We had listeners thanking us for keeping the show going while they were locked down at home. That inspired our “Thanks Thacker” theme for this drive. We look forward to hearing from our community over the summer.”
The show, on the air for the past 23 years, can be heard online and on the air every Saturday night at 7pm on Mississippi Public Broadcasting (90.3 FM in Oxford) and at 9pm on Alabama Public Radio. The program’s home broadcast station is WUMS 92.1 FM in Oxford. The show is hosted by Jim Dees and house band, the Yalobushwhackers (pictured above).
Donations may be made at http://thackermountain.com/donate/.
Recent scheduled dates at Delta State, Clarksdale, Yazoo City, Tupelo, Clinton, the Neshoba County Fair, and Ocean Springs as well as Oxford’s Double Decker Festival and the Mississippi Book Festival in Jackson were all scrubbed as were those events themselves.
While re-broadcasts are currently being aired, The Thacker Mountain Radio Hour is forging ahead with new shows planned for late summer and this fall employing video conferencing and other virtual technology to host Thacker’s unique mix of writers and musicians. Among the authors to be featured later this summer are crime/thriller novelist Ace Atkins, Pulitzer Prize winner (and former US Poet Laureate) Natasha Trethewey, and food writer/cookbook author, Martha Foose.
Pierotti says that while the show is anxious to host live audiences at Off Square Books in Oxford in the fall, it will abide by health and medical authorities.
“We miss all our sweet familiar faces and the excitement our audience brings to the show,” she stated. “But we’ll put safety first and let health and safety guide any decision,” she said, adding that the show will explore live video streaming (without an audience) in addition to in-studio shows.
The Thacker Mountain Radio Hour was founded at Off Square Books in Oxford, MS in 1997 and began statewide broadcasts in 2001 winning the Governor’s Award for Broadcast Excellence in 2005. In 2017, the show was awarded a “Citation of Merit” from the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters and was picked up for broadcast the following year by Alabama Public Radio.
Photo: Feature page – Grady Champion (Courtesy Taylor Square Photography)
Photo: This page – From left, Alphonso Sanders, Ricky Burkhead (obscured on drums) Casey Ray Lipe, Brandon Lewis, Michael Worthy, Slade Lewis, Paul Tate and Mark Yacovone. (Courtesy Thacker Mountain Radio Hour).