By Salwa Khan
Boots and Flip Flops:
Dori Bradford's Radio Odyssey on KWVH
Salwa Khan: I'm speaking with Dori Bradford, and her program on KWVH is Boots and Flip Flops. I wanted to start out by asking you how you first became interested in radio.
Dori Bradford: Back in, I guess, 1996, going way back to the 19 hundreds, I worked at a radio station in South Texas. It was a hundred thousand watt classic country radio station. I started off as the office manager and ended up with a midday show, and I worked there for about six years. Just in the office and also as I guess back then we called us DJs, and I used to even have to spin the vinyl records. It was like the old days for sure. But, so that's how I got started in radio. It was not anything that I ever thought that I would want to do or be able to do. It was just one of those kismet things, I believe.
Salwa Khan: How did you come to KWVH?
Dori Bradford: I moved to Wimberley when my son transferred to Texas State, and that was in 2011. And didn't know about the radio station. Of course, it didn't start until, what, 2016. And so I saw either something on Facebook or in the newspaper that they were needing volunteers. And so I just submitted an email and didn't know at the time I was talking to John Brown, but just sent an email saying, Hey, I would love to help out. Whatever you need, I'll do. I just wanted to be in the environment because the radio world is so awesome. And so I met with Mike Crusham and John Brown, I think it was November 2016. And we discussed what was going on in the community and everything. And they said, okay, we're gonna put you on the air. So again, it was another surprise. Here's this awesome thing that you get to do again. And so that's how that came about.
Salwa Khan: And then how did you come up with your show and the title, which is kind of unusual.
Dori Bradford: I was wanting to kind of describe my show by the title. I didn't know what I wanted it to be, but I knew that they were gonna give me the freedom to play what I wanted pretty much. And I love classic country and I love classic rock. I liked the newer stuff too, but I wanted it to be kind of a little bit country, a little bit of this and that, and throw in some soul and reggae every now and then, and maybe an instrumental. So I wanted it to kind of describe that. It was a little bit of everything from boots to flip flops, you know, and everything in between.
Salwa Khan: What is your process when you produce and host the show?
Dori Bradford: Like I said, I'm lucky to play what I feel like. Every morning I wake up singing a song, pretty much in my head, or as I go about my day, I just hear music or conversations lead me to a song or a thought. And so I just start with what do I want to hear that, you know? And when I'm driving in my car and a song comes on the radio, if it's a title I wanna play, I'll take a screenshot of it with my camera and then I'll say, oh, yeah, I'm gonna play that and that and that. I also like to find out what musicians have birthdays on that day that I'm gonna be on the air, or any music history that happened. Like the Rolling Stones started a seven-week run with Can't Get No Satisfaction on this day in 1965 or something like that. And so that's it. If you even call that a process, it's just, what do I wanna hear? How does it go with this?
Salwa Khan: What can people expect when they listen?
Dori Bradford: Well, occasionally I do have a guest that will stop in<laugh>. So I think they can expect to hear some really old but good music. Every now and then I'm gonna throw in a something new. But I think they're just going to expect an upbeat experience. I'm not gonna get into any long seven, eight-minute album cuts. I'm gonna keep it positive. I'm going to talk about what's going on down the street. If it's market day, I'm gonna talk about what's going on in the community. I'm gonna cover all the information that I have that they, that someone may be interested in. And then I'm gonna throw in some of the good songs, and talk about maybe what it means to me.
Salwa Khan: I'm sure there are challenges and rewards in doing the show. Can you talk about that?
Dori Bradford: Wow. I've never considered that it might be a challenge. Like I said, when I started out playing the actual vinyls, that was a challenge, you know, because you had to, that was a whole process. We had eight track tape, and I'm not that old, it's just the equipment at the radio station was old. I'd like to make that clear, <laugh>. But I don't think there are any challenges. It's just all been a great adventure and I've met some of the greatest people and I can be having a horrible week and step into the fishbowl, and it's like, oh yeah, here we go, <laugh>. You know, it's just like a deep breath. So that's the rewards, the people that I've had a chance to work with. I've met some, some very awesome people both in the other radio station that I worked at and in this one. And just the sense of volunteering, doing something that you know, you don't have to do or that you're not getting paid to do something that you love so much. That's definitely the reward, and the challenges, I don't think I've had any yet.