In the Spring of 1979 I presented the concept of Our Front Porch to station management. It was intended to be a replacement for a nationally broadcast NPR show called “Folk Festival U.S.A” which was going out of production. That member of WCMU management told me that “there is no way THAT kind of music will be on MY radio station.”
Obviously, the manager changed his mind. The Front Porch broadcasts began on a Saturday night in October of 1979 with a live broadcast of The Lost World Stringband. For the first couple of years we relied heavily on performers from Michigan and the Midwest. Our first road show was in December of 1980. Dolores Keane and Reel Union was the first band from Ireland to appear in May 1982. Dougie MacLean came in from Scotland in September 1983. That was the beginning of a 34+ year run for the series.
So, our time sitting on Our Front Porch and listening to music is coming to an end this Saturday and Sunday. Not bad, a 34+ year run with a program that didn’t stand a chance of being part of the programming on WCMU! We have presented hundreds of incredible performers, thousands of instruments have been picked, beaten, bowed and plucked, and tens of thousands of smiling faces have greeted me and the performers from our audiences.
I never envisioned that the series would run this long. I’ve been fortunate that you continued to purchase tickets, and you continued to support the radio show. Thank you! I hope that you’ve enjoyed this musical journey that we’ve been on. I have loved every single second of our time together on Our Front Porch.