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Blog: Thankful


This November WMUK staff, our members and listeners have much to be thankful for.

One of those is our locally produced program, Grassroots. This music program on Saturday evenings and Sunday morning has featured the best in bluegrass, Americana and acoustic music for more than 37 years.  

I am pleased to share that Darcy Wilken is currently celebrating her second anniversary of co-hosting Grassroots with her father Mark Sahlgren. I congratulate Darcy on her continued service.  Like her father, Darcy not only knows the music she plays on-air, she performs it live on local stages as well. If you’re a fan of the program and WMUK you already know that Mark and Darcy provide music not heard on other media sources in Kalamazoo.

And related to the approaching season, I want to let you know a way to participate in a new StoryCorps project: The Great Thanksgiving Listen. On Thanksgiving weekend 2015, the acclaimed oral history project StoryCorps will work with U.S. history teachers across America to ask their students to record an interview with a grandparent or another elder using the free StoryCorps app. With permission from the participants, each of these interviews will be uploaded to the StoryCorps archive at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress.

Anyone, however, can participate, not just high school students. On the heels of a visit by StoryCorps staff and their founder, Dave Isay, WMUK is helping to promote this opportunity to record interviews with family members and archive those interviews in the Library of Congress.  

The StoryCorps app can be downloaded for free at The App Store or Google Play. The simple instructions walk you through the steps to record your interview, provide questions if you like, and help you create an archive in the Library of Congress. This Thanksgiving, as families gather, I encourage you to record your interview with a friend or relative.     

Finally, on behalf of our staff, I want to express gratitude for the life and work of former WMUK Station Manager and Chief Engineer, Glen Bishop, who served Western Michigan University for 45 years before his retirement. Like many long-time friends and staff members of WMUK, I was saddened to learn of Glen’s passing earlier this month. Glen was a guiding force for WMUK in the early days of this station in the 1950’s, when our call letters were WMCR. His guidance and good counsel continued for several decades.   

As WMUK prepares to enter our 65th year of serving Southwest Michigan, we have a true pioneer of FM broadcasting to thank. Our Chief Engineer, Mark Tomlonson put it this way: “Without Glen there would be no WMUK.” I agree and I thank Glen for his unerring judgement  and remarkable record of service to this station. We will all miss Glen Bishop.

Gordon Bolar was WMUK's General Manager from 2011 to 2016. He joined the station in 2006 as Development Director. After retiring as General Manager, Gordon has continued to review theater for WMUK.