Wellington Access Radio
Town and Country Aotearoa
This programme has been embedded on Monday nights since September 2nd 1991. Hosted then and now by veteran broadcaster Eddie O'Strange. On October 28th of that year, Merv Walters rode into town, tossed his saddlebags 'cross the hitching rail, delivering his first vintage-slanted weekly segment. Merv's informative "My Kinda Country" inexorably became the centre-piece of the show. Sad to say, but Merv left us unexpectedly on the 19th of December 2011. His beloved wife Gail rode off into the sunset on the 26th of July 2011. They'll be singing those old parlour songs and western ballads together again.
In slightly more recent times, Ritchie Roberts swung his leg over our buckboard's tailboard. His fortnightly selection of fairly familiar country-pop songs requires nothing stronger than billy tea to warm the cockles.
30-odd genres of music huddle together under the umbrella term 'Country Music'. Town & Country rounds up a couple of dozen of 'em, from the formatives to the strays. But it steers clear of the stadium-rock styles and the highly-processed contemporary posturings.
Town & Country is a late night revelation of traditionally-based pearls (and swines) from the 19th century right on through to 21st century quirk. A significant percentage of the imported recordings are exclusive to Town & Country.
Many of the recordings have not so much been released, as artfully escaped. Some have simply been exiled. Some possibly extradited. Despite everything, the Town & Country Radio's international reputation is second to none.
C'mon, live vicariously! Revel in country-flavoured songs and performers, many of which have never seen the light of a Southern Cross night before. There's such a plethora of recordings flooding in from Europe, Canada, the USA, and Australia, you're unlikely to ever hear any particular song twice.
The show's a cross-section sampling of all this scatter-gunned music. We spin 'em all, from veteran storytellers to wannabes-with-potential. You'll kick yourself [or maybe just your mule] if you miss any installment. Spur your friends into climbing onto the bandwagon with our western listeners from all around the motu - from Northland to Southland.
Eddie delivers the delights with an affable, neighbourly touch. His bedside manner is impeccable. (Impeccable, not impeachable). The underpinning passion is perhaps the reason the nationwide Town & Country Supporters Club members have been so loyal for so long.
If you're curiously adventurous, if folkloric exploration appeals to you, then switch yourself on to the terrestrial broadcast, or click the on-line streaming version of Wellington Access Radio every Monday night - 9 pm [NZT].
For information, or requests, email Eddie at firstname.lastname@example.org
The playlist is published 24 hours in advance, via our NZcountry e-list. It's FREE to join, and you'll receive 5-or-6 "country news" messages a week.
Step One: send a blank email to: NZcountryemail@example.com
Step Two: if you receive a "request" as to why you wish to join, just type in "access radio".
Or: follow the instruction in the "confirmation required" email by hitting [A] "reply", [B] then "send".