Rick Cornell airs out his Dirty Laundry, spins records on North Carolina community radio station WCOM
This past Monday night I found myself working late. I had been told of a community internet radio station out of nearby Carrboro, NC, not that proximity matters – what with it being an internet enterprise.
This particular evening (and every Monday night from 10 to 11 pm EST) Rick Cornell hosts a show on WCOM (www.wcomfm.org) he calls Dirty Laundry, the station’s website stating that the show is named after a soul song by Curtis Mayfield. This immediately caught my attention. The blurb goes on to describe the show as “a mix of roots and soul: Johnny Cash meets James Carr meets Dave Alvin….” Now my interest was piqued. I’ve always liked roots rock and “Americana” stuff like Jayhawks, Minus 5, John Hiatt and Old 97’s as there isn’t a great deal of space between these guys and powerpop acts.
It seems that each week’s show has a theme and this week would be hotels and motels. I tuned in a few minutes into the show and was welcomed with a Wilco‘s “Hotel Arizona” followed by a real curiosity piece, “Heartbreak Hotel” sung by Roger Miller. I admire those who can program the old with the new around a common thread. The next track was a real treat as I immediately recognized Ray Charles‘ voice as he’s a favorite of mine…but I wasn’t as familiar with Merle Haggard, and the two performed a very memorable song together called “Little Hotel Room”.
I was getting a real education and unlike my grammar school days, I was enjoying every bit of it.
I don’t know if he played Dave Alvin’s “$30 Dollar Room” but it would have fit right in with the show…or the Blasters’ “Hollywood Bed”. That’s what’s great about a well conceived show concept. The listener gets sucked in and starts guessing what he’ll hear next or what he’d play if he were in the
Other highlights included a great SCOTS cut, “Motel in Memphis” from Old Crow Medicine Show and an Elvis Costello track I hadn’t heard in ages called “Motel Matches” from one of my favorite records as a kid, Get Happy. I still remember the day I purchsed the vinyl the day it was released. The cover had a sticker on it proclaiming “20 tracks…count ’em, 20!” or something like that.
Next week’ will be an all soul week and I’ll be tuning in hoping to hear Otis Redding, Arthur Alexander, Dan Penn, or maybe some more Ray Charles. Or Don Dixon singing “The Night That Otis Died”.
Check out Dirty Laundry, an internet music show hosted by Rick Cornell on WCOM FM every Monday at 10pm.