Austin-based radio show aims to unite parents, children

View Caption Hide Caption
Bill Childs and his children, Liam and Ella, host 'Spare the Rock, Spoil the Child.'
Bill Childs and his children, Liam and Ella, host 'Spare the Rock, Spoil the Child.'

Bill Childs and his children, Liam and Ella, host ‘Spare the Rock, Spoil the Child.’

When it comes to music, there’s not much parents and their children can agree on.

A nationally syndicated radio show based in Austin aims to change that.

“Spare the Rock, Spoil the Child,” which has been around for about a decade, has joined the lineup on 98.9 KUTX-FM starting this month, airing at 6 p.m. Sundays. Previously, it had been without an affiliate in Austin — its home for the past three years.

“The goal is to be something that families can enjoy together,” said Bill Childs, who co-hosts with his two children, Ella and Liam. “I don’t want people to walk away with the impression it’s only for kids. I want it to be something everyone’s going to dig.”

Music is carefully selected, Childs said, with many of the songs played each week coming from artists who primarily target kids, such as the Boogers. But you’ll hear some (family-friendly) songs geared more towards adults, as well. Carrie Rodriguez, for instance, is set to be a guest May 17.

The show got its start in Northampton, Mass., Childs said.

“I got a brochure from a low-power station that was starting up and looking for volunteer programmers,” he said. “Then, after a couple years, another local station called and said, ‘Would you like to do this on a bigger transmitter and get a little money?’ ”

The answer, of course, was yes.

When Childs and his family moved to Austin, the show entered syndication, with Childs working from a studio inside his Hyde Park home. “Spare the Rock, Spoil the Child” can be heard on a growing number of stations coast to coast, including some in Cincinnati, Ohio; Charlottesville, Va.; and St. Paul, Minn.

Now, Austin joins the list.

“Ever since KUTX came on the air, I’ve been gently nudging them,” Childs said. “That’s the Austin station that, to me, always felt like the best fit.”

Operated by the University of Texas, KUTX debuted about 2½ years ago , placing a priority on music with Austin — or Texas — roots. It’s a sister station to news-focused 90.5 KUT-FM.

“A lot of us at KUTX are parents and we believe it’s never too early to shape your kids’ musical taste,” said Matt Reilly, the station’s program director. “Like us, a significant number of our listeners are parents who want to share their love of music with their young kids. From the Ramones to Carrie Rodriguez to They Might Be Giants, ‘Spare the Rock’ sounds a lot like KUTX and we’re really excited to share this program.”

By aligning with KUTX, Childs said he expects to be able to expand the show’s reach and line up more visits from performers.

“I’m super excited to be on the air here,” Childs said.


‘Spare the Rock, Spoil the Child’

6 p.m. Sundays

98.9 KUTX-FM


View Comments 0