KUTX celebrating Willie Nelson’s birthday by playing 2 straight days of his music

All Willie, all weekend.

That’s what you’ll hear if you tune to 98.9 KUTX-FM April 29-30.

Willie Nelson (Suzanne Cordeiro photo)

In honor of Willie Nelson’s 84th birthday, the radio station will air “wall-to-wall” Willie from 6 a.m. April 29 to 6 p.m. April 30. That’s 36 straight hours of Nelson’s music – everything from the classics we all know to deep album tracks and even two airings of “Amazing Grace: The Story of Willie Nelson,” a documentary.

From a KUTX news release: “Were it not for Nelson, the Austin music scene would not be as vibrant. As Joe Nick Patoski wrote in the ‘Texas Music Almanac,’ ‘… it wasn’t until the night of Aug. 12, 1972, when Willie Nelson walked onto the stage of the Armadillo (World Headquarters) that everything changed. That performance in front of a mixed crowd of hippies and rednecks is recognized as the starting point of the modern Austin music scene.’”

The full schedule:

Saturday, April 29

  • 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.: Wall-to-wall Willie Nelson
  • 6 to 7 p.m.: “Amazing Grace” documentary
  • 7 to 11 p.m.: Willie Nelson tribute with Rick Daddy

Sunday, April 30

  • 6 to 7 a.m.: “Amazing Grace” documentary
  • 7 a.m. to 10 a.m.: Gospel/jazz Willie Nelson with Jay Trachtenberg
  • 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.: Wall-to-wall Willie Nelson

RELATED: Details on the 2017 Willie Nelson’s Picnic


Weather worries prompt KUTX to reschedule Live at Mueller concert

KUTX photo

Weather worries have prompted radio station 98.9 KUTX-FM to postpone tonight’s Live at Mueller concert.

The event will now be held March 31 at 7 p.m., with performers The Hey Lolly Band and Calliope Musicals.

The concert series continues with shows April 7 and May 12. Live at Mueller is held at Mueller Lake Park Amphitheater.

Get more details here.

KUTX makes tweaks to its weekend lineup

Confucius and Fresh host 'The Breaks' on 98.9 KUTX-FM. (Martin do Nascimento photo)
Confucius and Fresh host ‘The Breaks’ on 98.9 KUTX-FM. (Martin do Nascimento photo)

Austin radio station 98.9 KUTX-FM has tweaked its weekend lineup.

“The Breaks,” a two-hour show focused on local hip-hop and R&B acts, now airs Saturdays at 11 p.m. Its hosts are “local hip-hop super-fans” Confucius and Fresh.

“I’m really excited about bringing ‘The Breaks’ to KUTX,” Matt Reilly, the station’s program director, said. “Confucius and Fresh bring great knowledge and energy to the air and – with their hometown roots – they’re the perfect messengers to bring more attention to the Austin hip-hop scene.

“Austin has seen rapid growth of the hip-hop scene over the last several years and reflecting this scene is a part of our core mission of delivering ‘The Austin Music Experience’.”

The show takes over a spot previously occupied by host Katie Bradley.

On Sundays, KUTX has added “World Music” with Hayes McCauley from 10 p.m. to midnight. The show previously aired on KUTX until 2014, when it was shifted to the station’s website and its HD3 channel.

“Alt.Latino,” the show “World Music” replaced, has moved to KUTX HD3.

KUTX planning concert to celebrate 50 years of John Aielli

Iconic Austin radio host John Aielli will celebrate 50 years on the city’s airwaves with a special concert next month.

Aielli currently hosts “Eklektikos” from 7 to 9 a.m. Monday through Thursday on 98.9 KUTX-FM.

According to the station, performers will include Hayes Carll, Tony Kamel of Wood and Wire, Nakia, Carrie Rodriguez, Bob Schneider, Shinyribs and Graham Reynolds’ house band, among others.

“Greater Tuna’s” Jaston Williams will serve as emcee for the event, which happens March 7 at Hogg Auditorium on the University of Texas campus.

Tickets for the 7 p.m. show are $35 and $50. Buy them at cactuscafe.org.

“We wanted to honor and celebrate John’s remarkable 50 years on the air, which is a rare achievement in today’s radio landscape,” said Matt Reilly, program director for KUTX. “What better way to thank him for his contributions to the Austin creative scene than throwing a party with some of his favorite musicians and artists, and inviting 1,000 of his friends to celebrate.”

John Aielli (Ralph Barrera/American-Statesman staff)
John Aielli (Ralph Barrera/American-Statesman staff)

Popular KUTX radio host leaving this week

A popular Austin radio host is signing off this week.

Trina Quinn, who handles the midday shift on 98.9 KUTX-FM, told colleagues she plans to leave the station and take an extended road trip.

“I’ve more than enjoyed my time here, I have cherished it,” Quinn said. “It is bittersweet and I’m feeling the loss, but when dreams actualize, one must act. I wholeheartedly encourage all to seize their day and also, make time to travel, travel, travel.”

Starting next week, Laurie Gallardo will slide into Quinn’s 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday time slot.

“To say I’m bummed would be an understatement,” KUTX program director Matt Reilly said. “I almost didn’t accept her resignation.  I will miss Trina’s immense talent on air and her unparalleled sense of humor. She’s like my sister from another mother. It’s hard to make me blush and she can do it easily. I wish her nothing but the best as she pursues her dream of being a vagabond.”

Gallardo’s nighttime shift – 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Thursday – will be split between two hosts. Jack Anderson will be heard Monday and Tuesday, with Katie Bradley holding down the fort Wednesday and Thursday.

KUTX radio host in the hospital, temporarily off air

Paul Ray (Marsha Miller photo/University of Texas)
Paul Ray (Marsha Miller photo/University of Texas)

Longtime Austin radio host Paul Ray is temporarily off the air, but hopes to be back soon.

“Paul is in the hospital,” Diana, the host’s wife, said, “but he’s smiling, his sense of humor is intact, and his radio voice is back.”

Ray, host of “Twine Time” on 98.9 KUTX-FM, has been on and off the air in recent months as he deals with various health issues.

Rick McNulty has been filling in.

“Twine Time,” which airs from 7 to 11 p.m. Saturdays, has been on Austin’s airwaves since the 1970s, the station said.

KUTX adds assistant program director

Jacquie Fuller
Jacquie Fuller

There’s a new addition to the management team at 98.9 KUTX-FM.

Jacquie Fuller has been named assistant program director, a new position for the 2 ½-year-old station.

She’ll focus on fundraising, community outreach and marketing, according to KUTX, in addition to serving as a fill-in host.

Fuller arrives from Minnesota Public Radio, where she handled audience strategy and fundraising duties, in addition to hosting a weekly show.

“Jacquie brings nearly 15 years of fundraising and marketing experience – not to mention a deep love for Texas music – to KUTX at a time when we’re poised for tremendous growth,” program director Matt Reilly said. “With the head of a fundraiser and the heart of a programmer, she brings a unique mix of talent to the team.”

Austin-based radio show aims to unite parents, children

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

KUTX releases lineup for live SXSW broadcasts

Quiet Company
Quiet Company

The South by Southwest announcements are coming in fast and furious this week.

The latest comes from radio station 98.9 KUTX-FM, which has unveiled the lineup for its SXSW live broadcasts.

The broadcasts will originate from the ballroom at the Four Seasons Hotel Austin, 98 San Jacinto Blvd., March 18-21.

Admission is $10 per day, which includes a breakfast taco, coffee and a granola bar.

Proceeds will go to the Seton Shivers Cancer Center.

The full lineup:

Wednesday, March 18

7 a.m.: Emily Wolfe

8 a.m.: Robert Delong

9 a.m.: Israel Nash

10 a.m.: Max Frost

Thursday, March 19

7 a.m.: Matthew E. White

8 a.m.: Quiet Company

9 a.m.: Dan Mangan

10 a.m.: The Dodos

Friday, March 20

7 a.m.: The Bluebonnets

8 a.m.: T-Bird and the Breaks

9 a.m.: Wolf Alice

10 a.m.: Delta Spirit

Saturday, March 21

8 a.m.: Cilantro Boombox

9 a.m.: Ibeyi

10 a.m.: Twerps

11 a.m.: Chuck Prophet

KUTX birthday bash set for Jan. 31

KUTX will celebrate its second birthday with a concert Jan. 31.
KUTX will celebrate its second birthday with a concert Jan. 31.

Radio station 98.9 KUTX-FM will celebrate its second birthday next month with a concert at Bass Concert Hall.

The show, which is set for Jan. 31, will feature Jenny Lewis, tUnE-yArDs and Shakey Graves.

Tickets go on sale Wednesday to KUTX donors and Friday to the general public. Prices range from $59.50 to $150, according to the Texas Performing Arts website.

Each year, KUTX says it hosts more than 300 live music performances at its studios, in addition to special shows during the Austin City Limits Music Festival and South by Southwest.

“Our focus continues to be on delivering the music that’s made here and played here,” said Matt Reilly, KUTX’s program director. “Whether that’s an Austin-based band, or a national act making an Austin tour stop. Add to that our music hosts’ personal connections to the local music scene and their ability to handcraft their sets make for truly exciting radio that resonates with Austinites.”