Your Tuesday Afternoon Alternative used to be called ‘School of Rock w/ Dr. J’? True story. The program was an outgrowth of classes that Dr. J taught at the University of Dayton on the sociology of popular music, popular music in society, and the history of popular music in the United States. This began in November of 2004 and lasted for a few years until the program was retooled to focus on indie, local, and Dayton, Ohio music and the talented Mrs. Dr. J became a regular part of the program. By 2010, the focus of the show had changed.
Then the program was re-named ‘Your Tuesday Afternoon Alternative’ and featured Dr. J and Mrs. Dr. J (we are truly a married couple) and we did the program together for a few years. Of course, it is important to note that Mrs. Dr. J was making significant contributions to the program behind the scenes. During that time we even featured segments that focused on different ideas near and dear to her heart — ‘Mrs. Dr. J’s Dance Party,’ ‘Dayton Concert Calendar’, and ‘Favorite Song of the Week.’
The School of Rock program was an extension of those classes where Dr. J would investigate a particular song, album, or artist and explore where that sound came from in the classroom. Who influenced a sound that is popular today? Where did that approach originate? These segments — often taking over an hour of the show were efforts to draw clear lineage for music that we played on the show. But no one likes a preachy college professor discussing lines of influence every week. And the show organically moved toward an interest in the amazing music scene in Dayton, Ohio specifically, and the American Midwest more generally. This combined with an interest in alternative, independent, and new and local music.
One of our first programs drew a line from traditional music to folk music to Hank Williams and early country, Appalachian, and bluegrass music to The Byrds (especially Sweetheart of the Rodeo) and Graham Parsons and The Flying Burrito Brothers to The Eagles (who shared a founding member Bernie Leadon) to modern bluegrass and newgrass (notably Sam Bush, Bela Fleck) and alt-country of the Avett Brothers, Whiskeytown, and Uncle Tupelo (a big favorite of ours). These and other bands drew from all of the music that they loved in their formative years — Rockability, Juke Joint, Rock ‘n’ Roll, Punk Rock, Country, Americana, and Folk music among other influences.
While the program no longer explores a single thread of an idea and expanded from a two-hour program to a three-hour show so that there would be time to conduct interviews with bands, artists, and creatives, the interest in finding time to reflect deeply on music is a passion that still drives the radio show today.