91.5 WBIM-FM, the Radio Voice of Bridgewater State University and one of the only student-run radio stations left in the country, is back up and running for the new semester with a continued goal of providing a platform for students to present their thoughts, ideas and tastes. Shannon Birch, the station’s new Promotions Director, spoke with me about her experience with the station and what she hopes to do in her newly obtained role.
A guest appearance on one of her best friend’s shows, combined with her love of music, led her to taking on an increasingly bigger role at an organization she previously was not even aware of. A self-identified history nerd, with her show Talk and Roll, which airs Thursdays from 3:00pm-5:00pm, she puts a focus on classic rock and what makes it classic. “There are so many amazing songs from the past that have reached so many people’s hearts. There is such a rich history behind it too. You don’t get a legend like (The Beatles’) “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” without a story building up to it to make it the song that it is,” she said.
When not on air, she is working behind the scenes to increase awareness of the station. “I have so many classmates who still don’t know that we have a radio station! All of the DJs involved at WBIM have something to say or something to share. I want to make sure that they have the platform and the audience necessary for them to make their impacts.”
College radio provides listeners access to a wide array of different artists and genres that they may not hear anywhere else. If Birch did not have this sort of access, however, and was instead limited to three albums, she could come up with her picks rather quickly. “My first pick would definitely be ‘Rumours’ by Fleetwood Mac (1977). This is known to be one of the greatest albums of all times. I actually have the vinyl of it hanging on my wall! The music is phenomenal, the history is so rich, and the musicianship from the whole band is top notch. My second pick would be ‘The White Album’ by The Beatles (1968) because there are so many songs and they are all so different. My final pick would be ‘Damn the Torpedoes’ by Tom Petty and the Heartbreaks (1979). My mom showed me that album when I was younger and I have always loved it. There is not a single song on there that I don’t like.”
And there is plenty to like with this year’s schedule. Shows range in topic from movies to sports to LGBTQ+ issues and music genres that include pop, alternative and the aforementioned classic rock. For a more detailed look at the schedule, head on over to their Facebook page at 91.5 WBIM.