It was 1987, when I got my first driver's license, that I realized WWOZ was my city’s radio station and how special it was. I’d get in the car after my dad had been driving, and he always had it tuned to 90.7 FM. ALWAYS. There was no other station where he could listen to the music from his childhood in New Orleans, the music that could not be found on the radio anywhere else.
WWOZ helped me to develop my identity as a New Orleanian, to be proud of where I was raised and all of the incredible talent that comes from this region. I realized over time how unique our culture is, and WWOZ represents it better than any other platform I’ve ever experienced.
While I was living in New York, my dad was admitted to Tulane Hospital’s ICU so I flew down for the emergency. It was the first weekend of February 2002 and New Orleans was hosting the Super Bowl. Downtown traffic was about as bad as it ever gets as I attempted to maneuver my way through these streets to visit my father. But I had the radio tuned to 90.7, and instead of being stressed by gridlock, I was blessed with Dr. John asking, “How Come My Dog Don’t Bark When You Come Around?”
During one of the most painful moments I’ve ever experienced in life, WWOZ uplifted me, and reminded me that I am a part of this vast, gorgeous gift that is New Orleans. I can think of at least a dozen more painful times in my life that the best radio station in the universe helped me survive.
That is what WWOZ is to me. It is my culture. It is my bloodline. And it is our future.
-Ashli Richard Morris
WWOZ Development Coordinator