Alaska Station Has Played Album Nonstop Since June

Bill Withers' 1971 album 'Just As I Am' has been looped 24/7
By Elizabeth Armstrong Moore,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 16, 2016 1:35 PM CDT
Alaska Station Has Played Album Nonstop Since June
Bill Withers, now the unofficial soundtrack of Alaska.   (AP Photo/Reed Saxon, File)

When Anchorage-based FM radio station KONR was born in 2012, those who tuned in were treated to forest sounds while programming got sorted out. And now, with money dry and volunteers short, the station has run out of programming and resorted to playing the 1971 Bill Withers album Just As I Am 24/7 for more than a month, reports Alaska Dispatch News. Not surprisingly, de facto program director Jason Sear says it's "one of the greatest albums of all time."

The station actually went off the air altogether in July of 2013, with the group that ran it, Out North, laying off the staff and closing up shop. But the next year, Sear says, it was up and running again, albeit completely volunteer-based. This meant that programming was spotty at best. "You can't go dark and keep the license," Sear says. "So I loaded the album on my iPod, added some station IDs, and ... put it on a loop." Out North still hosts the KONR web site, so any Withers fans can enjoy the 45-year-old album any time, day or night, as one couple has been doing since they began dating last month. "It's been the soundtrack to my courtship," the woman told Sear. (See how Withers' name worked itself into a story that had nothing to do with him.)

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