I just found out the other day that I could stream the WAWL on my smart phone. I do not know why I never thought to look for it before. I spent many of a nights during my teenage years with the WAWL in the 90’s.
Chattanooga in the alternative area of music was a waste land for music on the radio. There were few stations playing alternative music. And if you were like me, you didn’t have MTV or VH1 at your house. It was a bleak moment in history for this city. But there was a beacon of light, a way to be cool and to know the new sounds that were pouring out of Seattle, Chicago, Athens and Los Angeles. That beacon was a small radio station at almost the beginning of the radio dial at 91.5. It’s call letters, as it is still today, was WAWL.
In the time of mix tapes I can remember recording R.E.M.’s “Everybody Hurts” and Pearl Jam’s “Black”. A few years later I remember listening to Widespread Panic, Ani Difranco and Ween to name a few that did not get that much radio play on non college radio stations.
This city still needs a radio station that will take risks with song like WAWL does or any college “radio station” does. And in a way, thanks to technology, Chattanooga has one again.
I am excited about this new find. I know soon that there will be a song on my radio that will make me pound the roof of my car to the beat and another song that will make me play my steering wheel like a set of bongos. I know that there will be a song that will fluctuate my speakers, making me sing like a fool at a karaoke bar and I will love it, because I will be listening to WAWL in my car again.