Letter: Public Display of Affection

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602 S. Gay Street
2nd Floor
Knoxville, TN 37902

I have a secret. I am writing in hopes of encouraging others like me to step forward. I am leading two lives and I can no longer keep them to myself. You see, when it comes to radio stations, I divide my time equally between the Knoxfiddle and Knoxviolin stations.

Knoxfiddle is the highly rated country music station at the top of the radio dial. Undiluted country blood can be found in its roots even though many of its branches stray into rock and pop. The fundamental boot-tapping and broken-hearted elements are still there, regardless.

Knoxviolin is the local public radio station, appropriately located at the opposite end of the radio spectrum. It carries thickly sliced slabs of classical and jazz music, along with a steaming talk gumbo and a garnish of opera on the side.

As different as they may be, I cannot get enough of either station. Like me, the four-stringed instrument itself can become either a fiddle or violin, depending on the day.

When life has been unkind, I tune into Knoxfiddle and am soon lifted out of the funk by a wallowing steel guitar. But if the world news seems unhinged on a given day, I switch over to Knoxviolin where the unflappable announcers reassuringly read symphony dust jackets and then revel in Ravel.

When I must work all weekend on a carpentry project, my antenna often aims toward Knoxfiddle. When I have to crank up the computer for an all-day number-crunch, the speakers float towards the “Blue Danube Waltz” on Knoxviolin.

Having listened to both stations all my life, I am glad I don’t have to pick just one. Neither one is perfect (with apologies to their respective fans, I tune out both opera and NASCAR alike). There has never been a time when one or the other station hasn’t been there for me. So I publicly declare my allegiance to this strange and entertaining odd couple, and wish them both a long and prosperous on-air presence in Knoxville and greater East Tennessee.

John Innes

Oak Ridge

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