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The KUT Longhorn Radio Network Presents: Mexican American Experience Collection

Audio recordings including interviews, music, and informational programs related to the Mexican American community and their concerns in the series "The Mexican American Experience" and "A esta hora conversamos" from the Longhorn Radio Network, 1976-1982.

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John Hanson: I Always Wanted To Be A Deejay
Program #
Culture, Identity, Politics

John Mckiernan-Gonzalez
John Hanson, producer, In Black America. One-time producer of the Longhorn Radio Network

John Hanson: I always wanted to be a Deejay

This is an interview with John Hanson, the executive producer of the Longhorn Radio Network, a long term DJ with KUT, and the host for In Black America, the longest running African American talk show on public radio.

In the interview, John Hanson discussed his early love of radio, his success in school, his coming to racial consciousness in an ethnically diverse school in Detroit. He covered his experience of the Detroit Riots of 1967, and his decision to move to Austin to become part of the Huston Tillotson track team. He discussed how small and "country" Austin seemed, compared to Detroit as well as the ways Jet and Ebony connected Austin musically and culturally to national trends.

He then discussed how he broke into public radio, his two DJing jobs in Austin and in Bastrop, and the ways he held down three jobs including an overnight shift at KUT with the Longhorn Radio Network. He covered how difficult it was for people at KUT to imagine a black audience for public radio, as well as his ongoing problem getting radio people to find the interests of black audiences important and appealing.

John Hanson then covered the way the de-regulation of the FCC transformed the market for the Longhorn Radio Network's product. Once radios were no longer required to have minority content or a certain amount of air time for public service announcements and multicultural content, the multicultural and public spirited content that the Longhorn radio Network provided no longer had a market. Partly as a result of the fcc, the growth of large radio conglomerates like Clear Channel overwhelmed the local character, the public content and the racial progress across most of the nation's airwaves.

We ended our conversation with the changing position of the local African-American community in the current demographic transformation of Austin.



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