“In five, four, three, two, one…”
Anyone who’s found themselves listening to Thacker Mountain Radio Hour is all too familiar with this simple countdown by the show’s host, Jim Dees.
Unchanging and uncomplicated, it lures audiences back to a time when radio served as not only a medium for music, but as a space for community. It is the beckoning into a world that is not so much concerned with showcasing the best new act as it is respecting tradition. In a time where music and books are instantaneously available, it is refreshing to find a group of people dedicated to honing the art of oral storytelling that has given the South so much of its local flavor.
Thacker Mountain Radio has been a staple of the Oxford community for nearly 20 years. First known as “Words and Music,” it humbly began in Blind Jim’s bar in 1997. Quickly gaining a local following, its name was changed to reflect the highest point in Lafayette County, the Thacker Mountain Radio Tower. Shortly thereafter the show moved to its nearly permanent home at Off Square Books, where it has broadcasted free entertainment to listeners near and far ever since.
“I think what makes Thacker so unique is its balance between the conventional and the new,” says the show’s producer, Kate Teague. “You get a feeling for the old while being able to discover rising artists [across the South]. It’s amazing that we’ve been able to transform an outdated form of communication into something new and exciting.”