Thacker Mountain Radio Hour has a new producer who is working to make the live radio show known outside of Mississippi.
Director/Producer Kate Teague is an Ole Miss alum from Mobile, Alabama. While Teague was in school at the University of Mississippi, she interned for Thacker two years as a stage manager.
Teague was asked to take on the role of Director/Producer of Thacker in July, and she officially took the lead in August. Teague said she wants to make an impact.
“I would love to broaden our reach by introducing our program to an audience outside of Mississippi,” she said. “To do this, I would like to start having remote shows outside of the state, include artists on the program that are not necessarily tied to the South, and eventually pitch the show to other public radio stations in the Southeast.”
Teague has always “had a passion for music.” She is a singer/songwriter who started her own band called “Reels” when she was a senior in college. She decided to stay in Oxford after graduation to pursue music and continue working with Thacker.
Teague said her dad influenced her love of music. “My dad is a music junkie,” she said, “so he really is the reason I fell in love with it. I used to steal his iPod and play it on shuffle to discover new bands I had never heard of.”
Teague started writing her own songs when she was a sophomore in high school, but didn’t start performing around Mobile until she was a junior. She began playing in Oxford her junior year.
Thacker Mountain Radio Hour “is a one-hour radio show that features excellent live music and live literature,” Teague said. “Each edition of the show is performed in front of a live audience in short segments that are held together by our house and emcee, Jim Dees.”
Thacker showcases a house band and two musical guests, as well as an author who does a short Q&A session with Dees and reads from a recent or pertinent work.
Thacker is broadcasted live on the university radio station 92.1 FM and rebroadcasted on Mississippi Public Broadcasting each Saturday night at 7 p.m.
UM sophomore Wade Johnson, of Phoenix, Arizona, quickly became involved with Thacker. Johnson’s aunt is a board member.
“Second semester freshmen year, I took a Southern Studies class, and they would always mention Thacker,” Johnson said. “So from then, I wanted to look into it.”
Johnson said he loved the thought of broadening the idea of what the South is. ‘Thacker is really true to that,” he said. “I get to hear more music that I wouldn’t be exposed to otherwise, and it also creates a great network of people.”
Johnson said Thacker is unique to Oxford. “It is the only radio show that dedicates itself strictly to Southern acts,” Johnson said. “It’s a show that everyone, regardless of being 6 or 60, can enjoy and take something away from it.”
Teague believes Thacker is unique and could expand. “It gives our town an opportunity to come together and celebrate the diverse sounds of an evolving South through free live music and literature,” she said.
She believes Thacker makes the state proud. “Furthermore, to have it produced in a space that is so highly regarded, loved and nationally recognized makes it all the more special,” she said.
Thacker Mountain Radio Hour began in 1997. Their home is at Off Square Books, and many of the shows they produce are held at The Lyric. In 2005, Thacker received the Governor’s Award for Broadcast Excellence. In 2017, Thacker will celebrate its 20th anniversary.