WHAT IS FOLK MUSIC NOTEBOOK?
Folk Music Notebook will be an Internet radio station showcasing Folk Music 24/7. Launch date is scheduled for May 3, 2019 on the 100th anniversary of the birth of folk music icon Pete Seeger. Offering a curated playlist interspersed with brief but informative DJ announcements, recorded artist interstitials as well as other special features, Folk Music Notebook will engage the listener by showing the connections between songs and styles, keeping the listener engrossed throughout the day without constant badgering from hosts, endless strings of commercials or repetitive automated playlists. Veteran broadcaster Ron Olesko will be directing the operation, curating the playlists as well as serving as host during some of the programming.
The music to be shared on the Folk Music Notebook will focus on the diverse contemporary folk music community while also incorporating the folk revival artists that drew people to this genre.
During the evening hours, Folk Music Notebook will offer additional programming from a team of "correspondents" - artists and individuals who have worked in the community creating music and supporting the genre and will host ongoing shows for the channel. Folk music icon Christine Lavin will host a series called One on One +1 featuring interviews and music she will be gathering. Also, singer-songwriters Joe Jencks and David Rovics will be heard with their respective weekly shows, and other artists are being added as well. Show hosts will also include singer-songwriters and folksingers Dave Fry and Rik Palieri and veteran broadcaster and music producer Angela Page who will be sharing a weekly shows, plus more features are being added to the schedule. The Sing Out Magazine Radio Show with Tom Druckenmiller will also be presented each week.
In addition to streaming on your computer via the Internet through the website, Folk Music Notebook will offer a free app to be made available from the Apple and Google Play stores that will enable listeners to experience the channel’s offerings through their phones, cars and other Bluetooth streaming devices. Folk Music Notebook will also be available through established platforms such as TuneIn.
WHAT WILL THE FUNDS BE USED FOR?
Folk Music Notebook will begin operations with an estimated annual operating budget of $12K(some of that budget has already been raised prior to this Kickstarter campaign) to cover basic expenses including equipment, graphic design, website costs, music rights fees, advertising, technical service vendors, advertising, presence at major festivals, etc. The funds raised will support the launch and insure the first year of operation which will enable the station to pursue work to become sustainable for the longterm future. Any additional funds raised during this campaign will be placed into additional resources including more advertising post-launch to help publicize the channel to even wider audiences.
All funds raised for this project will be used by Folk Music Notebook L.L.C., a newly formed company registered in the state of New Jersey.
WHO IS ORGANIZING THIS PROJECT?
The channel is being created and will be directed by veteran broadcaster Ron Olesko. An influential figure in the contemporary folk music scene, Ron has been broadcasting folk music since 1975. He created WFDU-FM’s “Traditions” in 1980 – the Teaneck, New Jersey radio station’s longest running series and one of the longest running folk music shows in the nation. With thousands of broadcast hours under his belt, Ron has shared and introduced folk music and artists to generations of listeners. Ron has also interviewed a “who’s who” of artists from the folk world, including the iconic names that opened the doors for folk music – Pete Seeger, Odetta, Tommy Makem, Richie Havens and hundreds of others. His interview with Marjorie Guthrie, the widow of Woody Guthrie, can be found in the official Woody Guthrie Archives, and was excerpted in the book Wardy Forty: Greystone Park State Hospital Revisited by Phillp Buehler. Through his broadcasts, Ron has also “introduced” many contemporary artists with his program and is on the pulse of the ever-growing folk music scene. Ron can also be heard twice weekly at www.BluesAndRootsRadio.com in addition to WFDU-FM.
Ron is also a writer whose work has appeared in Sing Out! Magazine and an ongoing blog at their website. His reviews are often quoted in publicity efforts of folk artists. In addition, Ron has emceed many festivals including Lincoln Center Out of Doors, the New Jersey Folk Festival as well as clubs and venues across the NYC area, including the Hurdy Gurdy Folk Music Club in Fair Lawn, New Jersey where Ron also serves as president.
WHY WE NEED FOLK MUSIC NOTEBOOK
We live in an age where expanding technology has altered our daily lives. How we gather information and entertain ourselves has changed dramatically in the past few years. Traditional radio listening habits are changing as more people now use their computers, phones and Bluetooth connected listening devices to seek out music.
Forbes Magazine reported in 2014 that nearly 1/3 of Americans used their phones to stream music. In a 2015 report, Pew Research showed that more than half of Americans 12 and older were tuning into Internet Radio each month. Nielsen reported in a study conducted by Harris Poll that Americans spend an average of 6.5 hours in their car each week. One in three drivers at the time had at least one Internet connected feature, and 90% of those reported satisfaction with that feature. They also found that 26% of US connected car owners use the feature every time they drive, and the numbers are expected to rise. In 2019, most new cars are equipped with Bluetooth capabilities and built in apps that enable the driver to stream Internet radio. These number continue to grow.
Existing streaming services that offer folk music are limited - some are pay services, others are run by computer algorithms without human interaction. The existing outlets offer limited playlists focusing on established artist with few chances for discovering new music, and they lack the ability to present "live" news and information as well as audience connection. Folk Music Notebook will change all that. The time is right for Folk Music Notebook.
Risks and challenges
As Kickstarter is an "all or nothing" funding campaign, the biggest risk is not meeting our goal and jeopardizing the launch date of May 3. The money we are raising will insure both the launch and a full year of operation. The idea is that over the next year the channel will become self-sustaining.
Assuming we can raise the money, there ARE plans in the budget for advertising and marketing of this channel that will allow us to reach the highest potential audience.
It is a challenge to launch something of this scale. Ron Olesko's experience in broadcasting and media management gives this channel an advantage in a clearer understanding of the technology required, the marketing that will be needed, and most importantly - the pulse of the folk music community. Ron is assembling a team of established artists and broadcasters who will supplement the programming and also help spread the word.
Folk Music Notebook is working with a company that is the industry leader in Internet radio services to provide the technical backbone for this channel. With over 10 years of Internet radio experience providing services to the largest Internet radio channels, Folk Music Notebook will operate with the most powerful Internet radio broadcasting architecture available and around the clock tech support to insure uninterrupted broadcasting.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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