Picture of KEWU-FM banner by Shannon Muir, circa late 1990s.

A long time ago, a very introverted young girl came to a Radio-Television department at a university. She wanted to learn to write for television, to be a person behind the scenes.

One feature the department had, rather unusual for campuses, was a radio station of 10,000 watts. It served not only the campus, but the entire region.

The name of the station – KEWU-FM.

The girl never saw herself behind the microphone of something so powerful, with so wide ranging an audience. However, having grown up in the local area since middle school, and seeing the difficulty the station had getting students to fill in during school breaks, she started taking weekend shifts every so often. Yet, she felt intimidated because she really did not know all that much about jazz music.

A couple years later, she built the courage to propose a program to run Sunday nights from 6 to 9 pm. one that would allow her to learn about “female jazz musicians, both classic and contemporary” while giving back to the listeners as well with curated content for them to enjoy.

The result was Women of Jazz, a specialty show that ran for many years after the young girl graduated and left to work in Los Angeles. With it enduring, it left her feeling she truly gave back to the community.

In the intervening years, that young girl grew up to work in media. She gained the confidence to speak to audiences and moderate panels when promoting a textbook about the writing and producing for animation that she wrote, from intimate audiences to Comic-Con International: San Diego.

All this began with regularly being behind a microphone at a wide-reaching jazz station that will go dark at the end of 2023. See this article in the Spokesman-Review for more information, which includes a short quote by Shannon Muir.

The novella, Charles Boeckman Presents Doc and Sally in The Death of Buddy Turner, was not intended to be a love letter to KEWU – it was actually written years ago but delayed for a variety of reasons – but perhaps it was meant to be released at this time. If KEWU had not motivated an interest in jazz, there probably would never have been motivation to have taken up the challenge to write about these characters created by jazz clarinet player Charles Boeckman. Now, with an end appearing to be in sight, it serves as a way to say “thank you” all these years later for what the opportunities gave me.

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