10 Questions with ... Annie James
May 27, 2012
BRIEF CAREER SYNOPSIS:
I got my start in radio at WZWZ in Kokomo, Indiana in 1990 doing weekends until I got a full time overnight shift here at WKOA in Lafayette in 1991. I stayed on overnights until '93 and left to start a family. I came back to WKOA in 2002 to take over mid-days and a few months after that was added to the morning show. I've since added Music Director and Assistant Program Director to my job titles here at the station.
1) What made you initially want to get into radio?
Love of music is what drew me to radio, but I like the theater of the mind aspect as well.
2) What's your favorite part of being on-air?
My favorite part of being on-air has always been the interaction with the listeners. I feel like I've gotten to know them as well as they know me after all this time.
3) What's one of your funniest/ craziest stories regarding a listener?
My love of wine has been brought up a few times on-air and I recently stopped by a local winery for a sampling. The lady that worked there took one look at me and said, "I know who you are." She was so excited to have me try their wines, she got them all out and preceded to tell me everything she knew about me. I love that! It makes me feel like I've done my job.
4) You took some time off to start your family. Were there many changes that had happened (in radio) while you were gone?
Yes, definitely! When I left the station in '93, we were still playing CDs and carts and manned 24/7. I came back to the world of automation- at least some of the time. We still keep live jocks on-air for the weekday day parts, but it's nice to have the freedom that weekend and holiday voice tracking allows.
5) What has been your favorite interview with an artist? Funny or serious.
I was thrilled to interview Bill Cosby last year. He gave me parenting advice-how cool is that? Luke Bryan is always a fun interview as far as Country artists go. One time he called me from the side of the road. He was doing target practice with a bow and arrow and probably scaring more than a view passing cars.
6) Have you always listened to Country? What else do you listen to?
I've loved Country music since the first time I heard The Judds sing "Mama He's Crazy" and Randy Travis' "Forever and Ever, Amen." To me, Country just keeps getting better! I love a great song though- doesn't really matter to me if it's country or pop or Americana. A great song gets me every time! I have a 15-year-old daughter who loves hip-hop, so I do listen to that quite a bit also.
7) I know you love to sing and write- how many have you written? And did you ever pursue a career in music as an artist?
It's more of a hobby for me. I've probably written more songs than I realize because for the longest time, I would write them and then throw them away. It wasn't until I met a very good friend of mine, John Stevens, who happens to be a wonderful singer/songwriter that I got serious with the craft. John makes trips to Nashville and writes a lot with Stan Webb ("I'm From The Country"). We have written several songs together. I love to pop in on John's shows and sing with him. He's very generous and always invites me to share the stage when I'm out. We make a really good team-that's what people seem to say. I love him-he's the best in my book!
8) What do you think sets the Country format apart from all the others?
There is such a great relationship between the artists and the listeners. Love and appreciation seems to flow in both directions and even to the on-air talent spinning the song. Country listeners are loyal and amazingly generous!
9) Who are some of the newer artists in Country that you are excited about?
I'm really enjoying the rise of The Band Perry. That's a trio that's sure to bring more youth and energy to the format. I love the attitude and realness of Miranda Lambert. But I also like the grit of singers like Eric Church and newcomer Kip Moore. There seems to be a little something for everyone in the format right now.
10) If you had to choose another career- what would be your dream job?
I'd be an awesome baker. I can't cook a great meal, but I 'm great with cakes and goodies.
1) If you could sing a duet with your favorite artist- who would it be?
That's a hard one because I love them all, but I think it would be great to sing a duet with Dierks Bentley.
2) If you had to be stuck on an island with only three things, what would you take?
Matches, a radio and heels!
3) What's your most embarrassing moment?
Hmmmm??? I'm so ME that when I'm on-air, not much embarrasses me at this point.