Monday, April 1, 2013

Mixing History and Music

Sure, 8 o’clock in the morning may be early and, yeah, it’s cold more often than not here at St. Bonaventure, but, every Tuesday, three stalwart cohosts rub the sleep from their eyes, guzzle their coffee, gulp down their breakfast sandwiches, and brave the sub-freezing temperatures to bring the “To Be Announced Show” to the world.
While I haven’t had the pleasure to listen to every show aired on WSBU The Buzz, St. Bonaventure’s nationally renowned, student-run radio station, I can say with confidence that the “To Be Announced Show” is the only one on 88.3 FM featuring a major historical component. Not only are two of the three hosts history majors-and proud of it, damn it-but our DJ names, “Kid Charlemagne” and “DJ Boris”, are inspired by historical figures. While we can’t claim to be a solid two-hour block of historical wisdom, we do have to play some music, after all, but we can at the very least say we incorporate a healthy dose of intelligent discussion into our show.
One of the cornerstones of the program is a weekly segment entitled “This Day in Russian History,” which we fit in each show amongst our alternative-classic rock playlist and other pseudo-witty banter about current events, contemporary music and movies. Thanks to Dr. Stephen S. Sullivant’s “Today in Russian History” website, for the past two semesters our loyal listeners-all five of them-have been treated to discussions on a wide range of Russian events such as the start of the Cuban Missile Crisis to Stalinist massacres to Solzhenitsyn’s banishment from the USSR. Additionally, as a happy accident, our show will air on Charlemagne’s birthday, April 2nd, and we plan to celebrate the 1,271st anniversary of the Frankish king’s birth with even more historical notes, trivia, and anecdotes.  Charlemagne and Boris are just 2/3rdof the To Be Announced crew; our third co-host, an English major who goes by “DJ Holden” when on air, shares our interest in the past and often contributes pieces of literary history to the show.
Being a history major at St. Bonaventure is a unique experience. Between consuming copious amounts of assigned reading, navigating the hazards of footnotes and citations, and fending off constant critiques of your major choice (There’s no money in history; What are you going to do, open a history store?), the scholarly challenges are at times intimidating. DJ Boris and Kid Charlemagne are proud proponents of the history program at SBU and hope that our humble weekly show can continue to spread the good word and win a few converts to the study of our wondrous collective human narrative that is history.

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