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Thacker Mountain Radio Hour expanding into Tennessee for Fall season

The Thacker Mountain Radio Hour is expanding its footprint across the airwaves this fall.

The live Oxford-based music and literature show announced it will now be heard on WUTC at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and on WYXR, which is a new public radio station debuting on Oct. 1 in Memphis.

Thacker Mountain Radio will kick off its 23rd year on the air on Saturday on Mississippi Public Broadcasting at 7 p.m. and Alabama Public Radio at 9 p.m. The show is also heard on WUMS, also known as Rebel Radio, on 92.1 FM every Thursday at 6 p.m.

“We are very pleased to acquire the rights to broadcast The Thacker Mountain Radio Hour,” said Bryan Lane, station manager and program director of WUTC. “This show reflects our quest for more high quality local and regional spoken word and music programming reflective of our community.

The show will air on WUTC every Saturday at 3 p.m. ET. The air time for WYXR is expected to be announced soon.

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit Mississippi in March, Thacker Mountain Radio Hour shifted from a live broadcast with an audience at its home of Off Square Books to Taproot Audio Design. Host Jim Dees conducts interviews with guests over the phone or teleconference. Musical guests, including house band The Yalobushwackers, send in their performances for that week’s show electronically.

The Mississippi Arts Commission recently awarded the show a 2021 grant worth $12,000 for operational expenses and a 2020 “rapid response grant” worth $1,000 to help with virtual programming. The grants are a portion of the nearly $1.4 million in grants the MAC awarded in 2020-2021.

“We miss the live audience, Dees said. “But, we’re also grateful for the facility and funds to produce the show. Now we have people in three states that want to listen to it. We intend to deliver.”

Guests for the upcoming fall season include B.B. King biographer Diane Williams and gospel rocker Reverend John Wilkins on Saturday. Other upcoming guests are southern short story master Ron Rash, roots guitarist Luther Dickinson and neo-soul songwriter Kyshona Armstrong on Sept. 19; memoirist Aimee Nezhukumatathil and Grammy-winning multi-instrumentalist, Dom Flemons on Oct. 3; “Dispatches From Pluto” author Richard Grant will discuss his new book about Natchez on Oct. 16.

The show will also host nominees for the 2020 Willie Morris Southern Literature Award on Oct. 24 and gonzo southern author George Singleton on Nov. 7.

More information can be found at thackermountain.com.