photo and words by Erik Stolpmann
Richard Parks hosts a long-running show, Both Kinds of Music, on CKCU FM. As Parks heads into his 11th Funding Drive, we asked him—what drives you?
How long have you been involved in CKCU?
I started with CKCU in late 2004 and Both Kinds of Music started in March 2005.
What made you want to start a show at CKCU?
I wanted to highlight the local community and show people great music was happening here. I just wanted to focus on the shows I was going to and the musicians that I saw there. And it sort of morphed into a show of six or seven songs I geek out about—they come from anywhere in the world. But the bulk of the show comes from who’s playing around town, who’s released records, and I want to make sure everyone knows that they’re happening.
What is the premise behind Both Kinds of Music?
In my mind, Both Kinds of Music is country-ish rock and garage-ee rock. It could also be local and international. But it really comes down to that I like the country music and the garage music. Genres are silly. No one works in a genre. I find that artists that start in one end up in different ones. At the end of the day, the show is really about music I like, and that’s the only definition that matters.
Why have you stuck around for so long?
It is work—really fun work. When I started, I didn’t realize what CKCU meant to the local community.
Over the 11 years I’ve been there, I really do see from an artist’s point of view that we’re there to promote new artists and give them that opportunity. I know from the people that put on music—Irene’s, Zaphod’s, Dominion Tavern, Blacksheep Inn, or even the National Arts Centre—that it matters to them if someone in the media is helping them do what they’re doing.
So I was just flabbergasted last year during the funding drive when Irene’s called in a huge generous donation for me. I’m just a patron of Irene’s, is what I think. But then I started to think that I play a lot of music, and I talk about that—and that matters to them. At the end of the day, the main reason I stay at CKCU is that all the work that I put in comes back at me so hard and so fast, and it pays me back in ways that I could never anticipate. Continue reading