Samuel calls The Globe a “living laboratory,” with the goal of operating as professionally as possible. In part, it’s a place where students can hone their radio craft and become viable — and employable — entities.
One of those students is Benjamin Kelly, a Lakeland High School graduate.
According to Kelly, at another college radio station he’d still be waiting for his turn at the mic. He’s on the air at The Globe as a sophomore.
“It gives you a great opportunity right away,” he said.
Kelly said that when he was considering colleges, he wanted one with baseball and a good radio program. He wants to make a career out of doing sports play-by-play.
“Every time I come up here, I note that this is just a harbinger of what I’m going to be doing forever,” he said in the studio. “And every time I go to a ball game and get ready to talk about it for two and a half hours, I know that’s what I’m going to be doing for the rest of my life. That really excites me.”
Samuel talked about the facade improvements in Goshen’s downtown. He says The Globe has had a facade renovation, too.
WGCS started in 1958. For years the format was classical music. In the late ’70s/early ’80s, late-night student programming began featuring more pop-oriented music. In the late 1990s, the “Crossings” block of folk and bluegrass was introduced.
Fast-forward to 2004 and a seismic musical shift. Since then The Globe’s playlist — 10,841 songs as of mid-February — has tilted Americana.
Americana? That’s a broad term, but think Emmylou Harris, Bob Dylan, Greg Brown, Old 97s, Wilco. And The Globe colors outside even those musical lines.
The idea is to put out “a cool vibe,” Samuel said. Local, regional and national artists — established and less so, familiar and not so much — have a home at the station.
“The Globe is radio for people who don’t listen to radio anymore,” he said. “In other words, we are playing music that commercial radio isn’t playing.”
The Globe was an early champion of Umphrey’s McGee. Staffers will tell you the station was playing The Fray before The Fray was a big deal. Suffice it to say The Globe played Arcade Fire well before that band won the Grammy for Album of the Year a couple weeks ago.
“Here you hear a cut from a different cloth,” Kelly said. “You don’t really get that anywhere else except The Globe around this area. You won’t hear Mumford and Sons on any other radio station in this area, which is awesome.”
Such is The Globe circa 2011. However, Samuel views the station’s past as important.
“We don’t deny our history or heritage — that’s all a part of it,” Samuel said. “...No matter how big a tree gets, it can never deny its roots. For us to not embrace the history of what WGCS was and the work people put in before us, we would be losing out and we would be foolish. Because we would not understand how precious what we have today has become.”