Friday, November 17, 2006

Interview: Dave Loftin, WAWL Saturday Morning Cereal Bowl

Dave Loftin is the host of the Saturday Morning Cereal Bowl on WAWL in Chattanooga, TN. He initially caught my interest with his song selection. The story of how he came to host the show is in step with many indie kids artists who started having children. Dave's got a good ear for great indie kids music. You can hear the show on-line at: WAWL, Saturdays 9:00 - 11:00am EST.

1) How did you get into kids music & put together the Saturday Morning Cereal Bowl?

When I found out my wife was pregnant, I started looking at what kind of kids' music was available. I knew there was stuff that wasn't very good (musically)and I wanted to avoid those. Then I started discovering more and more artists that were very talented, spoke on kids' levels and I could actually listen without shoving cotton in my ears. I later saw a college radio station that had a kids' show and thought something like that would go over well in Chattanooga, TN. Little did I know that kids' radio shows were everywhere and doing very well.

2) What do you do when not spinning discs?

My day job finds me in another form of media: TV. I work for a FOX affiliate in promotions and production. When not at work or recording the Cereal Bowl, I'm playing with my year and half old son or enjoying my other love: movies.

3) Your playlist includes punk bands, 1940's & 1950's musicians. That's quite a range! Is the audience diggin' it?

When I started researching what other kids' DJ's were playing, I was amazed at their playlists. Some songs I never would've thought to include on a kids' show. A lot of the "oldies" I play are things I listened to with my dad, since kids music in the 70's was fair at best. So far, the audience seems to enjoy the"kid-friendly" tunes.

4) The shows always start with They Might Be Giants'"Clap Your Hands". Why?

Two reasons. First, it's just a great song to get kids up and moving around in the morning. Second, it has helped establish that the show is on the air. Eventually, I'll swap it out for any random song.

5) What are your thoughts about indie kids music today?

Since I'm very new to the whole kids' music scene, I'm very impressed by it. It's awesome that kids' today have such good music to listen to and that these artists are writing music this good for kids.

6) What would you like to see in the future of kids music?

There still seems to be a lot of artists that are doing it "for the money" so to speak. By that, I mean that kids' music is now a money maker and some of these musicians decide to crank out a few happy bubbly songs about bunnies or telling the truth and bam; a kids' record. I'd like to see the truly talented and dedicated kids' artists thrive and the audience to realize there's so much more than what's found in the"corporate kids music" section at the store.

7) What kind of music do you enjoy when not spinning kids discs?

I'm pretty open to everything. However, I usually listen to punk. That's my favorite. Old and new (Ramones, Stiff Little Fingers, NOFX, Anti-Flag, etc.) and also the edgier indie music (i.e., TV on the Radio, Dresden Dolls, etc.). There's also the classics like Violent Femmes and They Might Be Giants. My guilty pleasure is "Weird Al" Yankovic. Been listening to him since he started and I can't turn it off.

8) What's next for you?

As far as the show, I'd love to start a podcast, but money and legal and all that stuff is in the way right now. My dream is to see more kids' artists perform in Chattanooga. The city is ideal for any of these bands to play outside on a sunny afternoon or in one of many indoor venues. Ultimately, I'd love to see a kids' music festival of some kind here in town. Once again,the city is perfect for it.

9) How can artists submit CD's for possible airplay?

Send material to:
Dave Loftin
Saturday Morning Cereal Bowl
1437 Elm St
Chattanooga, TN 37415

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