September. The sunny season is winding down, and fall is approaching. Many proud gardeners and groundskeepers find themselves bidding farewell to blooming flowers, and preparing for seasonal change. We here at KZSC are also bracing for change. Come October, we will be saying “farewell” to the amazing programmer Rose Lobel.
Rose deejays “What’s New“, which airs Thursdays at noon. Her program showcases the recently released music of up-and-coming artists from a multitude of genres. An earful of Rose’s “What’s New” proves that great music is alive, kicking, and here to stay.
“I have done several shows that were a single genre,” she said. “But I began doing “What’s New” because I was fascinated by all the different stuff that was on the “New Releases” shelf and I couldn’t control my desire to find out what was there.”
When Rose was a baby, she was diagnosed with cerebral palsy, an injury to her brain that has come to affect her mobility and voice.
“The doctors told my parents that I wouldn’t ever walk,” she said. “But my mother didn’t believe them and I remember being about three and dancing with my mother to a pop song on the radio.”
From a young age, music has held monumental importance in Rose’s life.
“I must have been about eleven years old the first time I heard Brazilian music,” Rose said. “It was in the Walt Disney cartoon with the three birds traveling through South America (Three Caballeros, 1944). They were on a train going through the jungle and the song was “Bahia.” I have loved the Bosa Nova ever since. Sixty years later, I can still picture that train and I hear the song in my head as clearly as the first time. It blew my mind.”
In 1985, Rose met “Sleepy John” Sandidge while she was interning at a local recording studio. John invited her to KZSC to observe one of his live programs. By the end of the show, she found herself engaging in live radio conversation. To Rose’s surprise, she had just nailed a job interview: John and Rose started a program called “A Rose and a Thorn” that aired every Friday for two years.
Rose’s vocal disability meant that her listeners had to pay very close attention to her announcements (and her razor-sharp sense of humor). This has caused some controversy, but she never let the occasional critic stop her from bringing great music to her audience. And so she did.
“Being voice disabled made being on the radio the “Most Impossible” secret dream I could have,” she said. “But I was so enthralled by the music, and by bringing it to our audience, that they couldn’t shake me loose. As far as I know, I have been the only voice-disabled radio programmer in the world for the last twenty-eight years.”
“It has been the biggest adventure ever,” she said. “I am honored and grateful that people have chosen to travel this path with me. I would like to thank John Sandidge, and all of the KZSC staff and management but most importantly, the many, many listeners who have supported me for almost three decades.”
Rose Lobel will be giving up her spot on KZSC this October. She says, “Not because I am tired of radio -THAT could never happen.” Rose was recently diagnosed with arthritis of the spine, which can unpredictably flare up, putting her on the sidelines.
In the future, listen for her to occasionally do guest spots and to fill-in for deejays at KZSC. Meanwhile, Rose’s poetry, collage art, and fiction (as K. R. Lobel) will keep her in the public eye. She recently launched a blog (krlobel.com) featuring her second novel, “Jerkwater: The Town, The Story.”
Thank you, Rose. You are one of the most down-to-earth and inspirational people to have ever graced our organization. On behalf of everyone here at KZSC, thank you for twenty-nine years of entertainment and inspiration.