Ever since I got hooked on WKRP in Cincinnati in my youth, I've wanted to know what really went on at a radio studio. So when Tom Urquhart and Tony Diaz invited me to hang at theirs, I dragged myself out of bed at the unholy hour of 9 a.m. Saturday.
OK, so it's not quite like WKRP. First of all, there was no Loni Anderson. And there are way too many fluorescent lights for that early in the morning.
But The Good Show on KTCU is worth getting up that early for -- or at least downloading the MP3s of so that you can listen to it when you're awake.
The show, now nearly a decade old, features live performances by local bands, humor and obscure music from wherever Urquhart finds it.
"I was the kind of kid who feverishly make the perfect mix tapes for himself and friends," Urquhart says. "Now I have access to a transmitter, which allows me to share my ongoing personal soundtrack with a few thousand listeners."
Urquhart grew up listening to Texas radio icons like John Rody and George Gimarc back in the '80s and wanted to emulate that style of radio. In fact, he also hosts a video webcast with Rody, his childhood hero, at Mambo's in Fort Worth every Wednesday night.
The April 17 musical guest on The Good Show was the Burning Hotels. Co-host Diaz ran back and forth frantically setting up for the band, while Urquhart pleaded unsuccessfully with the station's CD player to read the disc he had burned for the show. Unlike most radio shows, Urquhart plays tracks from his own collection rather than from a programmed computer feed.
Despite a slew of equipment problems, the show and the band's performance went off without a hitch.
Almost overshadowing the radio program, though: The Good Show Live Music Series. What started as a yearly concert at the Black Dog Tavern for the show's anniversary evolved into an increasingly popular monthly showcase at Lola's Saloon Sixth in Fort Worth. The series' success has necessitated a division of responsibilities. While Urquhart still has a hand in picking the bands for the concerts, Diaz does the heavy lifting.
"Tony naturally had a gift for event planning, a tenacity for running a bill and venue, and a sincere affection for assuming the stage-manager role," Urquhart said.
The live shows feature bands that are often played on the radio show. Rather than just sponsoring an existing show, Urquhart and Diaz are eager to take on the role of tastemakers.
"It is truly a Good Show production," Urquhart said, "not some focus-group, commercially proven vehicle we add our name to."
After SXSW, the hosts thought listeners deserved a more hard-rock show; this week's lineup includes the punk-driven Record Hop, straight-up hard rock from Dove Hunter and pop-indie band Bridges and Blinking Lights. Get there early; there's usually a line out the door.
Visit goodshow.net for more information and streaming audio, or listen from 9 a.m. to noon Saturdays on KTCU/88.7 FM.