Vinylthon 2020 Is Here! (Again)

by Schuler // Death Drive 90.5

It hasn’t been the best year for music. While there’s still great stuff being written and released, live performances and the industries that rely on them have taken a huge hit. Tour and festival postponements and cancelations have resulted in shuttered venues, and closed promotion and booking agencies. We’re also seeing panicked responses from corporate vampires like LiveNation and TicketMaster, who’ve resorted to draconian new policies designed to wring every last drop of blood from performing artists in a desperate attempt to stay fat and happy.

Pictured: Ghost’s Prequelle Exalted, Disfear and Doomriders’ All Roads Lead to Death split 7 inch, Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats’ Runaway Girls, and -(16)-‘s split with Fister

In the world of college radio, we’ve taken a bit of a hit, too. We’ve been unable to host the live events that help keep the station going. DJs have been unable to host their shows. We’ve been unable to get new music out on the air. However, while in-person concerts are still a long way off, and while aspects of the live industry may never recover, college radio is about to make a comeback. On Monday, June 22nd, WUSC reopens with a handful of awesome summer shows to bring the airwaves back to life. As a way of celebrating, we’re taking the remainder of the month of June to co-opt another celebration that’s been somewhat derailed by the COVID-19 pandemic: Vinylthon.

Currently in its fifth year, Vinylthon is an annual celebration of the classic media format adored by listeners and collectors for over half a century. Organized by Dr. Rob Quicke and the folks behind College Radio Day, past Vinylthons have consisted of a 24-hour period each spring in which radio stations dedicate their airtime to music played straight from the turntable. Given the unique nature of 2020, Vinylthon had to adapt a bit, taking place on its usual date in April, but also adding a second date–today, June 20th–in hopes that more stations would be back to normal scheduling by now. In some places, that’s the case, but in some places, it’s not.

At WUSC, we still don’t have access to the station, but we sure as hell love us some vinyl. So for the rest of June, and in concert with our return to live broadcasting this week, we’ll be using the blog as a space for your favorite WUSC DJs to sound off on vinyl. We wanna tell you why we love it. We wanna show you our collections. We wanna share with you our memories. We wanna bombard you with our recommendations. Stay tuned for more!