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Folk Alley: strong relationship between songs and poetry

Alexander Alexeenko - 18.04.20

Supported by listeners, Folk Alley — a 24-hour Internet radio created by FreshGrass Foundation — hit the net in September 2003, broadcasting a unique blend of traditional, roots, Americana, contemporary singers / songwriters, indie folk, Celtic, bluegrass and sounds different world.

1. Folk Alley: history

This groundbreaking service originated at WKSU, a public radio from Kent, Ohio. El Bartolé's Chief Executive Officer / CEO had a commitment and vision to use the power of the Internet to bring together a world-wide folk-loving audience. Together with Jim Bloom’s deep knowledge and passion for music and other dedicated WKSU employees, in particular the head of the WKSU IT department, Chuck Poulton, set a goal for the team, which sets itself the ultimate goal: to become a place number one on the Internet for the content and discovery of such kind of music.

Initially, Folk Alley showed impressive growth - from 23,000 website registrations in the first year alone - and the noise started. Listeners from all over the world - from the USA to the UK, from Australia to Brazil and other countries - finally got access to their favorite music and enjoyed it. Music that was so hard to find on the radio in the dark ages before the Internet.


2. Folk Alley at first glance

The early impulse of Folk Alley led to the fact that in the spring of 2005 two full-time employees were hired. Linda Feiji took over Manhattan Lane, spending time in Minnesota, working for Kaylor’s “Home Companion on the Prairie” Garrison and Red House Records, as well as Jim Bloom. Elena See from Minnesota Public Radio, Barb Heller of Northern Country Public Radio and Jeff St. Clair of WKSU joined Jim Bloom at the microphone.

The following year, the Folk Alley ministry and audience blossomed:

  • The radio website has turned into a reliable folk music portal, allowing visitors not only to listen to music streams, but also to explore today's vibrant folk and indigenous music scene. Whether through blog posts, album reviews, popular news,
  • Folk Alley has also launched its innovative member-only Drive Free stream, which allows members who donate $ 60 a year or more to completely circumvent recurring cash flows in the main Folk Alley music stream;
  • 13 years ago, Folk Alley teamed up with NPR Music, and joined a dozen partner stations providing content for the new “super site,” and joined them for many live broadcasts from the Newport Folk Festival and Honors & Awards American Music Association.

Fast forward to today. Despite the fact that over the years the staff has changed somewhat, People’s Alley continues to stand out among online music services as a respected leader in the field of folk, roots and content of Americana. Be it a music stream 24-7; special side flows; live website and mobile application; weekly syndicated radio show, which sounds in 50 US markets; or a reliable People’s Alley podcast and video series is something for everyone who wants to discover and enjoy the modern people, roots and American music of the 21st century.

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