WVBU Revives Prisoner’s Request

Madison Weaver, Contributing Writer

WVBU might be known as  the University’s own student-run radio station, but its shows are beginning to reach beyond the student body, most recently with the “Prisoner Request Show.”

Starting in the late 1970s, the “Prisoner Request Show” entertained the inmates of the United States Penitentiary, Lewisburg. Inmates could write to the station and request songs that they wanted to hear. Popular among students and inmates, the show even garnered enough attention to earn the Service to the Community Award from the NAACP in 1988 for WVBU’s “years of unselfish service that has been given by the prisoners request show.” Sadly, the “Prisoner Request Show” eventually lost popularity and was discontinued in the late 1990s. This little piece of University history has returned this year.

Will Christner ’16 has been involved at WVBU since he was a first-year. When deciding what type of show to create this semester, Christner remembered hearing about the “Prisoner Request Show” during his training at the station.

“I’ve always wanted to bring it back,” Christner said. “[The idea’s] been thrown around that, ‘Hey, it’s cool to do this, maybe we should bring it back,’ so I decided, you know what? Let’s bring it back!”

Christner has been very successful in his endeavors to revive the show, receiving seven to 10 letters a week  containing anywhere from five to 20 songs each.

“I get a lot of metal and a lot of rap, and usually a few country songs thrown in … some classic rock, even some R&B,” Christner said.

Christner hosts the show each Sunday, entertaining the prisoners with music and commentary during his two-hour block. Christner is excited for the growth of his new show.

“It will be nice to get letters from more people, but I will take what I can get,” Christner said.

The “Prisoner Request Show” can be heard every Sunday from 3-5 p.m. on 90.5 FM WVBU; go online to wvbu.com to listen live or to learn how to become involved with the University’s student-run radio station.

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