WRVU: A Blast from the Past

1984: Joe Strummer with WRVU DJs.

Over this past weekend a couple of us on the e-staff got together to clean out WRVU’s office. Full of dust, old CDs, and old promotional t-shirts, this needed to be done. So on Sunday morning we banded together with a roll of paper towels, some all-purpose cleaner, and a truly impressive number of trash bags. WRVU is over forty years old at this point, and with time inevitably comes a series of knick-knacks and souvenirs that someone just can’t bear to get rid of. That’s where we came in. Over the course of several hours, we excavated the desks and shelves of WRVU’s office, unearthing a startling collection of items in the process.

Here are the top ten items we found:

10. An unopened Christmas holiday card from 2010

When we found a mysterious letter from 2010, we were honestly not that excited. The last three or four letters had all been generic letters encouraging us to play some new album. Assuming that this was just another identical letter, we nonetheless decided to open it just in case. Imaging our surprise when we found a generic Christmas card. There was no message inside, just the pre-written wishes for a happy holiday season and some illegible signatures.

9. An air purifier

Who knew that WRVU once needed an air purifier? Or at least that’s what I think it is. There is also the distinct possibility that it could be a futuristic-looking fan. I did not turn it on, so the jury’s still out on this one.

8. A Max doll from Where the Wild Things Are

If anyone has any idea where this item came from, please let me know. It was stuffed away in a box on one of the shelves and had clearly seen better days. We considered holding onto this in case someone wanted to claim it later, but it was creepy in a horror-movie sort of way and had to be disposed of.

7. Paper applications for shows

Remember that time before the internet? Well, it appears that in those dark ages WRVU actually had to use paper applications for shows. The old templates were stashed away in a folder in the office.

6. A lost and found bucket (kind of)

Stuffed away in the back corner of the office we found a festive Easter egg labeled ‘lost and found (sort of)’. I’m not entirely sure why they felt the need to qualify whether or not it was a lost and found, but it had the standard detritus of lost and founds everywhere.

5. Someone’s car keys

To be fair, I’m not entirely certain that they were car keys. They were however, keys with the GM logo on them so you be the judge. Without an electronic attachment, I have difficulties believing that these were a recent addition to the office.

4. A letter from the Air Force

The Air Force has a band (like the kind you join in middle school, not a rock band), and apparently that band made a CD. We kept the letter from their commanding officer for posterity.

3. Posters from WRVU’s shows out at local venues

Now, I will admit that I am not entirely sure how WRVU used to do this, but we have a series of old posters advertising WRVU at places like Exit/In and The End. The poster designs are almost as awesome as the idea that we were once allowed to go to these venues and contribute our skills.

2. Petitions to keep the radio station

As some of you may already know, WRVU was not always an online-only station. There was once a time where our music roamed the airwaves. However, back in the early 2010s Vanderbilt sold the station frequency to one of NPR’s Nashville stations. In the months before the frequency was officially sold WRVU went around and got people to sign a petition in an attempt to force Vanderbilt to keep the station. They were ultimately unsuccessful, but these petitions are still a very cool part of our history.

1. A letter from one of our oldest DJs applying for a community member show

This envelope was clearly marked with an unambiguous note saying ‘do not throw out!!!’. Obviously, that meant I had to open it. Inside was a letter from a DJ who had been a part of WRVU almost forty years ago when he went to Vanderbilt. He had moved back into the area, and he wanted to have another radio show.