Putting a face to the voice

tom petty.jpeg

In the mid-'60s, AM radio, pop radio, was just this incredible thing that played all kinds of music... You could hear Frank Sinatra right into the Yardbirds. The Beatles into Dean Martin. It was this amazing thing, and I miss it, in a way, because music has become so compartmentalized now, but in those days, it was all right in one spot. Tom Petty

In the age of Viacom-esc radio conglomerates, I think that KOTO radio would make Tom Petty proud. “You’re in tune with listener sponsored KOTO, a non-commercial, non-underwritten, community radio station brought to you through the generous support of its listeners” beams from the airways at the top of every hour. What does that actually mean? It means we can afford the DJs the freedom to keep you, the listener, guessing what the days programming will bring. I, myself, love following up a 20minute jam session from Umphrey’s McGee with Billy Strings ripping on his Roy Noble Dreadnought covering Beaumont Rag, a bluegrass standard, and then right into AC/DC’s Have a drink on Me. Why those songs? Because it’s what I want to hear!

I grew up 20 miles outside New York City and talk radio was the soundtrack to my morning commute to school; the newest pop-songs force fed to the masses. I’d scroll through the channels trying to find WRSU, Rutgers’ college radio. That’s where I first heard Nada Surf’s Blizzard of ‘77, a BIG deal for an angsty highschool girl from Jersey.

Founded in 1975, KOTO radio continues to strive to embody these same ideals Tom Petty spoke about in regards to radio of yester-year. We’re able to do this because of the DJs who volunteer their time and share their love of music. And you can find it all in one place.

In their own words- let us introduce you to just a few of the many volunteers that keep KOTO funky.  


    Sydney "Squid" Roop with her pup Nellie. 

    Sydney "Squid" Roop with her pup Nellie. 

  Hey there, free form community radio listeners! My DJ name is Squid and I am currently a "fill in" DJ for KOTO radio in Telluride. What is a "fill in" DJ you ask? I do not have a regular radio slot I do radio shows when KOTO needs another DJ to play music for a regular DJ! I have lived in the Telluride area since the winter of 2014. I started doing radio shows for KOTO about two years ago but stopped due to my busy schedule. I began to do shows again this past 2018 spring, and I am so happy to be back on the radio. Broadcasting my favorite music to the world brings me much joy and hopefully will be something I can continue to do for a long time! There's nothing like playing an early show and watching the sun come up over Telluride Peak or singing and dancing in the studio at 11:30 at night. The music I like to play on the radio are Bluegrass, Classic Rock, Jam Bands, Blues, Funk, and Grateful Dead. My favorite local music festival is the Bluegrass festival because it is the beginning of summer and I also love bluegrass music. Thanks for listening! 





      Bob "Blue Dog" Mather

My name is Bob Mather & my DJ name is the Blue Dog. My show, every other Sunday afternoon, is called Blue Dog Radio. My listeners are collectively known as the Blue Dog Nation & includes international listeners from Canada & Portugal. My show is all Blues, classic to contemporary. We play everything from Robert Johnson to Samantha Fish. Of course my favorite festival is Blues & Brews.

I’ve been hooked on the Blues since I was 10 years old and heard BB King sing “Nobody loves me but my Mother & she could be jiving too”. Saw him at least 15 times including his last show at B&B.

I have always wanted to be a DJ & for my 60th birthday I sat in with Loup Garou & was hooked. Later that year was named Rookie of the Year, and have been doing my own show & fill ins for over 5 years.

My wife, also a DJ known as Lady Dye, and I have had a place in Telluride for 20 years & we moved here in 2010 when I took the job as Telluride’s town Historic Architect. Been a Historic Architect for 40 years, specializing in historic Theaters, Courthouses & Museums. Semi-retired now, I provide Preservation Consulting services to other design teams. Great fun!!!

-Heidi Sarazen