In July 2004, a very excited Jim Blum called me. He was simultaneously talking on the phone with Bob Zucker, a man we did not know but who was asking Jim how much he needed to contribute to Folk Alley to make a major impact on the success of that in-stream fund drive. Jim transferred Bob’s call to me, and the outcome became a significant part of our Folk Alley History. That outcome? A $20,000 gift to Folk Alley from Bob Zucker.
Some people would call Bob a “Venture Capital Angel”—and I would have to agree! You see, Folk Alley is a listener-supported, non-profit organization, and Bob clearly shared our vision about Folk Alley and our love of the folk music genre. When Bob decided to make this gift, I must admit that the staff was a bit skeptical about Folk Alley’s potential. None of us was completely certain that others shared our passion for folk music, but Bob proved us wrong with his $20,000 gift and a challenge to other Folk Alley listeners to match that gift.
Of course, very few people are in Bob’s position. But I now know that many folk fans and Folk Alley listeners share our passion, and I also know that those listeners have the ability to make a huge impact on the service that we provide to the folk community. Bob’s gift inspired all of us at Folk Alley. Through his challenge, he has also inspired others to come forward with their share of heavy lifting to make Folk Alley a reality.
I hope you are as excited about what Folk Alley can become as we are here at the radio ranch. We’re adding new announcers and are providing new services that will make visiting Folk Alley an even more enjoyable experience for all of us. Let your passion for the music guide your decision to contribute! We can keep this music alive, well and growing, but we can only do so much. The rest, my friend, is up to you.
Recently, I traveled to my adopted home in Nashville, Tennessee. I was at the Ryman Auditorium for the Americana Music Awards when Jim Lauderdale said to the audience “there is an angel among us.” That night, the angel was Emmylou Harris. But for Folk Alley, Bob Zucker is our angel, as are others who believe in this music. We need you to be an angel and make this drive a success. Time is running out and we’re not yet half way to our goal. We need your support to make this happen!
Al Bartholet, General Manager