March 24, 1995
WESQ (90.9 FM)
Rocky Mount, NC, USA (North Carolina Wesleyan College)
The final episode of Basement Music aired on March 24, 1995 after the show ran afoul of station rules related to a caller's on-air freestyle. The station allowed a pre-recorded version of the show to air as a finale. The DJ Without a Name recalls the preparations for the final show:
After being told we were done, at the VERY last minute, WESQ management told us they would grudgingly allow us to do one last show, as long as it was pre-recorded and submitted for management’s review beforehand. For a variety of reasons, it wasn’t practical for us to record it at WESQ, but thankfully, the nice people at Basement Music’s second home, WXDU in Durham, allowed us to use one of their production rooms to record the show. So all day on Thursday, March 23, I assembled clips from the last two years of the show, and when I was done, I drove the 80 miles to Rocky Mount, fetched co-hostess justBLACK, then drove the 80 miles back to Durham. At this point, late in the night of Thursday, March 23, we arrived at the station, got everything together, reviewed a very rough outline of the show, and finally, shortly after 4:00 AM on Friday the 24th, we started recording the show — in real-time. In order to try and retain some semblance of the “live” feel (and also because it was barely over 12 hours before the show would be broadcast), we didn’t have the luxury of stopping and re-recording any time we flubbed or made a mistake.
All of the other recordings of the show provided to this site were recorded as broadcast, from a tuner tuned to the show (complete with all the attendant audio processing and broadcast artifacts), while this one is from the master DAT recording. Thus, this is a VERY noticeably higher-quality recording — which means every bit of random background noise during the air check portions is painfully noticeable. We weren’t used to this.
Somewhat comically, we removed the cursing from clips of old shows where profanity originally flowed freely. This was in the days before digital production (or at least before it was available to us), so all of it was done manually (and rather clumsily so).
After we finished recording the show, shortly after 7:00 AM, we left Durham and dropped the DAT off at WESQ a little after 9:00 AM on Friday. Later that day, management listened to the show, approved it, and a few hours after that, it aired on Friday night. For the first and last time ever, I (The DJ Without A Name) actually listened to the show as it was broadcast, with an acceptable amount of static in my dorm room in Chapel Hill, NC, and took calls on my dorm room phone from listeners who wanted to commiserate and wish us the best of luck. Back in those days, that was a long-distance call from Rocky Mount, so it was heartening to see how many of our listeners were willing to spend the money to call up and tell us what the show meant to them.
Basement Music was North Carolina Wesleyan College WESQ radio's first hip-hop show in the 1990s. It was hosted by The DJ Without a Name and aired from 1-6am until the station cut the show to two hours in September of 1994. The show ran until March 1995.