Radio man launches local station with global reach
By AMANDA KIMBLE
STEPHENVILLE (February 24, 2016) – For more than 20 years, Jody Lee Caudle has poured his heart and soul into the Texas Music Industry, and the founder of KWBY Radio isn’t planning on pulling up those roots anytime soon.
While he signed off from the FM dial for the last time in late January, he’s logging on to a whole new gig.
Caudle is in the process of a multi-phase launch of a new project – Texas Homegrown Radio. The internet-based radio station promises a good mix of things he knows a lot about – the Texas Music Industry, Red Dirt and the local community.
“It’s local, but on a global scale,” Caudle said, referring to the station’s mantra and worldwide reach. “It will offer a lot of what people liked most about KWBY Radio, prior to the format and ownership change.
“The Texas Music Industry is growing bigger every day and those artists deserve the all the recognition they can get. There’s too much focus on the talents of the past and those making hits in Nashville. This is Texas, and there’s plenty going on right here in our own backyards.”
Caudle says Texas Homegrown Radio will have an open door policy, inviting singers, songwriters, bands, festival organizers and other individuals tied to the regional music scene into the studio for interviews, live performances and promotions.
“That’s something I started a long time ago,” he said, referring to his years as a radio host and station owner.
Caudle expects to move in to his new office, located on Graham Street near Stephenville City Park, in early March.
A local native, Caudle said it’s important to him to keep his business rooted in the community, which he actively supports in various capacities, such as serving on the BBQ, Bands and Bottle Rockets on the Bosque board of directors and by volunteering his time and talents to area events and nonprofit organizations throughout the county.
“I’m homegrown, from right here in Erath County,” Caudle said. “Local news, events, organizations and the lives and livelihood of my friends and neighbors are an important part of everything I do, so I made the decision to keep those things in the format.”
In addition to local news and events, listeners will be able to keep tuned in online through the live stream at texashomegrownradio.com and through the smartphone app, which will be launched at a later date.
“The stream should go live in the next week or two,” Caudle said.
For music lovers, features of the website will include artist interviews, a concert calendar, music videos and lyric sheets.
An artist information section includes an artist rolodex, giving information on how to contact the talents and find their music online. The section will also highlight the scene’s top music fans, featured male and female artists and songwriters, as well as festivals and venues.
The website will offer sponsorship opportunities through display advertising and Caudle will continue to produce radio spots that will be heard on the live and local stream, giving a voice to area businesses and Texas Homegrown Radio supporters.
“There will be great opportunities for local business owners to feature their products and services,” he said. “But the Internet format will also offer a marketing venue for regional and national sponsors.
“I’m by no means doing this to get rich. I am in this to pay the bills doing what I love to do and supporting people who are doing what they love along the way.”
While on the music end texashomegrownradio.com is not yet live, the station is already carving out its niche. The support he has offered to artists, venues, events and the local community has gained Caudle a number of friends who are rallying together to support his latest business venture.
Brandon Sommerfeld, who manages The Lookout Bar and Grill at Legends Country Club and The Boxcar restaurant in Hamilton, is a big fan and supporter of Texas Music. He’s also a fan and supporter of Caudle and Texas Homegrown Radio.
Sommerfeld has organized an event for this Friday, Feb. 23, with proceeds benefitting Caudle’s newest business venture.
“It’s Jake Smith’s birthday so we’re having a jam and crawfish boil,” Sommerfeld said in Facebook posts promoting the event. “Proceeds from the crawfish boil, along with any donations, will be going to kick start Texas Homegrown Radio. Jody Lee took a leap of faith and has started up his own Internet radio site. A big reason he did this was to give local musicians the exposure they deserve. And for that, we owe him!”
The birthday and fundraising fandango will begin at 6 p.m. Friday. A number of musicians are expected make an appearance at 9 p.m., when the party will move indoors.
Sommerfeld is encouraging all local musicians to take part in the event and has also encouraged them to appeal to local businesses for donations.
“The quicker his site gets up and rolling, the faster The Ville becomes its own music scene, and the more business it brings into town.”
Caudle said he is also invested in Legends, where he is ready to take back control of Tuesday nights.
Beginning in March, Caudle will host Texas Homegrown Twofer Tuesday at Legends, which is located at 137 Ben Hogan Drive in Stephenville. The lineup, which will feature two artists beginning at 8 p.m. every Tuesday, will include Giovannie Yanez and Dillon Poe March 1, Jackie Darlene and Kensie Coppin March 8, Koe Wetzel and Kody Josserand March 15, Brandon Adams and Keegan McInroe March 22 and Jon Young and Buck Fuffalo March 29. Check out the event’s Facebook page for future dates and performers.