Monday, February 20, 2017

Campus Voice Encounter

Campus Voice Encounter was a pre-packaged college radio show produced by Whittle Communications Campus Voice Network, and distributed by Thirsty Ear records on LP in the 1980s. Thirsty Ear was the perfect partner in this. Originally established as a marketing company in the late 1970s, they had only begun pressing records in 1982. Their early discography is entirely promos. An advertising industry trade magazine Marketing & Media Decisions was enthused about this new platform for marketing to college-age consumers. They described it as an "avenue used to catch the attention of this surprisingly affluent group."

Their promotional garbage claimed it was distributed to 1.3 million "dorm students".  I suspect that's the number of college radio stations on their mailing list, multiplied by the on-campus populations of their respective universities. This is of course "magic math", and not a calculation to be respected by grown adults. But the number of listeners was not inconsequential. And the limited pressing LPs are collected and traded by enthusiasts.

Despite it's cynical origins, the timing of the series swept up a slew of now iconic indie bands, authors, and  iconoclasts. Topics included politics, cartoons, live music, film, PSAs, sports, comic books, interviews, comedy, books, and various oddities. Each disc had multiple programs, intended to run for 5 minutes a day on weekdays. they were not always consistently numbered, and we are reliant on radio stations hand-written dates for much of the discography. The above logo was registered in 1987, giving the series a probable start date.

It's producers were Jim Omastiak, Keith Bellows and hosted by Peter Gordon. You will notice the program numbers skip, add, subtract, repeat, overlap and loop. These are not typos. It may have been accidental, deliberate, or bad copy-editing but the odd numbering adds to the discographical fun. It's possible these represent different years or even seasons of the program which are not identified. Below is an incomplete discography:

CVE-1 (Programs 1-5) [CONFIRMED]
Jello Biafra, Nancy Lieberman, Bill Nelson, John Crawford, Gene Loves Jezebel
CVE-2  (Programs 6-10) [CONFIRMED]
Holly Jensen, The Woodentops, Micheal Kimmel, Karen Finley, Bill Stone

CVE-1 (Programs 1-5)
Robert Krolick, The Saints, Lizzie Borden, Redd Kross, Jan Brunvad
CVE-2  (Programs 6-12)
Richard Rhodes, Scott Johnson, Tama Janowitz, Royal Crescent Mob, Dr. Jusith Resiman

CVE-3 (Programs 11-15)  [CONFIRMED]
Clive Barker, Lou Reed, Mpho Tutu, Easterhouse, Eric Bogosian
CVE-4 (Programs 16-20) [CONFIRMED]
Bill Murray, John Fusco, Joey Skaggs, Carol Leifer, Stas Namin

CVE-5 (Programs 21-25)
Greg Lemond, Mojo Nixon & Skid Roper, Prof. Howard Pollio, Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio
CVE-6 (Programs 26-30)
Brian Bosworth, John Lurie, David Lynch, The Dead Milkmen, Stan Lee

CVE-7 (Programs 31-35) [CONFIRMED]
Barrence Whitfield & The Savages, Joe Davis, Lynda Barry, Jad Fair & ½ Japanese, Bret Easton Ellis
CVE-8 (Programs 36-40) [CONFIRMED]
Red Hot Chili Peppers, Jonah Houston, Clive Barker, Peter Collier, Brian Brain

CVE-9 (Programs 41-46) [CONFIRMED]
Motorhead, Ricky Jay, Sinead O'Connor, Peter Yarrow, Flesh For LuLu
CVE-10 (Programs 46-50) [CONFIRMED]
Brian Cullman, The Balancing Act, Allan Zullo & Bruce Nash, Cabaret Voltaire, Kevin Seal

CVE-9 (Programs 41-45)
Richard Lloyd, Jim Jarmusch, Art Speigelman, Flaming Lips, Joseph Kennedey II
CVE-10 (Programs 46-50)
The Fall, Lorette Miller Ruppe, John waters, Peters Jenkins, Jason & The Scorchers

CVE-13 (Programs 61-65) [CONFIRMED]
Leaving Trains, Richard Horrow, Peter Gabriel / Amnesty Int'l, Adina Wrobleski, Golden Palaminos,
CVE-14 (Programs 66-70) [CONFIRMED]
No artist, Alan Rabinowitz, Richard Berry, Janet Constantinides, Peter Murphy

CVE-15 (Programs 71-75) [CONFIRMED]
Saqqara Dogs, Ray Brown, Unknown Artist, Chris Brown, Julian Cope
CVE-16 (Programs 76-80)
Dr. Andrew Weil, Andy White, Dan Cassidy, Bowie Kuhn, The Chameleons

CVE-17 (Programs 81-75) [CONFIRMED]
Carl Stotz, Swans, Dorothy Schneider, Negativland, Jeff Tellis
CVE-18 (Programs 86-90) [CONFIRMED]
E. Ann Kaplan, Pere Ubu, Sandra Bernhard, Paul Knitter, Paula Lockheart


I have found a number of references to more episodes or segments I've been unable to corroborate.
  • CVE-?  Week 11 (Programs 51-55)
  • CVE-17 Divine Horsemen, Throwing Muses, Billy Bragg, Descendents 
  • CVE-?  Coffee Achievers