88.5 Now – WMNF’s Newsletter February 2019



You have carried WMNF
through the past 40 years.

This history of community, enlightenment, music and art is by you and for you.
Today, and four decades from now.

In order to keep this dream around alive into the future, we need your support.

There are so many ways to show your love for WMNF. You can become a circle of friends member, make a one-time financial contribution, donate your old vehicle or get plans together for a legacy gift that will have an impact
on the community for years to come.  

You can donate online at https://www.wmnf.org/donation/  
You may also call Gene Moore, Membership Coordinator, at 813-865-8264 to plan a legacy gift, or if you have any questions about the best way to donate.

From the bottom of our hearts, thank you for showing love to your
Last. Local. Radio.


Production Profile: Steve “The Hitman” Williams 


There are some people in this world who’s dedication to their passion creates a lifelong mission. Steve “The Hitman” Williams is one of those people. His love of soul music has been filling the WMNF airwaves for over 35 years.  Steve hosts The Soul Party every Friday from 8 -10 pm, bringing his favorite classic soul sounds to listeners. Steve is retired and loves to spend his time listening to WMNF, including past shows, and is an avid sports fan.

Steve’s story and how he came to WMNF started with a friend’s radio 38 years ago.

“I was at one of my friend’s house and he was listening to Bob “Soul Man” Schier’s show which was the blues show at the time.  I heard all this great music and said what station are you listening to? He told me it was a new station called 88.5. I went home and tuned in, and the rest is pretty much history.”

He showed up to a station meeting and put his hat in the ring for a spot as a volunteer DJ.

“I had been DJing since I was 12 years old, at house parties and stuff like that.  At first I wanted to play rap music, but there wasn’t a show for that at the time. So I said let me see what else I can get involved in.”

Steve also shared a passion for oldies and classic soul. One night, he heard Brad Sutton hosting the Soul Party.

“I said can I come and sit in and watch you do the show, and learn the ins and outs of radio? He said yes and eventually took me on as a backup DJ.”

After volunteering for about a year, Steve filled in for Brad and hosted his first Soul Party show in January of 1984.

“When I did my first show I was so nervous. But Brad always used to tell me, ‘They can hear you but they can’t see you, so you shouldn’t be nervous.’ But easier said than done.  That first show I made some mistakes, but you live and learn and that’s what community radio is all about.”

After filling in and assisting Brad for about seven years, Soul Party was moved to an earlier time slot that didn’t work with Brad’s schedule and Steve was offered the show.

“It was a big responsibility and the main thing was trying to keep the type of music the same, while switching up the songs every week. We brought in the voices of women, which had never been on the show before. Irma Coffee and my sister Barbara and it added flavor to the show.”

Steve is also a friend of the less fortunate in the area. He takes special requests and plays them on-air for those who look to WMNF as a source of consolation.

“I do a lot of requests and dedications for the inmates. We even go around to the institutions and try to encourage them. During fund drive their family members will pledge on behalf of their loved ones. We’ll play the inmates requests then visit them and they’ll say, ‘Thank you, you don’t know how uplifting that is because I was at a point where I thought no one cared about me’.”

The Soul Party is the kind of show that is hosted with thoughtfullness, integrity and empathy. It’s a place where everyone is welcome to find joy and catharsis through music, and it’s a perfect reflection of what community radio is all about.

“It’s a wonderful thing, just looking at a station like WMNF. I get to meet a lot of beautiful people that I would have never met if I wasn’t hosting a show at the station.”

Find out more about Soul Party and stream here:

Production Profile: Isha Del Valle


Listeners of WMNF’s HD channels can find a world of voices and sounds outside the mainstream. LatinX, which airs Tuesdays from 11am – 1pm and 7pm – 9pm brings the music of the Latin diaspora to life. Host Isha Del Valle grew up with influences ranging from 80’s rock to classic Bolero music. Her eclectic influences shine on her show. Listeners can tune-in and hear Latin trap, hip-hop, alt & indie, cumbia de Colombia and classic dance music. Isha loves to camp, attend music festivals and spend time with her two dogs, Kiki and Beto.

Like many people who end up as programmers, Isha began as a volunteer at WMNF. After eight years, the idea of hosting a show was presented to her.

“Me and JoEllen hit it off fairly early because we had the same sense of humor. We would chat and one day we had a conversation about playing more diverse music. I said it would be a good idea to play the kind of music I listen to because a lot of people haven’t heard it yet.”

Before long, JoEllen asked Isha if she wanted to create a show. Isha was nervous, but after getting more guidance from JoEllen and sitting in on a few IndieFM shows with Katarina, she was ready to go.  On January 8th of this year LatinX premiered.

“It’s an HD show so it’s two hours pre-recorded. At first I was really judgmental of my own voice, but now I’m getting much more comfortable. The first show took me eight hours to record, now I’m down to four.”

Before stepping into the studio to record, Isha spends hours on her playlist. She was raised in Puerto Rico, where she was influenced by Latin music, and her knowledge about that music is vast.

“I play music that moves me and inspires me. The lyrics don’t matter so much, it’s more the sound. Even when I was waiting on a spot to open and doing my research I generated this giant spreadhseet of songs I like and sorting them so I would be able to arrange all of the genres and artists I like.”

The result of Isha’s efforts is a wide array of Latin sounds. On her show you can hear punk one minute, followed by Cumbia and trap music.

“A lot of different kinds of music have influenced me. My favorite band is Cafe Tacvba. They’ve been playing music since the 80’s and they’re amazing because they are so up to date. They have albums that are upbeat but they also have albums that are all ballads.”

LatinX is a young show, and there’s a lot of opportunities for Isha to build her show into something even more special. She looks forward to a productive future.

“I hope in the future my show gets a larger audience, and to be able to interview the artists that I play. And hopefully one day, put together a LatinX concert in town.”

Isha’s efforts are so important at a community radio station like WMNF. Without music like hers we’d be missing out on such important cultures that are all around us, and across the world.

“Going to WMNF is like going to a party with extended family. Where you might not know all the people but all of them make you feel at home and make you feel alright. We’re all one big family.”

Find out more about LatinX and stream here: https://www.wmnf.org/events/latinx/

WMNF Upcoming Events:

11th Annual Caribbean Cruise Music Festival – March 23rd, 4pm – 11pm – @ Skipper’s Smokehouse, 910 Skipper Road, Tampa, FL 33613

Ike Reilly – March 28th, 8pm – 1030 pm – @ The Attic/Rock Brothers Brewing, 1510 E. 8th Ave. Ybor City, FL 33605

David Alvin and Jimmie Dale Gilmore – April 11th, 7pm – @ Skipper’s Smokehouse, 910 Skipper Road, Tampa, FL 33613

The WMNF Record and CD Sale – April 27th, 9 am – 2 pm – @ WMNF Studios 1210 E. MLK Blvd. Tampa, FL 33603

WMNF 14th Annual Rockabilly Ruckus – May 11th, 6pm – 10:55 pm – @ Skipper’s Smokehouse, 910 Skipper Road, Tampa, FL 33613


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