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Joe Kendrick: Director of Programming and Operations

Joe Kendrick

Director of Programming and Operations

Joe Kendrick grew up far off in the woods in rural Stanfield, NC, where he acquired his first Sony Walkman, listened to both AM and FM radio from Charlotte, went to Nascar races at Charlotte Motor Speedway, attended a small Baptist church, read Rolling Stone, subscribed to cassette clubs, and played one very forgettable season of high school football. From there, Joe studied Journalism at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he was able to fulfill his dream of being a disc jockey at WXYC. He volunteered at WNCW soon after graduation.

After several years and two stints in radio on the coast in Wilmington, Joe was back in western NC where he returned to volunteering at WNCW while he started his first business, a landscape lighting franchise with Outdoor Lighting Perspectives. In 1999, he met his future wife Amy at the Isotope 217 concert at Vincent's Ear in Asheville, and a year later they wed. The landscape lighting business grew but so did Joe's presence on the radio, and the desire to follow his heart led him to sell his business in 2006. Soon thereafter, he garnered the morning host slot on WNCW and has been full time in Spindale ever since.

  • Stephen Mougin (Sam Bush Band) and Ben Wright (Henhouse Prowlers) speak with Joe Kendrick from the fall 2023 IBMA conference about their own music as well as the history and future of bluegrass, along with excerpts of their latest music. Hear this episode on our page here and wherever you follow podcasts.
  • WNCW aired the special hour-long broadcast “Carolina Gospel” Tuesday February 20 from 7-8pm, with host and producer Kevin Washington’s celebration of the gospel music genre, seen through a regional lens. Kevin features conversations from local voices within the western North Carolina gospel music community including Clarence “CQ” Quarles local gospel radio host; Dr. Charlene Robbins PhD, pastor of the Boyd Friendship Missionary Baptist Church, Lake Wylie, SC; Dee Hunt, a member of Shelby, NC’s gospel quartet, The Keys of Harmony; and Billy C. Wirtz, host of the nationally syndicated radio show The Rhythm Revival. Hear their stories and insights about gospel music and its impact regionally and beyond. We also dive deep into the rich music and many artists of the gospel tradition, past and present. Tune in to WNCW on Tuesday, February 20th from 7 to 8pm on grassroots radio WNCW for this special presentation on gospel music.
  • From our broadcast on Monday January 29th in the 3pm hour, Program Director Joe Kendrick interviewed Lucinda Williams ahead of her show Tuesday the 30th in Greenville SC at the Peace CenterLucinda was open about her road to recovery following her stroke and her determination to get back to the stage where her fans' "presence is a gift".Hear Joe Kendrick's conversation with Lucinda Williams, including songs Lucinda references in our conversation, along with music she refers to in this interview.
  • Check out our latest episode on our page here and wherever you follow podcasts, which excerpts a conversation with Tony Trischka, as well as a recent interview with Travis Book.
  • Rissi Palmer tells us about her big comeback in music, which began in earnest with the 2020 debut of her Apple Music series Color Me Country Radio With Rissi Palmer; the love she has for her adopted hometown of Durham, NC; hints of what is to come in her next album, and much more in this episode which features excerpts of her music both live and on album.Listen on the link here or wherever you follow podcasts.
  • Hear this podcast episode on the Southern Songs and Stories page here, and follow the series on Apple podcasts here, Spotify here, Pandora here and wherever you get your podcasts
  • Resiliency, Innovation and Creativity Go Hand In Hand In the Digital EraHear the podcast episode on the WNCW Southern Songs and Stories page linked here.
  • Shinyribs is an Austin Texas band that began in 2007 as a side project for Kevin Russell, who also goes by Kev, and was then still committed to The Gourds, the band he had co-founded fifteen years earlier. A few years later, The Gourds released their last album, and Kev sauntered over to Shinyribs full time. Known for his showmanship on stage and for a big band approach to both the concept and performances of his music, and drawing from a smorgasbord of funky roots-rock, big band swing, Tex-Mex, screaming soul and burlesque blues, while pumping out infectious rhythms and topping it all with hooky harmony, Shinyribs is a party waiting to happen. At least that is what it sounds like on first listen, and looks like at first glance.Shinyribs is a shindig, and a large one at that, but it is also a vehicle for Kev’s unique brand of poetry, which can point to deeper, darker issues at times, especially on his latest album Transit Damage. I spoke with Kev in early October 2023 on a crisp, clear autumn afternoon in the rolling foothills of the Upstate of South Carolina countryside before Shinyribs’ performance as a headliner at The Albino Skunk Music Festival, where we talked about the secret sauce that went into his new album, about making good records in the studio and being equally good live, how starting Shinyribs felt like a hail mary to him at first, plus we discuss James Brown and an Albino Skunk Fest memory which parallels one of The Godfather of Soul’s signature parts of his shows. There is a lot more, including live music from Shinyribs’ performance from that night, all simply waiting for you to press play.
  • Conversations from WNCW's What It Is music talk show host Joe Kendrick with guests Jeff Eason, Fred Mills and Carol Rifkin from 2009
  • Conversations with producer and artist Jonathan Wilson including music excerpts from his psychedelic fifth album Eat the Worm as well as rising Americana star Bella White, whose second album Among Other Things he produced, including commentary from host and producer Joe Kendrick.