Programmer Profiles: Kathy Rippey, Get On Up

Sep 18, 2019

 

Kathy Rippey, host of Get On Up! every other Friday from 8:00-10:00 PM!

I first walked into the KZYX studio sometime in December, 2015. I asked to see the Program Director, Mary Aigner, and was directed to her office. I walked in and introduced myself to Mary, and she looked up from her work and said, “Where the hell have you been?” Truth. Needless to say, I was taken aback. Apparently my reputation as a total music freak had somehow preceded me. We sat down and I asked if there was something I could do as a volunteer for KZYX and/or were there any openings where I could play some music on air? Very serendipitously, it so happened that Eric Labowitz , host of the NO Show, was going on medical leave for three months and would I be interested in subbing for him while he was out? Well, I had lived and worked in the music business in New Orleans for several years and knew the city’s music and history like the back of my hand. Yeah, I’d be interested.

Thus started my illustrious DJ journey at the best public radio station in Northern California. Shortly after Eric was back on board, I was given the coveted every other Friday night 8-10 slot. I created Get On Up, which started airing in June, 2016. Since then I have been devoted to playing the best music I can find for Mendocino county listeners and having a ball doing it. The wonderful staff at KZYZ has given me free rein to play whatever meets my fancy. I am thrilled to bring the best blues, funk, New Orleans music, rock, soul, R&B, jazz, world, Latin, and more to the air. I try to mix it up between some themed shows (artists, producers, songwriters, music biz movers and shakers) and just general fun music shows. I always try to educate with anecdotes, history and information.

I’ve worked (actually mostly volunteered) in the music biz my entire life (record stores, music journalism, booking, management, publicity and promotion, concert production, fund raising, roadie etc.). I started in my dad’s record store in Waukesha, WI at the age of 14. In the 1980’s I co-started and ran a blues society for a few years in Milwaukee, WI, where I produced two radio shows a week. I attended Full Sail University in Winter Park, FL in the early 90’s and received a recording engineering associate degree. I have always prided myself as being the musician’s best friend.

I came to Willits, CA from New Orleans compliments of Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and fell in love with place. Several wonderful friends lived in the Willits area and helped me get back on my feet after the storm. I don’t plan on leaving.