She’s “That Girl In The Morning” and so much more! Let’s get straight to our peek behind the mic with local radio personality Cat Wilson of Cape Cod Broadcasting:
Were you born and raised on the Cape?
I am about as Cape native as they come! My family owned “Wilson’s Public Market” on one end of Main Street in Hyannis and “Megathlin’s Drug Store” at the other end in the late 1800s. I have lived all over the country, but Cape Cod is home. I currently live in Cotuit (not the fancy section) – but the Kettle Ho is my home away from home!
Radio seems to be in your blood. What inspired this path for you?
I discovered radio my junior year in high school. Although I went to Barnstable schools through my sophomore year, I attended Tabor Academy for my last two years of high school. I found radio, theatre, speech & debate, and photography all in the same year!
Tell us about your long-running radio show, The Cheap Seats!
To me, The Cheap Seats is what radio is all about! Back in the mid-90s, my program director handed me a stack of five CDs from local bands and said to go make a show. It was almost a dare. I am not a musician myself; I cannot sing (even karaoke)… BUT… I love music. The Cheap Seats is an opportunity for me to introduce the world to new music. It is also a way for independent bands to have their music played on commercial radio, which in this digital day and age, is rare. On any given show, you will hear blues, folk, rock, pop from New England-based bands (with a wee bit of a bias towards Cape-based musicians).
… and your Cape Country show?
GIDDY UP! It’s fun to be “That Girl in The Morning” on Cape Country 104 – I am a one-woman caffeinated wrecking ball with an extra-large helping of country music! I have the rare responsibility to make people happy in the morning, which is kind of ironic when you realize that I was NEVER a morning person. I try very hard to find the humor in everyday life and hopefully I can share that on the air.
I like real instruments like guitars and drums, REAL singers (no auto-tune), and real songs that tell stories.
Do you have an incredible memory to share related to a local musician?
You know what happens in The Cheap Seats, stays in The Cheap Seats… sort of! I have been fortunate to spend enough time with so many musicians that I consider them my friends. Most people ask me about Meghan Trainor. The girls in The Ticks were the first to bring me one of her songs, via (famed Cape musician) Johnny Spampinato. Meghan was maybe 14 years old? They didn’t have an FM radio in the house, so Meghan, her mom and her brother all piled into the family car in the driveway to listen to the show. Meghan sat there doing homework in the car until her song came on the radio. The rest is pop music history, I suppose!
I think some of my all-time favorite stories involve Sarah Swain. The very first time she was in the studio with me, she was so nervous she couldn’t find the words to say that she had a gig at the Island Merchant on Main Street, Hyannis. Later, she returned with her baby – who farted like a trumpet on the air during an interview! – and again to tell me about her non-profit organization Cape Wellness Collaborative. She is such an amazing woman and I count her as one of my best friends… and it’s all because of The Cheap Seats.
We hear there’s “no local music scene on Cape Cod.” What do you think?
I am sorry … I think I heard the question wrong. The Cape has one of the most amazing local music scenes in New England! Any given night you can find musicians from teens to 100 years old playing together; folk, blues, pop and punk; open mics, dinner music and acoustic music at many of the Farmers’ Markets and street festivals; and so much more. We live on the most talented sand spit in the country! That said, sometimes you have to dig in that sand to find the best places to see bands.
What volunteering interests are you most passionate about?
Big Nick’s Ride for the Fallen has meant the most to me over the years. For one day, it seems like all of Cape Cod shows their support for our Gold Star Families, veterans and soldiers. Over 1,000 motorcycles will ride from Bourne to Yarmouth in a massive display of pride and patriotism. This year’s ride will be on July 23 and raises funds for local charities. Nicholas Xiarhos, who graduated from Dennis-Yarmouth High School, lost his life on July 23, 2009. This will be a powerful day. If you don’t ride a motorcycle, you can still watch the bikes go by along Route 6A and join us at DY High School afterwards and meet some of our military members, first responders and their families.
What’s your favorite way to spend a Cape Cod day?
I would enjoy a lazy cup of coffee on my deck with my dogs… pack a picnic lunch and kayak to a quiet sandbar for the afternoon… and wrap up the day with a sunset ride on my Harley for an ice cream cone. End-of-day option #2: Sipping wine by a fire pit with friends!
Anything we missed?
There is a rumor that bubbles up every summer that I used to drive in demolition derbies at the Barnstable County Fair. This is true – I won in 2009! I may or may not return to reclaim my title … Do you know anyone who might want to loan me a car for a few days?
Tune in to hear Cat on Cape Country in the morning, on The Cheap Seats on Sundays at 8pm, and at her blog on CapeCod.com!