#877 – February 17, 2021 Playlist

Wednesday MidDay Medley
Produced and Hosted by Mark Manning
90.1 FM KKFI – Kansas City Community Radio
TEN to NOON Wednesdays – Streaming at KKFI.org

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

WMM Celebrates Black History Month
With Our Favorite MidCoastal Black Artists + Marion Merritt + Betse Ellis

WMM Celebrates Black History Month with tracks from over 25 of our favorite MidCoastal Black Artists: Janelle Monaé, Krystle Warren, Madisen Ward and the Mama Bear, Calvin Arsenia, The Black Creatures, The Freedom Affair, We The People, Approach with Joe Good, The Phantastics, Cuee with Joey Leoj, Khrystal., Kemet Coleman, Kadesh Flow, Crystal Rose, They Call Me Sauce with Love Mae C, Phylshawn, Eems, BLKFLANL, KD Kuro with Domineko, The Buhs, and Radkey.

One of WMM’s longtime contributors, Marion Merritt of Records With Merritt, a minority owned business in KCMO, joins us as our special guest co-host. We also welcome Betse Ellis, critically acclaimed fiddler, singer, songwriter, and one half of Betse & Clarke who also joins us as special guest co-host. Betse & Marion will encourage our listeners to call 888-931-0901, or visit http://www.kkfi.org to support 90.1 FM KKFI – Kansas City Community Radio during our Winter Fund Drive Show.

  1. “Main Title Instrumental – It’s Showtime Folks”
    from: Orig. Motion Picture Soundtrack All That Jazz / Casablanca / December 20, 1979
    [WMM’s Adopted Theme Song]
  1. Janelle Monáe – “Turntables”
    from: Turntables (from the Amazon Original Movie “All In: The Fight for Democracy”) – Single / Badboy Records / September 4, 2020
    [All In: The Fight for Democracy is a 2020 American documentary film directed and produced by Liz Garbus and Lisa Cortés. The film revolves around voter suppression. Stacey Abrams worked with Garbus and Cortés on the film. It was released in a limited theatrical release on September 9, 2020, followed by digital streaming on Prime Video on September 18, 2020, by Amazon Studios. Originally, Abrams, a Georgia state representative, did not intend to be part of the film; eventually she agreed to include her gubernatorial race as part of the story. // Janelle Monáe Robinson was born on December 1, 1985 in Kansas City, Kansas and was raised in a working-class community of Kansas City, Quindaro. Her mother, Janet, worked as a janitor and a hotel maid. Her father, Michael Robinson Summers, was a truck driver. Monáe’s parents separated when Monáe was a toddler and her mother later married a postal worker. Monáe has a younger sister, Kimmy, from their mother’s remarriage. // Monáe was raised Baptist and learned to sing at a local church. Her family members were musicians and performers at the local AME church, the Baptist church, and the Church of God in Christ. Monáe dreamed of being a singer and a performer from a very young age, and has cited the fictional character of Dorothy Gale from The Wizard of Oz as a musical influence. The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, which Monáe bought two copies of with her first check, was another source of inspiration. She performed songs from the album on Juneteenth talent shows, winning three years in a row. // As a teenager, Monáe was enrolled in the Coterie Theater’s Young Playwrights’ Round Table, which began writing musicals. One musical, completed when she was around the age of 12, was inspired by the 1979 Stevie Wonder album Journey Through “The Secret Life of Plants”. // Monáe attended F. L. Schlagle High School, and after high school, moved to New York City to study musical theater at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy, where she was the only black woman in her class. Monáe enjoyed the experience, but feared that she might lose her edge and “sound, or look or feel like anybody else”. In a 2010 interview Monáe explained, “I felt like that was a home but I wanted to write my own musicals. I didn’t want to have to live vicariously through a character that had been played thousands of times – in a line with everybody wanting to play the same person.” // After a year and a half, Monáe dropped out of the academy and relocated to Atlanta, enrolling in Perimeter College at Georgia State University. She began writing her own music and performing around the campus. In 2003, Monáe self-released a demo album titled The Audition, which she sold out of the trunk of a Mitsubishi Galant. During this period, Monáe became acquainted with songwriters and producers Chuck Lightning and Nate Wonder. The three would eventually form the Wondaland Arts Collective. She worked at an Office Depot but was fired for answering a fan’s e-mail using a company computer, an incident that inspired the song “Lettin’ Go”, which in turn attracted the attention of Big Boi. // Janelle Monáe Robinson (/moʊˈneɪ/; born December 1, 1985) is an American singer, songwriter, rapper, actress, and record producer. Monáe is signed to Atlantic Records, as well as to her own imprint, the Wondaland Arts Society. Monáe has received eight Grammy Award nominations. Monáe won an MTV Video Music Award and the ASCAP Vanguard Award in 2010. Monáe was also honored with the Billboard Women in Music Rising Star Award in 2015 and the Trailblazer of the Year Award in 2018. In 2012, Monáe became a CoverGirl spokesperson. Boston City Council named October 16, 2013 “Janelle Monáe Day” in the city of Boston, Massachusetts, in recognition of her artistry and social leadership. // Monáe’s musical career began in 2003 upon releasing a demo album titled The Audition. In 2007, Monáe publicly debuted with a conceptual EP titled Metropolis: Suite I (The Chase). It peaked at number two on the US Top Heatseekers chart, and in 2010, through Bad Boy Records, Monáe released a first full-length studio album, The ArchAndroid, a concept album and sequel to her first EP. In 2011, Monáe was featured as a guest vocalist on fun.’s single “We Are Young”, which achieved major commercial success, topping the charts of more than ten countries and garnering Monáe a wider audience. Her second studio album, The Electric Lady, was released in 2013 and debuted at number five on the Billboard 200, serving as the fourth and fifth installments of the seven-part Metropolis concept series. // In 2016, Monáe made her theatrical film debut in two high-profile productions; Monáe starred in Hidden Figures as NASA mathematician and aerospace engineer Mary Jackson, and also starred in Moonlight. Hidden Figures was a box office success, while Moonlight won the Academy Award for Best Picture at the 89th annual ceremony. Monáe’s third studio album, Dirty Computer, also described as a concept album, was released in 2018 to widespread critical acclaim; it was chosen as the best album of the year by several publications and earned Monáe two nominations at the 61st Annual Grammy Awards, including Album of the Year. The album debuted at number six on the Billboard 200 and promoted by Monáe’s Dirty Computer Tour, June-Aug. 2018.]
  1. Kadesh Flow – “Free People”
    from: Too Soon / Free People 2-Pack / Ryan Davis / June 5, 2020
    [Executive Produced by Kadesh Flow. Mixed by Kadesh Flow. Kadesh Flow is Ryan Davis is a rapper with an MBA. He is an emcee, producer, & trombonist. At age 11, he began rapping and playing trombone within two weeks of one another. His music has been featured on network television in multiple countries and territories across Southeast Asia. Kadesh performs as a solo hip hop artist. He also plays with KC funk juggernaut The Phantastics, and Marcus Lewis Big Band. Kadesh Flow was on WMM on Oct. 21, 2020.]

10:06 – Intro / Pledge Break #1

Betse Ellis is Originally from Fayetteville, Arkansas, Betse received her Bachelors of Arts in Music and a Bachelors of Arts in English, from the University of Missouri – Kansas City. She has been playing the Violin for over 40 years, with over 20 years playing fiddle and also working as a teacher of music. Betse was a founding member of the acclaimed internationally known band, The Wilders. Betse has released two solo records, she is part of the 5-piece, Short Round Stringband, and records and performs with her partner, multi-instrumentalist Clarke Wyatt, as Betse & Clarke. Last year they released their latest 8-song release, Winter, which was in the Top Ten of WMM’s 120 Best Recordings of 2020

Marion Merritt is our most frequent contributor to WMM, She grew up in Los Angeles, and St. Louis. She went to college in Columbia, Missouri. She studied art and musical engineering, and is a avid lover of classic films and punk rock music. She saw Talking Heads on their first U.S. tour when they played One Block West in 1978. For 16 years she has been sharing her musical discoveries and information from her musically-encyclopedic brain on Wednesday MidDay Medley. With her partner Ann Stewart, Marion is the proprietor of Records With Merritt, a minority owned business at 1614 Westport Rd. in Kansas City, that features new vinyl releases, in-store performances,, and was once the location for a wedding. More information at: http://www.recordwithmerritt.com

For 33 years 90.1 FM KKFI has been on the air. While the spirit of this station is kept alive by hundreds of volunteers who passionately donate their time and abilities to keep the transmission of our 100,000-watt-signal alive. We are a operated by a not-for-profit organization, incorporated over 40 years ago, called The MidCoast Radio Project. We’re non-profit, but we still have to pay the electric bill, the rent on our fully accessible production studios and offices, insurance, staff, royalties, production expenses. Even though we have hundreds of committed volunteers, who donate thousands of hours every year, producing radio shows, answering phones, creating websites, producing benefits, rewiring the board, setting up our computer system, we still need YOU, our listener, to take a moment and call 888-931-0901 and donate to keep us alive! Our volunteers are waiting to hear from YOU right now.

In 2020 on WMM we’ve conducted 131 live interviews with 156 special guests:

Calvin Arsenia, Enrique Chi, Krystle Warren, The Black Creatures, Jocelyn Olivia Nixon, Julia Othmer, Shy Boys, Cuee, Belle & The Vertigo Waves, Una Walkenhorst, Nan Turner, Maria Vasquez Boyd, Chase The Horseman, Dylan Pyles, Johnny Hamil, Betse Ellis, Robert Castillo, Fally Afani, Nico Gray, Chris Haghirian, Nathan Ruesch, Ivory Blue, Scott Hobart, Dedric Moore, Brenton Cook, Konnor Ervin, Tim Finn, Michelle Bacon, Jesse Kates, Sterling Witt, Sid Sowder, Philip Hooser, Jeff Harshbarger, Doby Watson, Kadesh Flow, Shaun Crowley, Nick Carswell, Patrick Alonzo Conway, Teri Quinn, Kemet The Phantom, Cody Calhoun, Cole Bales, Matt Kesler, Bill Sundahl, Noah Davis, Sondra Freeman, Alison Hawkins, Hadiza, Les Ismore, Jairy, Spinning Tree Theatre, Marty Thomas, Cody Wyoming, Kimmie Queen, EBONY TUSKS, Stephanie Carey, Amy Marcus, Dan Jones and The Squids, Ingrid Ingraham, Katy Guillen, Jennifer Owen, Brad Cox, fritz Hutchison, Colin Haliburton, Charlie Colborne, Bill Belzer, LA Jones, Brodie Rush, Rosé Perez, Mikalla Petillo, Jenna Rae, Peter Beatty, Lava dreams, They Call Me Sauce, Mike McCoy, David Burchfield, sarh Magill, Sam Wells, Jason Gerkin, Anson The Onery, Andrew Morris, Remy Sryrk, Paul Malinowski, The Republic Tigers, Oh Dear Oh My, Stacy Busch, Sam Platt, Stephonne Singleton, Khrystal., David Shouoghnessy, Steph Castor, Blair Schulman, Eliza Gilkyson, Eddie Moore, Kianna White, Jared White, Maya Coppola, Joe Sears, Max James, Chros Hudson, Blanky, Daniel Gum, Grady Keller, Shanté Clair, Tucker Slough, Julie Bennett Hume.


  1. KD Kuro – “JULES (feat. Domineko & Chase the Horseman (radio edit)”
    from: Good-Luck / Kwame Boateng / August 1, 2017
    [This track was produced by Chase the Horseman. KD Kuro is the musical project of Kwame Boateng, a Kansas City based rapper. He was born in Arlington, Virginia, and graduated from Olathe South High School in 2008. After attending Coffeyville Community College Kwame as KD Kuro started his rap career in 2012 and has been cultivating and refining his sound over the course of the last 5 years. Kwame grew up with musical influences like N.E.R.D and Missy Elliot that helped to mold the music he creates. His debut album was co-produced by Chase the Horseman and Nathan “Geesace” Gisecke. KD Kuro’s debut album is available at: http://www.kwamekuro.bandcamp.com] [KD Kuro Kwame Boateng & Chase The Horseman joined us live on WMM on Aug 2, 2017.]
  1. Phylshawn – “Change the World”
    from: Soul Heart / Nation of Love / September 25, 2020
    [Columbia, MO based Phylshawn Johnson is a singer, songwriter, drummer with the band Violet and the Undercurrents. She is also a teacher, producer, engineer, label manager for The Nation of Love Records. In 2009, Johnson started an independent label, The Nation of Love, as a way to give artists such as herself, Violet Vonder Haar, Ruth Acuff, and other songwriters a place to create freely and have the support of a musical community. With her partner Violet Vonder Haar, Phylshawn Johnson is also a cofounder of the band Violet and the Undercurrents who last year released the critically acclaimed album The Captain, on March 1, 2019. Phylshawn also previously released the EP Across The Tracks on August 9, 2014. ]
  1. The Buhs – “Can’t Let Go”
    from: Can’t Let Go – Single / The Buhs / January 13, 2016
    [The Buhs was a Kansas City based Pop/Soul/Hip-Hop super-group that included, singers: Julia Haile, Lee Langston, Anthony Saunders, emcees: Reach, Les Izmore, and Ryan J. Lee on drums, Hermon Mehari on trumpet, Ben Leifer on bass, Tim Braun on guitar, Brad Williams on drums and Kinyon Price on percussion. In Nov. of 2015 the band shot a music video for “Can’t Let Go” in Paris. More info at: http://www.thebuhs.com Julia Haile was our guest on WMM on Oct. 18, 2017]

10:26 – Pledge Break #2

WMM’s Winter Fund Drive Show with Marion Merritt & Betse Ellis.

Today on WMM we are celebrating Black History Month with music from over 25 of our favorite Black MidCoastal Artists. MidCoastal is the name of 90.1 FM KKFI’s non-profit organization and governing body. MidCoastal is where we are, on the coasts of the Missouri and Kansas Rivers with a music community that spans the Kansas City Metro region and west to Lawrence and Topeka and south to Olathe and east to Columbia and North to St Joseph. Not necessarily the reach of our 100,000 watt signal but definitely the reach of our community. Wednesday MidDay Medley 90.1 FM was the first radio show and first radio station to ever play many if these amazing musical artists. WMM was the first to play the recordings of: Calvin Arsenia, and Madisen Ward and the Mama Bear, and Krystle Warren, and The Black Creatures and KD Kuro. We were the first to interview them live on the radio and bring their music to a wider audience.

10:34 – Underwriting

  1. Krystle Warren – “Born In The Fall”
    from: A Time to Keep Love Songs EP / Parlour Door Music / August 12, 2011
    [Originally from KC, Krystle learned to play the guitar by listening to Rubber Soul & Revolver from The Beatles. Krystle graduated from Paseo Arts Academy in 2001 and began her musical career in collaborating with area jazz and pop musicians. After living in San Francisco and NYC, Krystle was signed to a French label, Because Music, and moved to Paris to release “Circles” in 2009. Krystle played French and British television programs, including Later with Jools Holland, garnering critical acclaim and traveling all over the world with Rufus Wainwright, Nick Cave, Norah Jones, and Joan As Police Woman. Krystle created, Parlour Door Music, to release “Love Songs: A Time You May Embrace” a recording from a 13-day session in Brooklyn, where she recorded 24 songs live with 28 musicians including her band, The Faculty, alongside choirs, horn and string sections. // Krystle Warren & The Crew released THE CREW, on September 15, 2020. Through isolation came unity. The Crew is Lakecia Benjamin, Matthew Silberman, Jacob Snider, Joe Blaxx, Solomon Dorsey, Zach Djanikian, Cassorla, Krystle Warren, and Ben Kane. They have recorded unique versions of classic songs with the hope of encouraging the rallying cries of The Moment: the movement of the people. // In the lockdown of their homes, they sewed together their interpretations of “Bein’ Green” (based upon Ray Charles’ rendition); “Gimme Some Truth” (a mighty John Lennon composition); “Dear Landlord” (a scathing indictment from the blistering pen of Bob Dylan); and “Rhythm of Life”, (a timeless statement originally performed by Oleta Adams). // A portion of the proceeds from The Crew. EP will be donated to the various causes and organizations. From Billboard.com: Singer-songwriter Krystle Warren has made a powerful statement about the struggle for Black equality with the help of Kermit the Frog’s iconic song “Bein’ Green” (written by Joe Raposo). // The moving five-minute clip, over which Warren sings her rendition of the 1970 song — since recorded by Ray Charles, Frank Sinatra and others — sprang from a covers EP she recorded during the pandemic with a group of musicians known as The Crew. Warren embarked on the project after her forthcoming album with her regular group, The Faculty, was put on hold due to COVID-19. The EP, which tackles themes of racial injustice in the wake of nationwide Black Lives Matter protests this summer, also includes a cover of John Lennon’s “Gimme Some Truth.” // The “Bein’ Green” video weaves in footage of this year’s Black Lives Matter protests, and also includes a heartbreaking montage of young Black children choosing white dolls over dark-skinned ones. It additionally features archival footage of such transformative Black figures as James Baldwin, Angela Davis, Malcom X, Nina Simone, Marsha P. Johnson and Al Sharpton, as well as victims of police brutality including Sandra Bland, George Floyd and Eric Garner. It ends with a clip from a speech by civil rights activist Ella Baker. // “‘Bein’ Green,’ it’s such a gorgeous song, and it says so, so much,” says Warren. “I began thinking about what I wanted it to express visually before we started [recording the song]. Essentially — it’s not easy being Black. That’s what Ray Charles was saying, and we felt it needed to be said again.” // Warren, who now resides in Paris, began performing in her native Kansas City at the age of 16 before moving to New York City, where she started busking on the streets and later formed her regular band, The Faculty. She and the group have recorded several full-length albums, including 2009’s Circles, 2012’s Love Songs and 2017’s Three the Hard Way. Her next album is slated for release this winter. // A large percentage of proceeds from sales of the EP — which is available for digital downloads via Warren’s website now and released on all streaming platforms next Friday — will be donated to the ACLU. Krystle Warren joined us live on WMM on September 23, 2020. She has appeared as a guest on 13 WMMs.]
  1. BLKFLANL – “Keep Me Safe (clean)”
    from: BLKFLANL II: For the Imperfect, for the Dilligent / Believe.Create / March 30, 2016
    [BLKFLANL is a rap group from KCMO that started as a debut recording from Barrell Maker aka Morgan Cooper, who was 24 at the time of this release and grew up in a lower middle class neighborhood in Grandview, Missouri. He first started writing poetry and music in middle school and after high school he began apprenticeships in film and photography. He recorded and released his debut record Blk Flanl, with area producer and hip hop artist D/Will, (Denzil Williams). Now the two have returned as group named BLKFLANL with MC: Barrel Maker and beats from Conductor Williams. More info at: http://www.blkflanl.com Since his work in BLKFLANL Morgan Cooper is now based in Kansas City, Missouri and Los Angeles, California, where he is working as a film director with a unique voice, clear vision, and a passion for every aspect of storytelling. His film “U Shoot Video” was selected to be a finalist for the 2020 Tribeca Film Festival X Award. Morgan Cooper gain international acclaim for his short film “Bel-Air” that reimagined “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air” and a television drama. Cooper was recently signed to Creative Arts Agency and also Darren Arronofsky’s Chromista. Morgan Cooper recently signed a development deal as writer, director and executive producer for “Black Coffee,” a new single camera comedy, produced by actress Gabrielle Union and Sony Pictures. Cooper’s influences range from fine art, jazz, and hip hop, to the works of photographers Roy DeCarava and Gordon Parks. His Midwest roots and wide array of experiences growing up in Kansas City, Missouri also resonate throughout his work. Morgan Cooper is a graduate of Artist Inc. Cooper is committed to combining art with purpose by using his voice as a filmmaker to positively impact under-represented communities. Info at: http://www.morgancooperdp.com Mark interviewed Morgan Cooper on April 22, 2020.]
  1. Khrystal. – “M e L A N i N P o P P i N”
    from: Q u a r t e r C e n t u r y L i v i n g / Khrystal. / September 1, 2017
    [Khrystal’s debut EP. Written and performed by Khrystal. Produced by Katheryne Johnson. Khrystal Coppage is Editor-in-Chief of Khorage Magazine. She served as Production Manager at UMKC University News from 2015 to 2016. She graduated from UMKC in 2016 where she studied Family Studies. She graduated from Kansas City Kansas Community College in 2013. She is a graduate of Sumner Academy of Arts & Science, in KCK. http://mixtapemonkey.com/2073/khrystal-q-u-a-r-t-e-r-c-e-n-t-u-r-y-l-i-v-i-n-g. Khrystal also released the three song EP, The Glow Up produced by Duncan Burnett on November 7, 2017. // Khrystal. released the single “Magic” on August 8, 2020 through Manor Records. “Magic” was then released on limited edition cassette singles with her single “You Again” as a B-Side. Info at: khrystalwithakh.bandcamp.com Khrystal was our guest on WMM on August 5, 2020.]
  1. Cuee – “Ain’t Going Back (feat. Joel Leoj)” [Radio Edit] from: Ain’t Going Back (feat. Joel Leoj) – Single / Cuee / February 14, 2021
    [Follow up to “Who’s Back “ single released August 12, 2020. Originally from Chicago, Illinois, Cuee is a 27 year old Lawrence based hip-hop artist emcee, and educator. In the last 5 years Cuee has wowed audiences in Lawrence and KC for his critically acclaimed musical releases and live performances. Cuee exhibits an energetic and fun, yet smooth and motivational edge to his style of music. Drawing major influence from hip-hop artists such as Jay Z, Kanye West and Chance The Rapper, one could see why his storytelling essence fuses with harmonic flows. His fan favorites include Shook, Blessed, and Feeling Lucky from Cuee’s 2018 album, Shameless. Cuee is currently working to release an new album titled, “Gospel.”Cuee received his Master’s Degree in Higher Education Administration from the University of Kansas. Cuee is also a recently graduate of Artist Inc. Cuee was our guest on WMM on August 12, 2020 and will be back on the show on March 3, 2021 to share music from his new album! More info at: http://www.officialcuee.com ]

10:48 – Pledge Break #3

WMM’s Winter Fund Drive Show with Marion Merritt & Betse Ellis.

Our most played artist last year was Krystle Warren. Mark first interviewed Krystle on KKFI in early 2002. During a winter snow storm, at a party where Krystle played with longtime friend Solomon Dorsey on bass, in a packed, smoke filled apartment, near Community Christian Church, Mark waited hours for a 2 song demo, that contained a song called “Chanel #5.” Krystle has since gone on to tour all over the world, but maintains contact with her hometown of KC. Krystle’s critically acclaimed album, Three The Hard Way was #1 on WMM’s 117 Best Recordings of 2017. WMM was the first to play tracks from Krystle’s album. Last month Krystle released the new 4-song EP The Crew, with unique versions of classic songs with the hope of encouraging the rallying cries of The Moment: the movement of the people. Krystle has been a guest on 13 WMM Shows.

KKFI’s Mission Statement: KKFI is the Kansas City area’s independent, noncommercial community radio station. We seek to stimulate, educate and entertain our audience, to reflect the diversity of the local and world community, and to provide a channel for individuals and groups, issues and music that have been overlooked, suppressed or under-represented by other media.

KKFI’s Philosophy Statement: KKFI is committed to diversity in programming and discourse and seeks to create a climate of mutual respect and collaboration among volunteers and staff.


  1. Calvin Arsenia – “Experience”
    from: Catastrophe / Calvin Arsenia / February 14, 2017
    [Calvin Arsenia premiered these songs in a live show at recordBar in November 2016 in a stage show that involved a company of 50 people, dancers, stilt walkers, special lighting, back up singers, guest artists. Born in Orlando, Florida, Calvin’s creative journey really began when he moved to the KC suburb of Olathe, teaching himself the guitar, and eventually the harp. He learned his signature instrument at the age of 20 after he couldn’t find a harpist as determined as him to meld folk, rock, classical, rap and R&B into the irresistible fusion which has become his calling card in the Kansas City music scene and beyond. His passion for stretching the boundaries of musical expression saw him transform a trip to Edinburgh, Scotland’s Fringe Festival early in his career into a life-changing music mission, with an Edinburgh church offering him a role as musical liaison between the church and the city that would change his life. Two years and 300 shows later, Calvin returned to Kansas City reborn as a humanistic songwriter/performer whose impassioned and conceptual stage shows (regularly sold-out in Kansas City, currently catching fire on the West Coast with a diverse following across Europe), are collaborative, costumed-culture-bridging spectacles which In KC Magazine has hailed as ‘equal parts opera, symphony, musical theatre, rock show, all built around its creator: a charismatic 6-foot-6-inch harpist with a natural stage command and knack for gilding gold and painting lilies.’ Since Calvin Arsenia came home to KC after living in Edinburgh, Scotland, he has released his EP, Moments, in 2014, and his EP Prose in 2015, and his Folk Alliance exclusive EP Catastrophe in 2016. His full length album Catastrophe on February 14, 2017, His EP Caviar in Novenber 2017. Calvin’s 2018 national debut, Cantaloupe, was released on September 15, 2018 on Center Cut Records. On June 28, 2019 Calvin released Honeydew, an EP including a remix of three songs from Cantaloupe. On September 20, 2019 Calvin released LA Sessions. On December 13, 2019 Calvin released his full length Christmas album “all is calm.” Calvin is also a graduate of Artist INC. Since 2014 we have been celebrating the music of Calvin Arsenia. He has played Folk Alliance International, Kansas City Fringe Fest, The Nelson Atkins Museum of Art, The Kauffman Center For The Performing Arts, The Middle of the Map Fest., The Folly Theatre. Calvin was first on WMM on July 25, 2012. He has appeared live on 16 shows, most recently on October 14, 2020]

11:00 – Station ID

  1. The Phantastics – “Heartbreaker”
    from: Life of the Party – EP / Kemet Creative / August 24, 2018
    [Eight member band from Kansas City formed in December 0f 2010 made up of: Kemet the Phantom on lead vocals; Kim “Phirst Lady” Newsome on lead vocals; JJ Cantrell on lead guitar & vocals; Danny Florez on electric bass; Ashley Thompson on drums, Ernest Melton on saxophone; Ryan Davis on Trombone and rap vocals; Austin Quick on keyboards. The Phantastics specialize in genre-blending dance floor activators. In 2015, the music group was crowned “Kansas City’s best party band” by the Kansas City Star. Musicianship and diversity are at the core of their success. Rock, Rap, Dance, Funk, Jazz and Soul are all incorporated into their music. “The band that can do it all”, according to I Heart Local Music, has shared the stage with some of music’s most legendary acts including George Clinton and the Parliament Funkadelic. Kemet Coleman and Kadesh Flow have been frequent guests on WMM most recently on October 21, 2020.]
  1. Madisen Ward and the Mama Bear – “Walk In The Park”
    from: Radio Winners – EP / Glassnote Records / July 27. 2018
    [Madisen Ward and the Mama Bear signed with Glassnote Records and recorded their debut full length album in Nashville with acclaimed producer Jim Abiss. They performed their debut single “Silent Movies” on The Late Show with David Letterman, they’ve toured across the United States, and Europe, more than once. They were featured on CBS Sunday Morning, NBC’s The Today Show, and “Later With Jools Holland and played Bonnaroo, Pilgramage, the Newport Folk Festival, and the Ryman Theatre, in Nashville. Ruth Ward has continually performed throughout her life, mostly in coffee shops and open mics, for over 30 years, even recording a solo record. In the midst of this she got married and became a mom, and was busy raising a family. Madisen Ward was born in Oklahoma, and grew up in the outskirts of KCMO. He graduated from William Chrisman High School in 2007. Madisen’s journey to become a musician, was “melodically passed down” through the songs of his mother, where Madisen grew up watching his mom perform at local coffee shops. Eventually he began to learn to play the guitar, and poured his talent for writing into the music to create original songs. They began playing Madisen’s original songs along with the occassional cover of a classic track, reinterpreted in their own incredibly beautiful performace of two voices and two guitars in harmony and orchestration. Their debut album, The Skeleton Crew, was released May 9, 2015 and was our most played record that year and was #1 on WMM’s The 115 Best Recordings of 2015. On Sept. 6, 2019 Madisen Ward and The Mama Bear followed up RADIO WINNERS with their independently released album STARTED WITH A FAMILY oroduced with Grammy-winner Nathan Chapman at iconic Blackbird Studios in Nashville. We first played Madisen Ward and the Mama Bear on May 8, 2013. They have appeared live on WMM seven times from 2013 to most recently on September 4, 2019.]

11:06 – Pledge Break #4

WMM’s Winter Fund Drive Show with Marion Merritt & Betse Ellis.

KKFI is an Independent, non-commercial radio station. We offer programs specifically produced for the LGBTQIA Community, Women’s Issues, Native American News and Culture, Middle Eastern Music and Information, Latino Programming, African American Public Affairs and Community News, Labor and Worker’s Unions, our prison population and justice system, environmental programming, Visual and Literary Arts, and Performing Arts. 90.1 offers 104 different radio programs. 76 of these programs are locally, produced, hosted, engineered and written by over 100 different people, who create content, and personally handcraft each show, each week. There are 55 local music shows and 21 locally produce News, Public Affairs, Arts & Talk shows.

You will not find this kind of representative diversity anywhere else on your radio dial. Or from any singular source on your computer. It is very special. It needs to be nourished and kept alive in a world of corporate, nationally owned, commercial or religious broadcasting.

Not only do we bring the most diverse and unfiltered news and information, but our musical playlists are deep, and comprehensive. In one week you can hear over 2000 different songs played, in Blues, Jazz, Folk, Hip Hop, Reggae, Classical, World, Americana, Southern Soul, Fusion, Soul, Rock, New Wave, Electronic, Native, Local, Old Timey, Rockabilly, Women’s, Children’s, Gospel, and Experimental. With all of this, you hear the voices from the hundreds of KKFI volunteers, and thousands of guests from the community, who share their stories, broadcast live from our non-commercial, midtown studios, at 39th & Main, in the center of our metro, across two states, a collective of communities, and thousands of listeners.


  1. Radkey – “Stains”
    from: Green Room / Little Man Records / November 27, 2020
    [On Green Room the band serve as their own producers. On April 7, 2020 Radkey released a 2 minute cover of “Ain’t No Sunshine” written by Bill Withers who died in 2020. The band released singles “Underground” on November 27, and “Seize” on November 29, 2020. Isaiah, Dee, and Solomon Radke of the critically acclaimed rock trio Radkey joined us live in our 90.1 FM studios on September 5, 2018. Radkey was formed in 2010 in St. Joseph, where the brothers were raised. The family moved to Kansas City. The band has released two full-length recordings — “Dark Black Makeup” in 2015 and “Delicious Rock Noise” in 2016 — plus multiple EPs and singles, and were part of a MasterCard advertising campaign on digital billboards in NYC along with a national television commercial that aired during the 2018 Grammy Awards that brought the band to the attention of Jack White who asked the band to tour with him. In 2018 the band went back on the road with The Damned throughout the United States. In December they went back into the studio to record with producer Bill Stevenson of the California punk rock group Descendents. In early 2019 they played shows in Amsterdam and Stockholm. In 2018 the band released “Basement,” “St. Elwood,” “Rock & Roll Homeschool,” as well as several other singles. On February 22, 2019, Radkey released “No Strange Cats…P.A.W.” a 7-song EP is essentially a collection of the band’s most recent singles. It comes after the January 11, 2019 release of No Strange cats…Spiders – EP a 6 song EP of several new songs mixed with several singles from late 2018. Radkey joined us live on WMM on Sept. 5, 2018.]
  1. Kemet Coleman – “Black Is Beautiful”
    from: Black Is Beautiful / Kemet Creative / August 1, 2020
    [Crane Brewing, partnered with rap artist, urbanist and beer lover, Kemet Coleman for their latest brew, Black is Beautiful, highlighted by a musical release, also called Black is Beautiful, written and performed by Coleman. The new Imperial Stout, part of the Black Is Beautiful initiative created by Weathered Soul’s Brewing, will be released in cans and sold at liquor stores in Missouri, Kansas, Iowa and Nebraska starting August 1, 2020. All proceeds will be donated to G.I.F.T (Generating Income for Tomorrow), a Kansas City-based non-profit with a goal to provide grants to Black owned businesses in Kansas City, with a specific interest in businesses that operate in low income areas. Music written, composed and produced by Kemet Coleman. Kemet Coleman is a Kansas City based musicians and is a member of the Hip-Hop duo COA (Center of Attention) and is the lead singer of the Funk/Rap/Soul band The Phantastics. Kemet is also a core element of The Marcus Lewis Big Band for Brass & Boujee. Kemet is a two time Pitch Music Award nominee for “Best Hip-Hop Act.” Kemet is known for his unprecedented collaborations with UMKC, KC Streetcar and The Kansas City Royals. He is also highly regarded for his impresario role within the Sly James for Mayor Campaign in the 2010-2011 where he created the first ever KC mayoral candidate rap song. A University of Missouri – Kansas City alumnus, Kemet, created “Gold and Blue” for UMKC’s sports teams, which has garnered thousands of plays on YouTube and has been featured on prime-time television commercials for the university. Earlier this year Coleman contributed his song, “The Virus” to the compilation, Kansas City Syzygy, music created by over 25 Kansas City-based musicians in the middle of the map of a pandemic. “The Virus” is his comment on the impact of the coronavirus, as well as the virus that is racial injustice in America that has received global attention during the past months. All proceeds donated to KC Tenants, a local nonprofit organized to ensure that everyone has a safe, accessible, affordable home. Kemet Coleman has been a frequent guest on WMM most recently on October 21, 2020.]
  1. Crystal Rose – “Come Alive”
    from: “Come Alive” – Single / Crystal Rose / May 6, 2016
    [Debut single from Crystal Rose is a singer song-writer based in heart of Kansas City. Last year she was featured on the nationally televised NBC reality – competition program, The Voice. At a young age she was influenced by powerhouse vocalist like Whitney Houston, Celine Dion and Christina Aguilera. She has since drawn much inspiration from blues and folk centered artist like James Bay, James Vincent McMorrow and Johnny Swim. Earlier in 2020 Crystal released the single “Not Leaving (Stripped)” on January 30, 2020. Crystal released her EP Arena on September 18, 2020. Crystal is a Kansas City based singer songwriter and UMKC journalism student who has played solo and has also performed with Paige Turner on guitar. To listen to more Crystal Rose please visit: http://www.crystalro.se ]
  1. Approach – “Stones [feat. Joe Good & SKU]”
    from: Merely, Minutes In A Day {Section 2: Antique Mall} / Datura Records / Dec. 4, 2020.
    [Produced, Sequenced, Recorded, Photography, Mixed & Mastered By: Aikido Bray. Approach writes: “Antique Mall” is fitting title for a album that has sat in the vault over 5 years. When the recording of this album was finished, I realized it didn’t compliment the sonics of the season. I felt like waiting until the sonic coloring matched the vibration of the times would be the best move. 5 years later a time capsule of love is ready to be revealed. Please enjoy your tour around of my “Antique Mall.” More info at: http://www.daturarecords.bandcamp.com/album/merely-minutes-in-a-day-section-2-antique-mall // Joe Good is Jamal Gamby one half of the the critically acclaimed hip hop band Sounds Good with producer musician beat maker Miles Bonny. Both gentlemen retired their Sounds Good project after two albums and several singles, to start families and become fathers. //This new Approach release is a Follow up to Merely Minutes, In A Day from Datura Records released February 4, 2019. Produced, Sequenced, Recorded, Photography, Mixed & Mastered By: Aikido Bray. Artwork & Design By: The Art My Life Imitates. Legendary Kanss based emcee/producer Approach is Sean Hunt who’s been in the game for almost 20 years. He’s released almost a dozen records and traveled the world over the span of his career. He’s also the cofounder of Datura Records, a hip hop label started in 2000 that he helps curate the roster for. ]

11:26 – Pledge Break #5

WMM’s Winter Fund Drive Show with Marion Merritt & Betse Ellis.

Not only does this show interview 150 guest each year, not only do we play nearly 900 different songs with more than half of those being locally produced, but we also shine a light on area not-for-profit theatre companies, art museums & galleries, area festivals, service organizations, area record labels and record stores, the area music scene, arts scene, theatre scene, literary arts scene, political action scene.

In just this past year, we’ve featured segments shining a light on:, The Kauffman Center for The Performing Arts, UMKC Conservatory of Music, MidCoast Takeover, Spinning Tree Theatre, Coterie Thetre, The Pitch Kansas City, Owen Cox Dance Group, Bandwaggin KC, KC Bands Together, The Green Line Initiative, Black Lives Matter, The Queer Narratives Festival, KC Bass Workshop, Kansas City Syzygy, The Record Machine, Mills Record Company, Records With Merritt, High Dive Records, Center Cut Records, Manor Records, Polyvinyl Records, Lost Cowgirl Records, Sunflower Soul Records, KC Irish Fest, The Crossroads Music fest, MixMaster Music Conference, Too Much Rock, Midwest Music Foundation, Apocalypse Meow, filmmaker Morgan Cooper, Charlotte Street Foundation, Inter Urban Arthouse, Lemonade Park, The Brick, recordBar, Weights and Measure Sound Lab, Troost Festival.

11:33 – Underwriting

  1. They Call Me Sauce – “Make You Sing [feat. Love, Mae C]”
    from: Make You Sing – Single / I Got The Sauce / March 27, 2020
    [One of 5 Singles released last year from They Call Me Sauce. Produced by D. Professor. Recorded at I Got The Sauce Studios & Woodgrain Productions. Mixed & mastered by Tony at Woodgrain ProductionsRoyce “Sauce” Handy is a rapper, a songwriter, a beat maker, a designer, a teacher, an MC, a business owner, a social media manager, a husband, a father., a community organizer. He has worked with the AdHoc Group Against Crime, Teens in Transition, Storytellers Inc., Arts Tech, Mid-America Regional Council, UMKC, Rep. Brandon Ellington, former Mayor Sly James. He is co-owner of The Rap Asylum, We are RAP, and owner of Melanin Connoisseur. Sauce has collaborated with visual artists, and the hip hop community. In 2017 Sauce released his EP, Summer Sauce, part of WMM’s 117 Best Recordings of 2017. In 2018 Sauce released Soul Food 4. In 2019 his collective NuBvckCity w/ Kartez Marcel, Mae C, & VP3 released “All Night” / “Alive”. This was #1 on WMM’s 39 Favorite Singles of 2019. Sauce was on WMM on April 29, 2020]
  1. The Black Creatures – “wretched (it goes)”
    from: “wretched (it goes)” – Single / Center Cut Records / July 17, 2020 [remastered]
    [“wretched (it goes)” was originally released on The Black Creatures 2019 album Wild Echoes. Recently released as a single in collaboration with Center Cut Records who remixed a few of the songs, and added some new vocals, and remastered the album. Although it is basically the same record, the sound quality is improved. Center Cut Records plan to release the full remastered album on August 28 2020. The Black Creatures are Jade Green & Xavier Martin. The band joined us on the radio on the August 26 edition of WMM. “Wild Echoes” was #2 in WMM’s 119 Favorite Releases of 2019 (Albums & EPs). Since the release of ”Wild Echoes” the band has released seven entirely new songs, nearly one per month, all posted to their bandcamp page. The Black Creatures fuse dark-pop hip-hop, soul, jazz, and electronic music with elements from science fiction to tell inter-dimensional stories of love, community, life, culture, history. Xavier & Jade have made an impression in the KC music community with their live shows in clubs, galleries, record stores, and area music festivals. The Black Creatures released their debut single “Mouth 2 Mouth” June 5, 2016. They released the album, See No Evil, December 6, 2017. The duo released the singles, “Elements” February 14, 2018; “Silver Tears” June 19. 2018; “Dare” a Gorillaz cover August 8, 2019. They released the album “Wild Echoes” September 30, 2019. The Black Creatures released the singles “Turn” October 30, 2019; “Quartz (Twilight)” November 13, 2019; “SHINE” December 11, 2019; Ghost Bustin’ Dead Prezidentz” January 8, 2020; “To Whom It May Concern” January 22, 2020; “Arcade Love” February 5, 2020; and “Run Up” Feb. 19, 2020. The Black Creatures joined us live on WMM on August 26, 2020]
  1. We The People – “Misunderstood”
    from: Misunderstood / Eddie Moore Music / September 25, 2020
    [Eddie Moore on piano, Rhodes, synth, keyboards, & bass; Jason Emmond – on bass; Zach Morrow on drums; Andrew Baile on guitar; Keith Rodgers; Angle Gibson on vocals “Enough”; Rane Raps- “The Truth”; Lucero on vocals “The Truth”; Andrew McGhie on tenor sax “Round Up”. “Worst Nights” Produced by Jason Emmond/ Eddie Moore. Recorded at Make Believe Studios by Keith Rodgers. Mix & Mastered by Rick Carson. Executive Producers: Eddie Moore and Amilcar “PRO” Welton. Album Art by Adrian Truth. This is for all the times we are misunderstood and mean the best for people. This is for times pain and fear were swallowed and a unique beauty emerged. The times that struggle became a culture, a new identity for the land of the free. The idea of Freedom and the celebration of individuality. Eddie Moore is the recipient of the 2016 Charlotte Street Generative Performance Award for his genre bending collaborations. Raised in Houston Texas, he began his musical journey at Texas Southern University where he later earned a Bachelors in Arts and immersed himself in the Houston music scene. Eddie relocated to Kansas City to study under Bobby Watson at the University of Missouri-Kansas City where he received a M.A in Jazz Studies. 2017’s Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art “Artist in Residence” in collaboration with Rashid Johnson. In 2018 his work with The Outer Circle was nominated for an Indie Music Award for “007”. His music has also been featured commercially for Sprint, Netflix’s “Queer Eye”, and Morgan Cooper’s short film “Room Tone”. Moore’ has shared the stage and record with distinctive artist such as Bobby Watson, Pam, Watson, Logan Richardson, Maurice Brown, Boys II Men, Brian Blade and the Fellowship, John Baptiste, Erykah Badu, Mosdef, Bilal, Ledisi, Chantae Cann, Krystal Warren, Matt Otto, Brandon Draper, Andre Hayward, Tivon Pennicott, Various Blonde, Dominique Sanders, 77 Jefferson, and the Marcus Lewis Big Band. We the People is a genre-defying quartet comprised of keyboardist Eddie Moore, bassist/producer Jason Emmond, drummer Zach Morrow, and turntablist/producer Kethro. Eddie Moore joined us live on WMM on September 23, 2020.]
  1. Eems – “Make Up On Your Scars”
    from: Dreems / Independent / June 26, 2018
    [Eems is Phillip Jackson, a KC based ukulele loop artist, singer songwriter, rapper, pianist, drummer, The resonance of his bright musical sounds, and lyrical calls, are woven through genres of folk, hip hop, pop, and dance influences. He has shared the stage with notable hop hop artists, and KC Folk Music Fest, Middle of The Map Fest. For Eems, a ukulele is a jumping off point that leads to an uncharted and often unpredictable world of sound and inspiration. Blending it with loops and effects to achieve a captivating blend of R&B and pop music, Eems has used his unique sounds, voice and sense of humor to reach crowds across the country. Eems has opened up for” Slick Rick The Ruler and GLC form Kanye West’s G.O.O.D music label. Eems released four single tracks in 2020 including “Middle” on May 4, 2020, and the two song release “Spacelord” on February 29, 2020 and “Unbreakable” on October 11. Eems started 2020 with the 8-song release, SWEET DREEMS, on January 10. Eems released his EP, DREEMS, on June 26, 2018. Eems released the EP, ROCKET SHIP on August 11, 2017, and IIID on June 17, 2016. More at: http://www.theonlyeems.bigcartel.com]

11:47 – Pledge Break #6

WMM’s Winter Fund Drive Show with Marion Merritt & Betse Ellis.

KKFI offers 24-7 programming, and YOU (the listener), basically get all of this amazing programming for “free.” I, for one, love that I can turn on my radio, or computer device, and tune into the 90.1 FM’s 100, 000 watt, crystal-clear signal, and hear the music, information, news, entertainment, events, and stories, that I really cannot find anywhere else. 90.1 is my comfort, my special companion, my interesting friend, introducing me to all kinds of new & local music, as well as the news & information without the intrusion of commercials. It is radio brought to YOU by real people, who create these shows out of love, and are guided by KKFI’s noble mission that “seeks to stimulate, educate and entertain our audience, to reflect the diversity of the local and world community, and to provide a channel for individuals and groups, issues and music that have been overlooked, suppressed or under-represented by other media.”

Driving in your car, at the office, at the gym, in your garage, in your cubicle, in your artspace, on your iPod, at your construction site, in your kitchen, in your barn, YOU can take 90.1 with you, as your companion. 90.1 FM is generally a good date. Good for a few laughs, fun to dance with, always interested in good conversation. Isn’t 90.1 FM KKFI worth a few dollars a day, or a week? So many people tune in to http://www.kkfi.org everyday, but studies show, that less than 1 percent actually donate to keep this miracle of broadcasting alive. Your support means that you will help bring this programming to folks who could not donate at this time, for whatever the reason.


  1. The Freedom Affair – “Rise Up”
    from: Freedom is Love / Sunflower Soul Records / September 25, 2020
    [“Freedom Is Love” is the debut album from Kansas City’s newest soul juggernaut, The Freedom Affair. The album explores themes of love, heartache, empowerment, and togetherness through a varying landscape of hard-hitting funk, luscious soul, and everything in between. The Freedom Affair is a unique collective featuring 3 powerhouse female vocalists in front of a dynamic 6-piece band. On “Freedom Is Love”, each of the ladies get their time to shine individually, but the magic is on full display when all 3 come together in unison and harmony, symbolically embodying the messages that they sing about. The album was recorded and produced by Chris Hazelton, utilizing the best of vintage and new recording technologies to create an authentic experience, befitting of a soul record that would have been relevant 50 years ago as much as it will be 50 years from now. The Freedom Affair is: Misha Roberts on vocals; Paula Saunders on vocals; Seyko Groves on vocals; Cole Bales on guitar, sitar (Track 3); Branden Moser on guitar; Chris Hazelton on bass guitar, organ (Tracks 1, 2, 9, & 10), Tambourine (Track 1), Glockenspiel (Track 3), & Chimes (Track 4); Dave Brick on drums; Pete Carroll on trumpet; Brett Jackson on tenor sax, baritone sax (Tracks 1 & 5), & tambourine (Tracks 5, 6, & 8). Additional Musicians: Pat Conway on Congas (Tracks 1, 3, & 6), Alyssa Bell on viola (Tracks 3, 4, & 7), Elizabeth Codd on violin (Tracks 3 & 4), Matt Bennett on violin (Tracks 3 & 7), John Wickersham on timpani (Track 4), Pamela Baskin-Watson on piano (Track 10), Nick Howell on tambourine (Track 10), The Freedom Family Choir (Track 10): Misha Roberts, Erica Hazelton, Seyko Groves, Paula Saunders, Jordyn Saunders, Cole Bales, and Chris Hazelton. All Horn & String Arrangements by Chris Hazelton except: “Heartaches Don’t Come Easy” and “Give A Little Love” by Pete Carroll & Brett Jackson
    “Don’t Shoot” by Chris Hazelton & Allyssa Bell. Produced, Recorded, & Mixed by Chris Hazelton. Assistant Produced by Dave Brick. Rhythm Section on Track 10 recorded by Chad Meise. Mastered by JJ Golden. Cover Artwork by Matthew “Mo” Manley. Front cover photograph of civil rights protesters in Kansas City, MO (April 9th, 1968). The Freedom Affair and their track “Rise Up” were selected to be part of Colemine Records 3xLP box set, “Soul Slabs Vol. 2” a Record Store Day Exclusive, released April 13, 2019. Colemine writes: “The Freedom Affair is a freight train of KC soul! Dirty, funky drums, gritty horns, and the combined vocals of Misha Roberts, Seyko Groves, and Paula Saunders to put this band over the top. Politically charged soul music for the dancefloor!” Chris Hazelton joined us on WMM on September 16, 2020.]
  1. Noel Coward – “The Party’s Over Now”
    from: Noel Coward in New York / drg / 2003 [orig. 1957]

Next week on Wednesday, February 24, Marion Merritt returns at Guest Producer to share new musical discoveries from her musically encyclopedic brain.

Our Script/Playlist is a “cut and paste” of information.
Sources for notes: artist’s websites, bios, wikipedia.org

Wednesday MidDay Medley in on the web:

Show #877