On the Hunt for Black Gold!

KTSW is home to a wide variety of specialty shows that are aired throughout the week. Local listeners can enjoy anything and everything from Texas country to death metal. One particular show, however, brings something familiar, yet also new to “the other side of radio.”

Nick Kukowski, an electronic media senior, hosts a show called “ ’Illbilly Ruckus” which airs every Friday night from 10 p.m. to 12 a.m. Those who tune in would hear the upbeat, country “jangle” of past and present rockabilly artists. Older rockabilly artists might include famous Texan Buddy Holly, Elvis Presley, or Jerry Lee Lewis. More recent examples of rockabilly artists include Flametrick Subs and Mr.Lewis and the Funeral 5, both of which originated, and still play shows, in Austin.

Rockabilly was destined to breakthrough as a popular genre in 1953 when Elvis Presley walked into Sun Records in Memphis, TN and made his first recording, according to Billy Poore in his book Rockabilly: A Forty-Year Journey.

So what exactly is rockabilly?

Kukowski said rockabilly is defined by not only the “boogie” sound of the music itself, but also by the content of the lyrics. Oftentimes, rockabilly artists or bands will portray themselves as rebels, outlaws or “good-for-nothin’ law-breakin’ scoundrels.” Examples of specific rockabilly songs would be “Jailhouse Rock” by Elvis Presley or “Jump, Jive an’ Wail” by Brian Setzer of Stray Cats.

Many people are fans of this genre still today. They are simply unfamiliar with the term “rockabilly”, which is exactly why Kukowski chose to deejay this type of specialty show.

“I just thought it would be something cool and different,” said Kukowski. “It’s something that people enjoy, but maybe don’t know much about.”

He said he hopes to influence more people to listen to rockabilly by playing some of the genre’s best artists, and also by giving band information and details prior to each song.

Before ‘Illibilly Ruckus, he hosted a metal show called “Razor’s Edge” from Fall ‘06-Fall ’07, and he has been involved in many areas of KTSW in his time here at Texas State.

Kukowski said he does take song requests, but only beforehand because he makes the show’s playlists ahead of time. Requests can be emailed to hillbillyruckus@gmail.com, and more information about the show can be obtained at ktsw.net or myspace.com/illbillyruckus.

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