After 13 years broadcasting on Kootenay Co-op Radio, Eva De Foor recorded what may be her final episode of Pickin’ & Grinnin‘.
De Foor’s show, which featured bluegrass and old-time music from Canada and around the world, was part of KCR’s original roster when it was first starting up in 1999.
She said goodbye to her loyal listeners with a special farewell show on Tuesday, where she reminisced with her guests about the great times they’ve had on Pickin’ & Grinnin’.
“I’ve made a lot of good friends putting this show together every Wednesday,” De Foor said. “It’s going to leave a big hole in my life, not having this show.”
When she started Pickin’ & Grinnin’, De Foor had never hosted a radio show before. But her love of bluegrass music, along with frustration that the genre isn’t heard on most commercial radio stations, motivated her to get involved with the fledgling radio station.
“I had such a huge collection of CDs and albums and wanted an outlet to share my music,” she said. “It started as a kitty cat and grew into a lion.”
Some of the big moments for the show included live performances in the KCR studio by bands like Dry Branch Fire Squad, Open Road, and John Reischman and the Jaybirds.
De Foor also regularly invited local bands play on the show, including some who formed out of the biweekly Slow Pitch Jam she organized at Bigby place.
And people who couldn’t make it to the studio, she interviewed over the phone.
“I loved phoning really important blue grass people long distance and talking to them on the air,” she said.
Another highlight for De Foor was helping out with KCR’s annual membership drives. Some years she had Pickin’ & Grinnin‘ t-shirts, coffee mugs and key chains made and would give them away to people who phoned in to buy a membership during the show.
“I was crazy about membership drives. It was so personal for me because I love the radio station and wanted other people to support it,” she said. “I wanted to sell people on the idea that they could be a part owner in the radio station and let them have a memento of the show.”
De Foor said it’s possible she’ll return to the KCR airwaves sometime in the future. In the meantime, she plans to focus on organizing local bluegrass concerts and she wants to find an unused building that could be transformed into a venue for live shows.
“We have Ellison’s and other really small venues and we have the Capitol Theatre, which is often too big,” she explained. “We need something that can sit 200 people, where we could hold our coffee houses and make it a home for bluegrass musicians.”
Listen to past episodes of Pickin’ & Grinnin’ here.