Throwback Thursday: Andyman Davis’ Support Of Columbus Hip Hop Music

Throwback Thursday: Andyman Davis

(found on Flickr)

Today marks the 3- Year Anniversary of Columbus, Ohio independent rock station’s longtime program director  WWCD’s  102.5 Andyman Davis’ tragic and unexpected death.

I am not gonna front and act like I was best friends with Andyman Davis. But I can say that WWCD has been present in my life since it first hit Columbus airwaves.So when I read about Andyman trying to get on in 1992, and then becoming program director in 98 of the same station that startled me when they played Dead Kennedys in 1990 back when it was CD101.1; I can say Andyman was about music and people.

WWCD had the presence that is expected for the radio. That isn’t to say it was stale. I am saying it was an institution that played Radiohead, and the Strokes and let you know about concerts. Andyman was the focal point, as this likable guy that would stay up every Christmas for 48 hours to raise money for children. He was locally famos, and had the right personality to be considered a personality. He wasn’t a hipster but Andy championed  alternative music for the average joe.

Now, I know that Andy was heavily involved with supporting local music, but because I primarily listened to rap. It wasn’t tangible for me like it would be for say a fan of local indie rock group Watershed  until 2003. This is when I became friends with Tom Butler  after Mahssa Taghinia introduced us.  Tom is a WWCD on-air personalty who is best known as the host and producer of the Independent Playground , a specialty show that plays underground music.

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(Tom Butler is the guy in the CD101.1 shirt. Andyman’s face is just above the typing. I stole this from Tom’s Facebook.)

After meeting Tom Butler, I quickly found out that Andy liked rap and was super open into supporting anything he thought was quality and relevant regardless of genre.
Tom would speak about Andy and station’s philosophy that Andyman took pride in championing Columbus, and helping the community. Andy gaveTom creative control over his Independent Playground specialty program. So Tom was able to add local rap as soon as he would hear things he liked on The Independent Playground. It was awesome to be able to play Tom Hip Hop and then hear it the next Tuesday or Thursday night when Tom’s show was on.

Andy believed in WWCD having a relationship that benefited the community.

(from donewaiting.com)

Obviously, the best example of this is WWCD’s For the Kids Programs where they would raise money for local charities that service children. And the cornerstone of this philanthropist effort is the afformentioned the Andy-Man-A-Thon. But I am gonna give my little Hip Hop story.

The first time I actually met Andy was after a Black Keys show at the Newport. The TBK had sold out the Newport but they weren’t  nearly as popular in these days as they are now. . As everyone knows, the Black Keys are from Akron, Ohio. Patrick Carney’s younger brother  and art director Michael went to college in Columbus, and hung out with skaters, rap kids, punks, artists and graffiti writers. So Pat would end up being friends with Mike’s friends when the Keys came to town. Andyman was super supportive of the Black Keys and Pat did not take the fact his band was on the radio for granted. So after the Newport show we all went to meet with Andy at the Treehouse. The Treehouse was a bar Andy owned in Grandview that was famous for having a tree growing in the performance room. The Treehouse was a good dive bar. Andy was super nice and down to Earth. He just seemed to be stoked to be at his bar with his lady and to be involved with music he loved. Andy was just on some; ‘I like your band and you are from Ohio’. Pat was on some: ‘I am sincerely grateful you play my music’. These aren’t direct quotes but the sentiments were real. Pat did me a solid favor and asked Andy about the possibility of me getting a Hip Hop radio show on WWCD.

Andyman followed up later and let me record some demos with Tom Butler. While the timing wasn’t right for a rap radio show; Andy was responsive to local Hip Hop. He was already playing nationals like Ludacris, Beastie Boys, as well as RJD2, and I think the Lab Rats. So eventually Columbus rap dudes Envelope, and Blueprint found their way into the regular rotation with the help of Tom Butler, and another on-air personality Rachel Gordon. The idea of a local Hip Hop being on the radio was unbelievable. The idea of people I am friends with being on the radio in regular rotation was astounding. This was only a few years removed from the time where the local media didn’t consistently write about local Hip Hop. Record stores didn’t really sell local Hip Hop. And venues were afraid Hip hop would bring gang violence. It was like we landed on the moon or won the lottery. I listen to 107.5 but their hands are tied when actually adding local music in a substantial way. So the idea that Andy was willing to take a risk and play music that wasn’t necessarily the format is a testament to his sincere open-mindedness to champion Columbus, and aid the community he was a figure in.

I remember driving my car and bumping the fuck out of Envelope’s Daydream Nation when it came on.

The second time I met Andy, it was when Envelope played the 2009 Summerfest at the LC.  Andyman was very warm and responsive even though was was in charge of a huge event and had to be the ambassador to a zillion bands.  There was a mix-up with Envelope’s merch: someone forgot to put it out. Andy felt bad and promised to make it up to the local rapper. And he did.

This just my little two-cents. We appreciated Andy support of  getting Columbus Hip Hop on the radio. The least we could do was honor him on our Daymon Day Memorial wall at  Tuttle Park.

Character By Andrew Kern

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