A Rock and Roll Conversation With B.A.

Pictured above: Barry Yoakum

STLCC FLO Valley Student Newspaper 2012

If all you have to do is care in order to make a difference in someone’s life, then Barry Yoakum cares a lot. He tries to make that difference by giving his radio listeners an entertaining rock and roll fueled distraction from whatever it is they might need it from. Since 2008, Yoakum, a.k.a. B.A. has hosted, “The Rock Show,” a high octane, boring not allowed, old school, Friday night rock and roll show. It is the longest running rock based program currently on air at STLCC-FV student radio station, KCFV 89.5, The Wave.

The hard rock and metal music genre appeals to Yoakum because the “music makes you feel like your kicking ass, having fun and doing what you want to do,” he says. “It calms me down and pumps me up all at the same time.”

There was no lightning bolt moment when he knew he wanted to be a radio DJ. Instead, it was a process that started with his Mom and Dad. Yoakum credits his parents with pushing him to figure out what he wanted to do after he graduated from high school. His dad told him to make sure he was doing something he liked and was challenging. To find something that he can be happy doing that’s work, but not something that he hated going to every day.

While building his knowledge of radio at STLCC-FV, Yoakum credits several of his professors. First, Professor Scott Dorough, who laid the intro-foundation of radio. Second, the KCFV Station Manager, Tim Gorry, who built the application side of the radio house. And third, Broadcasting Program Director Steve Bai, who was there to make sure nobody knocked the house down.

“Steve can pump you up like nobody else in the world. It’s hard not to start believing in yourself when Steve Bai believes in you,” He said. “Tim Gorry helped me find what the remaining pieces were that I needed and pushed me in the right direction. I consider Tim my mentor. I will never be able to repay him for all the stuff he has taught me. Any future success I may have will be because of what Tim has taught me and made me learn.”

It all clicked for Yoakum when he did an internship at a local radio station. He thought, “Yeah, okay, this might really be possible. I was looking at my dream job through the window and that is when my focus clicked,” Yoakum said. “I knew I needed to get back to Flo and finish learning because I know I can get back there one day.”

Some of Yoakum’s most memorable moments at Flo-Valley were winning the 2009 Grogg Award, a yearly award that recognizes an outstanding student for excellence in the areas of broadcasting skills and leadership. Also, the radio moment when he first heard his radio show promo on his car radio, which he had personally produced. Tossing up a rock and roll horned hand in the air to help describe what it felt like, “Yeah, that was me, I did that.” He said it was the coolest thing and a huge rock nerd moment for him.

Another moment Yoakum describes as important was creating a fun April fool’s broadcast named “Rock Show Live” with two other KCFV radio personalities – Mose, and Big Mike. Yoakum conveyed that the two are not just his friends, but his radio family.

Piloting his rolling chair with the same RPM’s as his music, Yoakum speeds around the broadcasting booth pushing buttons, sliding keys on the board, rapidly tapping the playlist touch screen with deadly accuracy, updates his show’s tweets, and answers the request line. Once-in-a-while, he does all that at the same time. His energy comes from his music and simply having a good time doing what he does. He says he is grateful for the time his listener’s give to him and he wants them to have as much fun as he is.

“I don’t know where I’m going to end up, but if you focus too much on the goal you may forget to focus on the steps it takes to get there,” Yoakum says. “If I’m doing something I love, or something close to it and I’m happy, and as long as I have my music, I’ll be fine.”

Published: STLCC FLO Valley Student Newspaper The Forum 2012

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