Love City Radio owners Kevin Burgess, left, and Jamie Gladman.
Die-hard St. John lovers are known for infusing a bit of Love City into their everyday stateside lives however they can, from visiting island news blogs to drinking island-inspired concoctions like painkillers even as the snow falls down around them. Now there’s another way that visitors can stay connected to the island in between their St. John vacations: Love City Radio.
The brainchild of St. John residents Kevin Burgess and Jamie Gladman, Love City Radio plays everything from reggae to country to pop in an effort to bring the warmth and spirit of the island to listeners around the world. The internet radio station launched quietly in December 2013, and Burgess and Gladman expect to be up and running at full capacity within the next month or so.
Gladman, who currently does marketing and design for local restaurants and other businesses, and Burgess, who runs an audio/visual business and owns Wet Woody’s Boat Charters, became friends during Gladman’s stint at the Barefoot Cowboy Lounge. With 15 years of experience in radio in Kansas City under his belt, Gladman approached Burgess with the idea to start an island-themed radio station.
“I was looking for something new or different to do,” said Gladman. “I was originally thinking of doing a small broadcast covering the town of Cruz Bay, but Kevin convinced me that internet was probably the best solution. We know the passion that comes with the people who visit here, as well as the people who live here, so the overall concept is to let them stay connected to where they are when they go home.”
Listeners who visit www.lovecityradio.com are treated to an island-inspired, eclectic mix of music meant to evoke memories of St. John. Love City Radio also recently aired their first recorded live performance of South Carolina-based Sol Driven Train, who played on catamaran charter boat Kekoa.
“We’ve slowly been tweaking the programming,” said Gladman. “We’re trying to figure out how to do live events and local programming.”
The station is hosted on a server in the states and streamed from St. John, which, as anyone who’s experienced the typical blips and outages of local internet providers and WAPA can imagine, presents its own set of difficulties.
“It’s been a challenge with the internet infrastructure we have here,” said Burgess.
“It’s an ever-evolving process,” added Gladman. “The technology piece is so critical, and it’s taken some time to get the right bandwidth. Kevin is wonderful at making it streamline and sound the way it does.”
During its first few months of operation, Love City Radio has already streamed music to listeners across the U.S., and even has a like on their Facebook page from a person in Bangladesh. Listeners have been offering feedback on everything from what kind of music they’d like to hear to how well the music is streaming, all of which is welcomed by Burgess and Gladman.
“The whole idea is we want to be able to broadcast the things our listeners are interested in, so they can hear what they want to hear while they’re sitting in their office cubicle in Boston, or wherever they may be,” said Burgess.
To learn more about Love City Radio, visit www.lovecityradio.com, or visit the station’s Facebook page.