As much of the world is stuck inside right now, a new Thursday radio show may help ease the tension, and bring people back to a different time.
Cash Hollistah’s Block Party airs from 5 to 6 p.m. every Thursday on 92.7 KZUH.
Hollistah, the emcee for the show, did live Retro Dance Parties with Wichita-based DJ Carbon, and thought the concept could work as part of KZUH’s Throwback Thursday.
"From there, it snowballed into me just walking into the station and asking the program manager and, surprisingly, him saying yes," Hollistah said.
The show consists of a mix of music, mostly pop, hip-hop and rhythm and blues, typically from a particular decade.
"It’s primarily 90s, but we get into the ’80s and 2000s," Hollistah said.
He said nostalgia has been in for the past few years and that has driven this show somewhat.
"There was a groundswell of support of people who wanted that ’90s and early 2000s music," Hollistah said. "I think that’s why Throwback Thursday is so popular, because of the nostalgia."
Beginning at the end of January, as the show progressed, it began taking on themes. Two weeks ago saw a spring break mix.
With the state of the world, Hollistah and Carbon came up with a special mix for the audience for its latest episode.
"This is the quarantine mix," Hollistah said.
The mix featured songs such as Disturbed’s "Down with the Sickness," Ludacris’ "Get Back" and Beastie Boys’ "Time to Get Ill," all mixed by DJ Carbon with Hollistah coming in and talking throughout the show.
One unique aspect of the show is some of its guests. Hollistah said he has friends and connections with personalities across the state and almost every episode one of them records something to make an appearance on the show.
"I just call and ask," Hollistah said. "The worst they can tell me is no."
Hollistah was a little surprised by a local guest who didn’t say no, Salina Mayor Mike Hoppock.
"I asked him, ’this is going to be weird but I want to get you to do an intro for me,’ " Hollistah said. "And he said ’Yeah.’ "
Planning things out
The process of putting together the show isn’t short or easy, but it is enjoyable.
Carbon is a club DJ and does gigs, but this is something that is fun for him.
"It’s a time for him to just come up with these crazy mixes," Hollistah said. "Like we’re gonna play the ’All That’ theme on 92.7 and get away with it."
He said it’s nice to have a radio station that believes in what he does.
Hollistah and Carbon talk and work throughout the week to figure out what songs to put in the mix and how to place them in unique ways. The show has moments of "curveballs" where two seemingly totally different songs are mixed together, such as Missy Elliott’s "Get Ur Freak On" and the aforementioned "Down with the Sickness."
"The blends and mash-ups, that’s like our little signature thing," Hollistah said.
Hollistah said he and Carbon play off each other well when they plan things out, with Hollistah telling the DJ his thoughts and Carbon working around that.
"He’ll sometimes put plans around it and map it out," Hollistah said.
Hollistah said Carbon will one-up him with mixes as well, throwing in curveballs that surprise even the emcee.
"I think people love that aspect of it," Hollistah said.
Carbon puts the mix of songs together and sends it to Hollistah, who maps and plans out his portion as the emcee.
The final product comes together with Hollistah recording his voice over the tracks at Studio 1117, 1117 State St. in Salina.
Engineer Devon James is on hand, as well, working on the levels, getting multiple takes and making the show for the week ready for the air.
To listen to the show, tune into 92.7 KZUH from 5 to 6 p.m. each Thursday or check out soundcloud.com/cashblockparty. You can also find the show on Facebook and get a chance for a shoutout on an upcoming episode.