Not so long ago, plenty of commercial radio stations featured specialty programming on weekends, with local hosts getting the opportunity to share their knowledge of a particular genre of music for a few hours at a stretch. Now, in the age of voicetracking and other cost-saving methodology, only a handful of such outlets bother. That makes Strictly Blues, a show helmed by Kai Turner that's heard Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. on the Fox, at 103.5 FM, a relative rarity, as well as an award winner. Turner (pictured) was recently named the recipient of the 2009 Keeping the Blues Alive award in the commercial radio category.
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The honor, conveyed under the auspices of the nonprofit Blues Foundation, will be presented on February 7 in Memphis, Tennessee during the 2009 International Blues Challenge, a blues-oriented battle of the bands celebrating its 25th anniversary.
Turner's been sharing his favorite musical style for nearly as long. Strictly Blues debuted in 1991 and has been on the Fox since '96 -- and four years later, he earned a Best of Denver nod from this very publication. As for the Keeping the Blues Alive award, it's name is especially fitting. After all, Turner is a survivor. -- Michael Roberts