Volunteer Profile: Chip Edgar

“Home Dad” is a talk show on WMPG that addresses the stay-at-home parent. What prompted you to develop a show around that idea?

I am a stay-at-home parent. When we started Home Dad, I was the primary caregiver to my at-the-time almost three-year-old. I was doing jazz on Wednesday nights. Then there came an eight week opening in the mid-day public affairs slot, and I got to thinking, not very seriously, “Wouldn’t it be great if I could do a show with my son?” But then I thought, “What about an eight-week program on stay-at-home-dads?” That should be easy! Just round up some guys to spill their guts every week on public radio! I had originally started volunteering at WMPG to produce public affairs programming, working mainly with Karen D’Andrea on Sound Ecology. The program was approved, but I soon was confronted with a development that perhaps should have been no surprise: Guys won’t even ask directions on how to get to the station, let alone share their honest feelings on the radio. We soon branched out into general family issues.

Have you had a lot of radio experience other than at WMPG? What other shows have you produced?

Ever since I was a kid I wanted to be a DJ. But I would have to say that my radio experience has been on the fringes. I did college radio. After college I did some commercial voice work. I was a volunteer reader for WRBH-FM in New Orleans, a station that read publications-newspapers, magazines, etc.-for the blind and print-handicapped. I produced the morning drive-news, weather, sports-on WWL-AM (50-thousand watt clear channel) in New Orleans, responsible for booking between three to five interviews a day. I was a board-op (Rush, Dr. Laura) and fill-in host for WSMB-AM in New Orleans, and an announcer for Magic After Dark (“The sound of New Orleans at Night”) at a soft rock FM station.

Do you have any musical interests or favorites? Do you play an instrument or have band experience?

I like all kinds of music. I played the drums in school growing up-concert, marching, etc. I was in some hometown bands. And I explored going on the road with complete strangers playing motel lounges bands. But I made the most money in a GB (general business) doings weddings and such. I guess I stopped playing soon after college. It kills me that I don’t play anymore.

What have you noticed most about the changing radio trends and tastes?

I’ve noticed that music on the commercial airwaves seems to have lost any soul or originality. It’s like listening to McDonalds food. I grew up listening during the 60s and 70s-I remember where I was the first time I heard a Beatles song. When you look back at those times, you really see the diversity in what was considered mainstream. And of course you had a lot of social commentary. I don’t see how that can happen now. I stopped listening to commercial radio back in the early eighties. I’ll listen to almost anything on the radio without commercials.