‘Musical chairs’ on air

Get to know the past and present hosts of Buckle-Up Radio on UMFM

Graphic by Bram Keast.

Despite a relatively recent change in shows and hosts, listeners who tune in to 101.5 UMFM on Saturdays between 10 a.m. and 12 p.m. will be guaranteed one thing for certain: two hours of great, eclectic music.

Hosted by Jon Carr, Buckle-Up Radio plays a wide variety of music. According to Carr, one can tune in and hear “jazz, country, pop, funk, experimental, et cetera,” though he has a particular soft spot for The Beatles, “rock/pop music of the 1960s,” and a Texan alternative rock band called Midlake.

Carr told the Manitoban that he runs such a diverse show for his audience with the goal that they will “hopefully see how music is all connected.”

Buckle-Up Radio has been present on the University of Manitoba’s campus radio station for three years, but it didn’t always occupy the aforementioned two-hour period each Saturday morning.

Previously, this time slot belonged to music historian John Einarson. The show was called My Generation and ran until May of this year when Einarson relinquished the time slot to Carr and Buckle-Up Radio.

Prior to joining UMFM, Einarson’s radio experience included two ill-fated years with the Nostalgia Broadcasting Cooperation (CJNU 93.7 FM).

“As I am quite well known as a music historian, I was invited to host my own two-hour radio show on CJNU Nostalgia Radio, entitled This Time Long Ago. I played mostly popular 60s music, including Winnipeg music history with anecdotes, and backstories to the records. It was a popular Friday evening show. However, the limited format of the station didn’t allow me to stray too far from the familiar, nor to dip my feet into the 70s or beyond,” said Einarson.

“In fact, the show was really an experiment by CJNU to appeal to a younger (aged 50-60) demographic than their usual programming and many of the station’s regular listeners were not very supportive or appreciative of the music I was playing […] They would often let me know this while I was on-air. For some reason, every time I played Bob Dylan someone would call in and literally yell at me. It became frustrating and restrictive, so I left after a little more than two years.”

Following a conversation with UMFM program director Michael Elves, Einarson would begin hosting My Generation on UMFM, where he was allowed total freedom to broadcast whatever genres of music he chose.

“Right from the get-go, My Generation was a popular show and brought a wider demographic to UMFM. I loved the opportunity to do featured theme shows, play rare, live, unheard, or long lost tracks, and introduce listeners to artists they may never have known previously. My Generation was a destination point every Saturday morning from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. for music lovers of all stripes.”

Both Carr and Einarson extolled the virtues of UMFM for encouraging and supporting the hosts’ penchant for eclectic, varied programming.

“The format of my UMFM show was, indeed, perfect for my music history interests. The UMFM staff encouraged and supported that approach to my show. It was a perfect marriage,” said Einarson.

“If it’s good, and makes you smile, the music can all be listened to together. Like a musical stew. There isn’t enough of that on radio: true diversity. Sure, you’ll hear Eagles or the Beatles here on Buckle-Up. Heck, you can hear that on any commercial radio. But you aren’t going to hear them with Royal Canoe, Dave Brubeck, the F-Holes, Delta Blues music, or easy listening. I want to bring back what radio was all about – [UMFM] is the only place to do that,” said Carr.


Jon Carr hosts Buckle-Up Radio every Saturday on 101.5 UMFM from 10 a.m.-12 p.m. Re-runs of John Einarson’s show, My Generation, can be heard from 12 a.m. to 2 a.m. Find out more about the programming offered on UMFM by visiting www.umfm.com