Fall Membership Drive - Ken Frye

Ken.jpg

KEXP means everything to me! All my life, I have lived, carried and breathed in radio as if it was a mission and a spiritual path to attain enlightenment. But being differently-abled with Cerebral Palsy has created a lot of obstacles for me making it really difficult to develop a professional career in broadcasting. Since I was a little boy, I haven’t been able to talk very well either and so it made it hard to become a DJ. The radio industry created such a high standard for vocal performance that no one ever considered that I would be able to talk on the radio. But I was determined to remove these obstacles and even if I had to take the road less traveled I would do my best to fulfill my dreams.

As I grew up, I found Dj’s and radio professionals like Tom Mara who took me in and gave me a career in radio and I am forever grateful for their inclusion of my differently-abled skills. They have helped me instigate and follow through in creating my own independent radio station in Bellevue called KARE 107.3 FM. I broadcast daily from my channel and I am looking to go online soon with the help of PROVAIL, my supported employment provider.

When I am not broadcasting, I go to KEXP, who have taken me in and accepted me for who I am. As a volunteer at KEXP, I help write band reviews, track logs for DJ’s and write about the daily life at a radio station. The family at KEXP has been more the accepting of my disability. They have been strong allies and advocates in my campaign to educate listeners in supported employment and diversity not only in music but in culture. They have accepted a variety of talents across the spectrum including those whose voices are lost in the mainstream.

That is why I pledge to you that your donation to KEXP is more than giving money away to a great radio station. It is supporting a culture and a community of people who need support and another chance to fulfill their dreams that the mainstream world didn’t give to them.

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9 Comments

  1. Miles
    Posted November 2, 2007 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

    I really enjoyed reading this piece. I renewed this morning already, but certainly would have donated after coming across this article sooner. Thanks

  2. Michaela
    Posted November 2, 2007 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

    Hi Ken,

    I haven’t had the pleasure of meeting you yet. I began volunteering with KEXP over a year ago, helping out at the front desk, coordinating volunteers, and contributing to the success of the last few pledge drives.

    I wanted to take a moment to tell you what an inspiration your posts on the KEXP blog have been to me. I am also differently-abled (I love that, what a nice change from Dis-abled!!), having been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis seven years ago. It’s been a hard road the past few years, having to stop working and feeling unsure about what path my life will take, and there have been many times in the past year when I’ve debated whether or not I can even continue volunteering for KEXP.

    KEXP has been a haven for me in many ways, a wonderful radio station that enriches our ears and our community, and I’m grateful that they have allowed me to participate in whatever ways I can.

    Mostly, I want to thank you for the words of your post today, it’s been a somewhat difficult day for me (as they are quite frequently) and your words have, once again, fostered hope within me. I don’t generally have many heroes, but I sincerely consider you as one. Thanks so much, you rock!! And KEXP does too!!

    Thanks again,
    Michaela

  3. John Richards
    Posted November 2, 2007 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

    Ken, thank you so much for posting this! You inspire me to do the best Morning Show I can. Thank you so much buddy.

  4. Cheryl
    Posted November 2, 2007 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

    I couldn’t agree more!! It’s always a delight to talk with you about your passion for music and radio. Your dedication to the station and high standard of excellence is an inspiration to me as well. Thanks for your long time support and commitment to KEXP. It’s listeners like you (and Michaela and so many others) that make it all worthwhile. You help make us as amazing as we are.

  5. Audrey
    Posted November 2, 2007 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

    I love this line, “They have accepted a variety of talents across the spectrum including those whose voices are lost in the mainstream.” So well put. Thank you for putting into words something I felt but didn’t know how to articulate.

  6. Posted November 2, 2007 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

    thanks for your support Ken, you rule! it’s always a pleasure to see you and Misha (sp?) on Wednesdays back in the nook. Oh, and you’re totally right about Neil Young, he’s awesome.

  7. Katy
    Posted November 2, 2007 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

    Rock on Ken!

  8. Posted November 2, 2007 at 10:23 pm | Permalink

    Ken,

    Thank you so very much.

    You make us better.

    -Tom

  9. Cheryl Green
    Posted November 13, 2007 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

    Hi Ken, I am so proud of you. I want to invite you to present at the TASH Conference for individuals with disabilities and the families and professionals who believe in them. This is the first time that the TASH Conference has been in Seattle in ten years. Hope to see you December 6th at the Sheraton!
    Cheryl Green
    King county DDD

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