KCRW has no bad volunteers. All of them are smart, dedicated, passionate people. That’s why it’s a little tough to single one out every month, but then there are people like Samantha (just Sam to us). She just effortlessly stands out. With her hard work and sunny disposition to boot, how could we not notice her? Get to know her!
Where did you grow up and are you an only child?
I am originally from Baton Rouge, Louisiana. For the most part I grew up there, but I moved to Los Angeles when I was 16 to pursue a career in music.
What is your current occupation?
I’m a vocalist and songwriter. Most recently, I was featured on the posthumous album Eye Legacy from Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes. I run a small business called The Sambalaya Shoppe – a moniker under which I do freelance vocal and audio engineering work.
What is your fantasy occupation?
If I can continue to grow my business, and work for KCRW while doing it, that’s the fantasy. As an older woman, I want to own my own recording facility in New Orleans in the French Quarter, and sit on the balcony griping down at the young an unruly tourists.
When did you first discover KCRW?
I discovered KCRW right after I moved to Los Angeles about 8 years ago. A music technology instructor of mine mentioned that “NPR” played some really great music at night and that I should check it out. Ever since then, the dial has been permanently fixed to 89.9.
How did you find your way to our station for volunteering?
About four years ago I began my quest to volunteer for the station after moving close by for audio school. Naturally, I wasn’t the only one with the idea. After a random email to Henry Rollins, some cat and mouse, and a perfectly timed call back from Monika Scott, I finally was able to get my foot in the door. It’s now been six months and I couldn’t be happier.
What’s your current volunteer position and how long have you been at it?
Favorite volunteer moment?
Every live performance on Morning Becomes Eclectic that I am present for is a favorite moment, but a highlight would definitely be meeting actor Tim Robbins in the hallway and chatting by the water cooler not long ago.
If you could get on the mic and say one sentence on the air, what would it be?
“I’m Sam Blanchard sitting in for Jason Bentley and this is Morning Becomes Eclectic on 89.9, KCRW.” – But I’d happily settle for pitching during the pledge drive, I would love to do that.
What song have you hit repeat on lately?
I’ve recently been struck by Susanne Sundfor’s “White Foxes” off of The Silicone Veil.
Favorite book, movie?
Tony Kushner’s Angels in America, hands down. Originally on stage in New York, HBO made it into a miniseries in 2003. It is the most brilliant thing I’ve ever seen/heard/witnessed in my lifetime, and I’ve yet to find anything that will top it.
Favorite thing to do outside the station?
I’m somewhat of a hermit, so when I’m not at the station or having to work at a studio, I’m typically working on something at home. I love to watch bizarre indie films or depressing political documentaries on Netflix, and spending time with my boyfriend and our two chihuahuas.
What does KCRW mean to you?
I can’t even begin to express how much KCRW means to me. I dare anyone to find a public radio station that has the spirit of this one. It’s one of a kind. I came to KCRW a little beaten up from the LA experience, having kicked around the commercial music industry for the better half of my life. I’ve been very, very discouraged by what the “mainstream” entertainment business has turned into. I’ve been caught up in the revolving door of it for some time. KCRW is a beacon of hope in the music world, but in the general consciousness as well. It’s so much more than a radio station. It’s a community of people, brought together by the love of independent music and art, thought and analysis. It’s about expanding that community and inviting others to share in it. KCRW really is the epitome of a community service – entertaining, enlightening and informing those that it reaches, totally free of a corporate allegiance, without any motive of monetary gain. After living in LA for going on a decade, and after all of the ego and falseness I’ve encountered in my profession, sometimes I feel like the only sane voices are the ones radiating from 89.9. If you need to restore your faith in humanity, check out KCRW.
It’s always a little strange to ask volunteers what KCRW means to them. We’re not fishing for compliments, but rather looking to understand what draws people to generously give us their time. Someone like Sam could easily be welcomed by a plethora of worthy organizations, but she chose us. Lucky us, she warmly adds to the very humanity she mentions above.KELLY & KATIE Vida Women Mid-Calf Heel Boots Size 7.5 Black Leather , Womens’s Decree Brown And Tan Sweater Boots Size 8Madden Girl Bronco Ankle Boots - Women's Size 10M Brown , Black Pair Of Leather Upper Manmade Ankle Boots size 38 1/2 M by Pandora , Easy Street Women's Questa Ankle Bootie, Grey, 6 W USLadies Spot On Ankle Height Wellingtons X1186 Label ~ K , Candies Women's Light Brown Zip Up Heel Style Boots Size 9BColin Stuart Size 7.5 high heel boots brown leather Victoria's Secret EUC , Womens Pole Dance Shoes Low Heels Synthetic Leather Over Knee Boots US Size b268 , WOMENS 6 M NINE WEST VINTAGE AMERICA BROWN LEATHER WESTERN COWBOY ZIPPER BOOTSCarlos by Carlos Santana Rumer Over the Knee Slouch Boots, Darkstone , Women Winter Oxford Black Ankle Boots Suede Zipper Pointed Toe Block Heels ShoesNew Lucky Brand Fimberly Short Pull On Booties 002 Brown Beige 9 US / 39 EU , Justin Boots Women's Roper Bay Apache Leather Cowboy Western Boots BrownSteven By Steve Madden Twisted Brown Leather Knee High Boots Womens Size 6 M *Tory Burch Aimee Women's Leather Bow Pointed Toe White Black Flats Sz 7.5M 3294 , Dr. Scholl's Shoes Women's Viking Mule Putty Smooth 9.5 M US , Women's Shoes Marc Joseph BROADWAY Driver Moccasins Booties Ankle Boots NavySPERRY WOMENS SONGFISH FLOODED LIGHT PURPLE SIZE 8 , B.O.C Womens Kalani Leather Round Toe Mary Jane Flats , POUR LA VICTOIRE, KELLEN BALLET FLAT, BLACK, WOMENS, US 7.5 M, EURO 37.5, N.I.B. , NIB Christian Louboutin CULTURELLA 70 PONY JAGUAR/KID D'ORSAY PUMPS SHOES 35.5 , Sam Edelman Shoes Hermione 3 39.5 Studded Gingham Black White Flowers InsectsNIKE Prestige 3 551649-066 Pink Gray Womens Size 7Vionic Women's Honor Ashby Loafers Leopard Calf Hair Tan Flats Shoes US 7 , CLARKS Women's Glove Glitter Fashion SneakersWomen's Superbe baskets compensées HOGAN 36,5/37 Boots , Superga Women's 2398 COTW Sneaker - Choose SZ/Color , Under Armour Women's Speedform Intake 2 Running Shoe - Choose SZ/ColorReebok Womens Freestyle Hi- Choose SZ/Color.