Get to Know KUTX’s New Weekday Morning Host, Taylor Wallace
Photos by David Brendan Hall
There’s an old scout song that goes: make new friends, but keep the old / one is silver and the other’s gold.
After 50 years on the air, Austin gold John Aielli, who is recovering from a stroke, has retired the name of his show, “Eklektikos,” and passed the morning torch to host Taylor Wallace.
However, Taylor’s not exactly a new friend at KUTX 98.9. In addition to formerly hosting weekday evenings, Taylor also worked as John’s producer for three years. As your new morning pal from 6 to 9 a.m. weekdays, Taylor brings her own love of music and quirkiness to the time slot.
We posed a few questions to Taylor about how she got her start, what inspires her and why you should tune in. And if that’s not enough for you, get to know Taylor even better in this September 18 Austin Chronicle story “Taylor Wallace Takes Over KUTX Morning Show” and by following her on Twitter @TDubonNothing and Instagram @pineladyofmetropolitanorlando (Bob Vance bought her perfume too).
When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up and why?
I’ve always been a want-to-do-it-all person (a true ENFP). I remember listening to Kidd Kradick with my mom on the way to elementary school, then Jagger and Julie (morning co-hosts on the now-dissolved DFW alt-rock station the Edge) during middle and high school, and I always thought, “this would be such a cool job! You just get to gab, talk about music, and interview artists. Who wouldn’t want to do that?!”
Literally being a radio host was the first career I wanted as a kid. But, through my childhood, I went through phases where I wanted to be a detective, vet, writer, professional musician, doctor, and probably a dozen other things I don’t remember any more.
What are you doing when you’re not working?
I’m alternating between novels and music history, or people’s history non-fiction, exploring and mastering new recipes, catering to my very affectionate cat, spending as much time on my porch or walking around my neighborhood as possible, gorging on my daily menu of podcasts, and – my true guilty pleasure and escape from reality – watching “90 Day Fiancé” and listening to … several … podcasts that cover it.
Oh! And listening to music and collecting records, but I think that goes without saying. Really anything that involves learning. Learning is my favorite hobby.
When did you start working at KUTX?
I started as a KUT intern back in the summer of 2012 (before KUT moved its music service to KUTX 98.9 in 2013) when we migrated the music library to digital. I was on a team of interns who hung out in the music library ripping CDs into the new system and getting to nerd out with some of the music hosts. It’s where I met John Aielli, Jay Trachtenberg, Susan Castle, and Jeff McCord. John and I even saw Idina Menzel together that summer.
What inspires your programming?
Inclusion. I don’t believe in the “a certain percentage of your show needs to be this” philosophy. It needs to be all-around diverse and inclusive across race, gender and sexual orientation. As a pansexual person, it irks me when people forget about queerness in programming. But this isn’t limited to the person holding the mic. Broken Bells is one-half Danger Mouse. Brix Smith, Poison Ivy and Kim Deal wrote plenty of songs in bands where a dude was behind the mic – and they shouldn’t be discredited because of that. When you’re being mindful, percentages don’t matter.
Why should people tune in to KUTX between 6-9 am?
Hey, if we all have to be up that early, we may as well have fun and get down!
What can listeners expect when they tune into 98.9 weekday mornings?
Absolute buffoonery channeled into a morning of music that I hope is fun for everyone.
Why work in public radio vs. commercial radio?
Well, for one, I don’t have to worry about format flipping, random management changeover or being erroneously fired as a result. And no one’s making me play Imagine Dragons.