By Ben Bahe
Window Rock—660 KTNN AM, the Navajo Nation’s only independent radio station, announced Wednesday that the station plans on requesting a one time grant from the Navajo Nation Council to update its aging music inventory.
“We are falling further and further behind the digitalization of media,” said Troy Little, General Manager. “You can only play a Waylon Jennings cassette so many times before pops and crackles in the sound start to appear.”
Little said that most of the station’s music inventory was purchased in the late 1980s from a federal grant meant to expand public media in rural communities.
“At the time the station deejays were into ‘outlaw country’ and we acquired $10,000 worth of cassettes in this genre. We would buy back up copies for each album. We had 15 copies of Kris Kristofferson’s ‘The Silver Tongued Devil and I,’ but with wear and, well, the fact is these things tend to disappear…we are now down to our last copy.”
Little explained that with cassettes the technology deteriorates with use. He said that in the late 70s, before he worked for KTNN, the station used vinyl.
“The records are lore here at the station,” he said. “I was told we had a ’45 for George Jones’ ‘White Lightning’ that tended to get stuck’ at ‘white.”
Little explained that he was told a deejay fell asleep in 1978 with the Jones’ song stuck on “white” and the station broadcasted this for three hours until listeners called in to complain.
When asked how he would spend the money, Little said the station would invest in mp3 technology. He said that he is already working with his accountants in creating an iTunes account.
The KTNN board plans on making a request to the Navajo Nation Council at its winter session scheduled in January.