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West Texas A&M University’s student-run college radio station, KWTS The One 91.1 FM, will join more than 140 college radio stations around the globe to participate in the annual Vinylthon event April 23.

“It’s important for us to participate in this worldwide event to celebrate radio and the use of vinyl,” said Dane Glenn, KWTS adviser. “Vinyl is nostalgic, it’s classic, it’s unique. There’s something about vinyl that’s special. There’s something about being in complete control rather than just pushing a button.”

Vinylthon, sponsored by the College Radio Foundation, was founded in recognition of the re-popularizing of vinyl and as a homage to the glory days of radio when DJs spun records live on-air. It has become a global event and is celebrating its seventh year.

On April 23, participating college radio stations must play vinyl records for at least one hour. This year, participating stations playing vinyl for at least 12 hours will be recognized with a Golden Slipmat Award.

KWTS, though, will spin vinyl for a full 24 hours—from 12:01 a.m. to midnight April 23. Rotating pairs of WT students will cover two-hour shifts, flipping records for listeners on 91.1 FM or via livestream at wtamu.edu/kwts.

Vinylthon is particularly timely with KWTS’ 50th anniversary this year. As previously announced, KWTS will celebrate its birthday at an Oct. 1 party during Homecoming Week and will switch to an all-’90s format.

Vinyl has a distinctive sound, providing something nostalgic with its hiss and pop, said Ali Rivera, KWTS special programming host and senior digital communication and media major from Dimmitt.

This is the second time KWTS has participated in Vinylthon. This year, KWTS will partner with High Fidelity record store in Amarillo, which is allowing the students to use vinyl from its shop, and owner Ray Wilson will speak about vinyl in the afternoon on KWTS.

“Students get an appreciation for what it was like when you actually had to switch vinyls,” Glenn said. “The term ‘DJ’ comes from doing just that. Students are able to play their own music, their own songs to everyone out there listening. They’re in the spotlight behind the mic.”