The Gumbo Ya Ya Radio show has been on air for ten successful years. In that time, host and producer “Redneck” has earned some serious accolades.
We sat down with the charismatic host to talk about his journey and where he plans to go from here.
Hi, thanks for joining us today so excited to have you on the platform. So before we get into questions about your show, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today.
First let me say thank you for the recognition by Bridge and the opportunity to share my story. I am the creator, host and producer of The Gumbo YaYa Radio Show. We recently celebrated our 10 year anniversary, became voting members of The Academy of Country Music, were selected as a contributing station for independent artist airplay by The American Country Music Association, and just received a nomination for our media efforts from the 2023 Josie Music Awards: the nation’s largest independent music awards. I was born and raised in the south. Growing up, I pursued sports, writing, and culinary arts. My dream was to be a chef. I left home right out of high school only to become a professional dance instructor and choreographer. As a dancer, I traveled the world, but I always missed the food, music, and culture South of the Mason – Dixon. That’s why I would make it back home as often as I could. I ended up in New York, where I met my Yankee bride and settled down, but I still needed my “Dose of Dixie.” My dance career fostered many relationships with professionals in the entertainment industry like producers, musicians, singers, and songwriters, and from time to time, I’d put one in touch with the other. Occasionally that led to record deals. With this experience I decided to form “Southern Exposure Entertainment.” My focus was finding and promoting local independent artists. I began getting local independent stations to play these smaller artists, and soon I had so many talented musicians reaching out that the local stations couldn’t handle all the requests. One station manager told me that, while they enjoyed the new talent I was finding, they had to play popular and charting artists to stay competitive with the commercial stations. He jokingly said, “If we played every artist you sent us you would need your own show.” I recently found an old email I sent telling that station about a kid who was big down south but hadn’t gotten radio play yet. They elected not to play him. That kid was Brantley GilbertOn January 9, 2013, I launched “The Gumbo YaYa Radio Show,” highlighting music, food, and all things southern. When I first moved to New York from The Mississippi Gulf Coast, people would endearingly call me “Redneck.” That’s why when the show debuted on WRCR 1300AM. I elected to make “Redneck” the host because let’s face it, Scott A. Stout is just not that interesting and Redneck sounds fitting for a show called Gumbo YaYa!We give airplay to new and independent artists who deserve new listeners even if major commercial stations will not play. We do it for the love of the music and the artists who make it.
Now tell us more about your show, what you do & how you came up with the concept?
The concept came from seeing how important it was for independent artists to have their music played on the radio and how difficult it was to get airplay. We want to help them achieve their dreams of being signed to a label or agency, have their music aired, recorded, published and/or performed. Initially, local artists and restaurant owners would show up at the station to sample the food and music live on air. We were dubbed “A Picnic on The Radio.” The Gumbo YaYa Radio Show boasts that we are the Worldwide Home of Independent Artists. We began doing so well we were receiving requests from artists wanting to be a part of the show from all over the country and even around the world. Artists from Spain, Argentina, the Philippines, England, Germany, Ireland, Canada were reaching out to us. By December 2013, things were going great for us. In less than a year we were reaching nearly 20 countries & 30 states, with more than 20,000 replays of our archives. Top producers and label CEOs were either requesting new artists from us or sending their latest discoveries. Fast forward to today where, thanks to various social media & streaming platforms, The Gumbo YaYa Radio Show has thousands of followers. Now our radio broadcast reaches the New York Metro area, into parts of New Jersey, Connecticut & Pennsylvania, and streams worldwide on the WRCR website, Tunein & various social media outlets. At last count, we had listeners in almost all 50 states and more than 40 countries with millions of archive and video replays.
Has it been an easy path overall, and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
The show was an instant success with local artists and entrepreneurs, but getting big names and national touring artists to join us was a challenge. Having an online presence helped; it was a grassroots movement where the artists and their fans spread the word. It seemed like we were on a roll, having just teamed up with a local venue to sponsor the show and host live concerts. Sadly a year into the partnership, the owner passed, and the venue was sold. We had to take a hiatus from terrestrial radio and continue the show via streaming platforms when my Yankee Bride was diagnosed with a spinal tumor. Thank God through surgery and therapy she is here today to tell her story.Eventually, we were contacted by a local FM station offering us a time slot for the show. As luck would have it, a year into this run, I was in an accident as a pedestrian and hit by a truck. Once again, the focus was shifted to family and health, so we took another break from broadcasting and went back to webcasting. After 7 surgeries and endless hours of physical therapy, I was ready to get back into the studio. But disaster struck again two years later. The pandemic! Luckily by that point, we were used to doing things online. We did have concerns; this business is very “out of sight, out of mind,” so we were so worried that if we went back on the air we’d have no listeners. In March of 2022, we relaunched on WRCR now 1700am, and the response was overwhelming.In addition to all the listeners and independent artists who supported our return, we’ve had legends like pop icon Tiffany, William Lee Golden, Deborah Allen, AJ Croce, Lacy J. Dalton, and David Frizzell to mention a few. There are several Nashville and European PR Firms, Labels, and A&R Reps, not to mention all the independent artists making submissions daily. I’ve had offers to expand markets and talks of syndication. We’ve established a relationship with the ACM and The Josie Awards and American Country Music Awards. And for the past 6 years, The Gumbo YaYa Radio Show has been broadcasting weekly on a local cable station.
Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
Gumbo YaYa Radio Show is the Worldwide Home of The Independent Artists. We hold live interviews and feature music by independent artists from the Hudson Valley, across the nation, and around the world, sharing and discussing a variety of interests and backgrounds in all genres of music, food, community, country and more. We are proud of our weekly “Salute to Service” segment, where we honor our military and first responders through a musical tribute. I’m blessed to be able to do what I love, grateful for all the people and independent artists who have made us a success. As I like to say, “It’s your show; I’m just the host.”
What matters most to you? Why?
My goal is to give support and recognition to independent artists. I know how hard it is to make it in the entertainment business, often costing more than you earn. There are so many amazing singers out there who never get the chance to hear their music by a label or producer or even the joy of hearing their own song played on the radio. That’s what we strive to accomplish. The Gumbo YaYa Radio Show regularly brings independent artists from all genres to New York City to appear on the show and perform at various venues in the area and has sent a few to Nashville to meet with top producers.As for the other things that matter most, I say it at the end of every show: Hug your friends, kiss your family, thank the Lord, and keep listening to The Gumbo YaYa Radio Show!
Do you consider that nowadays there are more or less opportunities for new artists? Why?
I feel with social media and the popularity of talent reality shows there are far more opportunities for new artists. Every phone, tablet, and PC is a TV station or recording studio, which means there are 1,000 opportunities out there for every artist. The best thing you can do is be prepared for an opportunity when it comes along. Always put the best version of yourself and your craft out there. Elevate your own talent by surrounding yourself with greater talent. Create opportunities for yourself through creating and supporting opportunities for your peers. The music community is family and every success earned is a success shared.
To what or whom do you accredit your sense of style?
Bill Cody, JV & Elvis, Leslie Gold, Wolfman Jack, Dave Nemo, Ralph Emery, Gordon “Big G” Ames, and Charlie Douglas are all DJ’s I loved to listen to and envied them for their style, the chances they had to talk with so many idols, and the way they got to play the music they loved.
If you didn’t do this, what would you like to do?
CHEF! I love to cook and I am damn good at it. My specialty is Southern cooking – Cajun, BBQ, Tex Mex etc., but living in NY I have developed a talent for Irish & Italian cuisine too.
What are your plans for the near future?
Stay the course! Right now I am happy just doing what we are doing, but here have been offers to syndicate. Expanding to other terrestrial markets would be great. I have often thought about doing LIVE ON THE ROAD and taking the show on tour.
Who are your idols? Is there anyone you’d like to thank, any shout outs?
My idols without sounding cliche are our military and first responders. I admire their courage and value. Shout outs? I would have to say the people at WRCR 1700 who made it possible for The Gumbo YaYa Radio Show to be here today. My Yankee bride who has supported every phase of my career and anyone and everyone who has joined us for a “CHAT WITH REDNECK ON GUMBO YAYA RADIO SHOW!”
How can fans find you?
Website: http://www.GumboYaYaRadioShow.webs.comInstagram: www.instagram.com/gumboyayaradioshow/Facebook: www.facebook.com/RedNeckGumboYaYa/Twitter: www.twitter.com/GumboYaYaShowYoutube: www.youtube.com/channel/UCkw81GOnviyi49I8ak8_n0QOther: twitch.tv/gumboyayaradioshow