COMMUNITY radio stations rely on a dedicated team of volunteers to present their programs.
2MCE is fortunate to have such a group of men and women who are not only dedicated to the station and its local communities but are also enthusiastic about the subjects of their programs.
One of those enthusiasts presented his first weekly program last November and whoever tunes in to it would quickly realise that he is passionate about its subject matter.
The presenter is Rick Nash and his passion is country music.
Rick shares that passion with listeners for two hours each Saturday afternoon from 2pm in his program Rick's Country Mix.
Australian and overseas artists are featured, particularly independent performers who represent a mix of styles of country music.
The show often starts with two or three latest releases which means that you may hear a record for the first time on Rick's Country Mix.
How does Rick find these new releases? Over many years he has built an impressive number of personal contacts with performers who are keen to keep him updated on their new single releases.
Two online sources to which many artists subscribe are (CRS) Country Radio Singles and Amrap (Australian Music Radio Airplay Project) and Rick is an approved radio presenter who can download new releases from them for his programs.
Of course, not all of the two hours are for new releases and his own collection of CDs and vinyl records are put to good use.
Other features of Rick's Country Mix are a theme segment called Fav Five, which plays five songs on a theme (for example, songs with "family" in the title or lyrics) and interviews with artists about their new releases.
Because of the COVID-19 restrictions, Rick's Country Mix has been recorded each week for much of the year.
Rick's determination to keep his listeners informed and entertained led him to set up his own studio which he calls the Nash Granny Flat Studio, complete with record player, mixer and other facilities so he can enable the radio station to broadcast the programs each Saturday on schedule.
I asked Rick how he developed his passion for country music.
"When I was a lad in rural South Australia, my family was musical. Dad played the piano accordion and we all loved country music," he said.
He asked me if I knew that he had written a country song. I didn't, so he explained that he collaborated with country singer Michelle Walker and she recorded the resulting composition Backbone. I looked it up on YouTube and I can assure you that it's impressive.
Tune in to Rick's Country Mix and our other programs on 92.3 Bathurst and 94.7 Orange or stream from radio.2mce.org.