Pop & Hiss

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Indie 103.1 drops Sunday's Watusi Radio

December 3, 2008 |  2:10 pm

Los Angeles radio just lost one of its most ardent supports of roots and Americana music, as Chris Morris informs via his MySpace page that his Indie 103.1 show "Watusi Rodeo" is officially "no mo."

Morris, a friend of Pop & Hiss, and a former colleague of this reporter, has been programming 20 or so songs that you don't hear often enough -- if at all -- on commercial radio every Sunday morning since 2005. Since its inception, Watusi radio has been swinging with country, blues, roots and local legends. Browse the old playlists on Morris' blog, and you'll see a show that put bluesman Guitar Shorty side by side with psychedelic rockers the 13th Floor Elevators.

Morris gets pretty detailed on his blog post, saying he was just informed of his show cancellation this week -- a "sneak attack." The post, which is linked off the Indie website, speculates that Indie 103.1 is becoming "KROQ Jr." Writes Morris:

The specialty shows are what made Indie special -- that's why I went after "Watusi Rodeo" after Michael "Doc Holiday" Whited, the original host, moved to Tennessee in 2005. Indie's original PD Michael Steele had enough faith in me to let me take a weekly shift after 30 years off the pro airwaves. It was a pleasure to experience the kind of programming freedom I had in free-form FM radio during the '70s, and I had a hell of a lot of fun for 148 broadcasts and almost three years.

Harsher words can be found on the post, where he notes he may be resurfacing on the Web via Scion Radio. In the meantime, here's a song to take you out, Morris:

-- Todd Martens

Screenshot: Indie 103.1