Early on in the pandemic, Mitch Bennett, the chief creative officer at the Luckie PR firm, began worrying about the loneliness experienced by people living in senior residences. “They were locked down, unable to leave their apartments or even share meals,” he says. “They needed a way to connect and unite.”
Bennett had an idea: why not create a radio station for the radio generation? He packaged his idea and presented it to Luckie’s client, Bridge Senior Living, with facilities in 16 states. The company jumped at the opportunity.
The result was Radio Recliner, a free station run by and for residents, including those in memory care and hospice units, and coordinated by life skills directors and producers at Luckie. The project began at Bridge’s Somerby Senior Living facilities in Georgia, Tennessee and Alabama.
“Volunteer DJs choose their own names, select 12 to 15 songs and add commentary, which is pre-recorded by a Luckie producer,” says Bennett. “We now have listeners in every state and South Korea who call in requests or make dedications.”
The unique concept won the 2020 Mercury Award for “Best Use of Audio.”
Somerby Sandy Springs resident Ed Rosenblatt, a.k.a. DJ Windjammer, especially enjoyed writing the chatter between songs and telling jokes. “I listened to a lot of songs before I selected my favorites from artists like John Denver, Michael Bolton and George Benson,” Rosenblatt says. “I dedicated Neil Diamond’s ‘Sweet Caroline’ to my 14 beautiful granddaughters.”
For more information, visit radiorecliner.com.
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