Austin’s public radio station KUTX 98.9 marks a special milestone Thursday as morning DJ John Aielli celebrates 50 years on the air. Aielli’s show Eklektikos, which airs daily between 6 and 9 a.m. is the stuff of Austin legend, known as much for Aielli’s random musings and his thoughtful interviews with local artists as his eclectic mix of popular and classical music.
Joe Gross succinctly summed up Aielli’s unique position in Austin culture in his excellent 2012 profile on the radio personality, Conversations with KUT’s John Aielli:
To crudely paraphrase Lester Bangs, Austinites may never disagree on anything quite the way we disagree about John Aielli.
“He is very comfortable with people not liking everything he does,” says Paige Maguire, who used to do web design for KUT. “I think the key to his appeal and the key to people not liking him are the exact same thing. He is just operating in his own world.”
Representatives from the city will be on air to recognize Aielli’s achievements and declare “John Aielli Day” in Austin at 8:30 on Thursday. Then, fellow KUTX host Susan Castle will devote her daily “Ocho Loco” segment of listener suggested tunes to “Songs John Aielli Turned You On To” at 11 a.m.