DJ Profile: Clinto Robinson
For many years, Clinto Robinson has been broadcasting his polka music show over the KULP airwaves in the El Campo area. I had a chance to interview Clinto and gain more insight into his Polka DJ career.
TPN: What is the most enjoyable part of being a Polka DJ? CR: Making our listeners happy, and cheering them up in the mornings. Several folks in our audience have called, saying that I have made their day, and that I put a smile on their face. Knowing that I make people feel good makes me feel good.
TPN: How did you become a Polka DJ? CR: I actually started doing the polka DJ thing when I was in high school at KCTI in my hometown of Gonzales. I worked there for a few years and then did a show called Polka Parade. I learned a lot about polka music there, so when KULP needed me for the weekday Early Morning Polka Time Show, I was ready to do it and was very familiar with the format. I was exposed to the music and the culture by hanging out with my friends from Shiner and other Tex-Czech towns. I even played in a few bands such as The Drifters of Victoria and the Taylor Bros Band.
TPN: What songs and bands do you get the most requests for? CR: Mostly a variety of tunes by The Red Ravens, Shiner Hobos, Joe Patek, Vrazels, Czech & Then Some...and of course novelty songs like The John Deere Polka and Horsie Keep Your Tail Up. TPN: Do you feel that your job as a Polka DJ helps keep the music alive?
CR: I really do think it helps since besides playing the old standards we also play some new music by the up-and-coming younger groups. We inform people where to go to buy polka CDs. We also promote all of the area dances by keeping the polka music on the airwaves. That really does make them want to go out and support the polka bands and purchase CDs from them. It is a win-win situation for everyone; the bands, the fans, and the radio stations as well. I truly believe a good polka DJ keeps the music thriving and continues to "Polka On."
Clinto's show airs Monday-Friday 8-9 am on KULP 106.6 FM or 1390 AM in the El Campo area. You can also listen online at kulpradio.com. something to learn from everyone around you. Being in a community of musicians that you are inspired to play music with is one of the quickest ways towards motivating yourself.
• Be open minded and creatively fearless. Don't be afraid to play something you don't know and make mistakes; mistakes are how we learn. Sometimes mistakes can lead to a creative spark.
• Doing something other than music can help inspire your music. For me, getting into cooking is something that is completely different than music but has melted the two together into positive influences for each other.
• Be inspired by the geography around you. Every part of the country has something to offer geographically and most music is influenced by the places where they were written. Traveling with The Page Turners one week we can be going through the Blue Ridge Mountains and then the next we are around the Puget Sound. Seeing different parts of the world has a profound impact on what I write about and how I approach my songs. Even just seeing the different parts of Texas has been inspiring. Go down to South Padre Island then check out hill country. Two different environments that aren't too far apart from each other.
I'd suggest first finding out what motivates you other than telling me what artist you like. What in life gives you joy? Do you enjoy things other than music? Make sure to explore all of these options because you'd be amazed at where you can find creativity. Let me know what gives you motivation, I'd love to explore more options!
The Page Turners, Carolyn Kendrick and Jake Howard, are an award-winning group (2016 Freshgrass Best Duo) who have a strong foothold in the acoustic music scene. Their partnership began as musical friends at Berklee College of Music. They blend their love of bluegrass, whiskey-fueled old-time, country, swing, and fearless song-writing into one all-purpose seasoning of good ole' fashioned roots music.