The red dirt music scene has been a tradition and passion in west Texas for years. An ample number of artist have been discovered and sought after in the west Texas area. There are a few names Lubbock locals would recognize. Long-time radio personality and DJ, David Wilde is a recognizable voice for any Lubbock red dirt music lover. An Oklahoma native, Wilde never had dreams of being on the radio, but always had the need to be heard.
“Originally, I wanted to be a newsman, you know, the next Walter Cronkite or Tom Brokaw,” Wilde said. “That’s what I wanted to be growing up.”
Once Wilde landed a radio DJ gig, he knew he had found what he was looking for.
“It was something I enjoyed doing,” Wilde recalled.
Wilde’s Oklahoma roots led to a passion for the red dirt music scene in Lubbock. After working for a rock n’ roll station, Wilde got the opportunity to be a Texas Country DJ for Red Dirt Rebel 105.3.
“When I decided to go back to Texas Country, it had changed a lot,” Wilde said. It’s ever-changing, and it’s still changing.”
His passion for being a radio personality and his music taste meshed into an ideal position.
“It fit like a glove,” he said. “It was comfortable. I knew the music really well, and I already knew a lot of the artists. But, I had some learning to do. I embraced it. I went to every show I could make it to, met every artist and person I could meet, and in the long run, became very close friends with a lot of them. It’s like a big family.”
Eventually, Wilde found himself helping young artists start their careers in the local music scene. Many Lubbock artists give credit to Wilde for spinning their songs on the radio before anyone else would even consider listening. With talents sprouting every day, these artists look to Wilde for help and a listening ear.
Up and coming artist, and College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources graduate, Hunter Hutchinson gives Wilde credit for helping his career in Lubbock.
“We first met at the Blue Light,” Hutchinson said. “I was brand new at the time. It was right after my first record came out. I asked him about it and he wanted to listen to it.
“Really, the thing about Dave is he always gives artists a chance.”
Coming from an agriculture business background, Hutchinson knew he had a passion for making and singing music, but figured getting a degree would help his career in the long run. With Wilde’s help, Hutchinson soon became a popular name within the Lubbock community.
“He was the first person to play my song on the radio, and for that, I owe him a lot,” Hutchinson said. “He’s the first person to give anyone a shot on the radio. He started to spin my song like crazy and was able to help start getting all the college students out to shows around Lubbock. It got people excited about something, so I’m no nobody.”
Hutchinson is still traveling around Texas playing shows for fans. With a friend and support system like Wilde, Hutchinson was able to find his ground in the Lubbock community.
Wilde said his biggest piece of advice to anyone pursuing a radio career is patience.
“What needs to be important is the work, and what it is that you’re doing,” Wilde said. “And I think patience gets you there.”
For Wilde, success didn’t happen overnight for him. After over 10 years of experience, Wilde still thanks his patience for getting him where is today.
“I’ve had plenty of times I questioned whether or not radio or broadcasting was what I wanted to do because I felt like I was spinning my wheels. But, eventually, the cream rises to the top. You own your craft,” said Wilde.
Although Wilde no longer does radio broadcasting full-time, the passion is still there for him. Today, his son is the top priority. Since radio wasn’t giving as much as it should, Wilde decided to invest his money in something that could eventually be beneficial for his son.
“For me, it’s I have to have something to give my son, you know, any assets I can hand down to him one day,” said Wilde.
The decision to take a break from full-time radio wasn’t easy for Wilde.
“The issue with radio is it’s not always the most lucrative position,” Wilde said. “No matter how many accolades you get, no matter how many awards. Those awards did not pay my bills for me.”
Since leaving 105.3 The Red Dirt Rebel, Wilde has dove into a project out of his comfort zone. The Texas Café, known as The Spoon, is an iconic Lubbock bar and restaurant that has consumed most of Wilde’s time recently. Now partial owner, Wilde’s main focus is bringing people back to the bar he believes deserves a second chance.
“In the last 10 years or so, it’s sort of built itself a bad reputation for being a rough, rowdy, biker bar,” Wilde said.
With over $50,000 worth of repairs and revamps, Wilde’s goal is to turn this live music venue into something he believes Lubbock lacks.
“A Texas pub if you will,” he said.
Wilde’s radio career is far from over, though. In his small back office at The Texas Café, Wilde is still on the air every day. The Texas Homegrown Radio out of Stephenville, Texas, is a local station that sought after Wilde’s talents in early 2017.
For two hours a day, Wilde sits in his office alone and DJs music that makes him happy.
“I do the radio show for Texas Homegrown radio now mainly for my sanity,” Wilde said. “I still love it. I still love being on the air. I still love talking about the music. I love talking to the musicians. For me, it’s that outlet, it’s that necessary outlet.”