In a tribute (Patricia Lenzi) wrote about her uncle and shared with Indian Country Today Media Network, Lenzi said that Talley volunteered at KBOO. When asked why he refused to get paid, he replied, “People say, ‘Well, why do you do that for no money?’ And I say, ‘Because people need the communications. They need the service.’ And that’s my gift to the community.”
Talley used his show to tell news from Indian Country and to promote Native American musicians, authors, artists and causes, according to the obituary. He mentored other American Indians, who learned from him how to host a radio show.
At the time of his 25th anniversary on the radio, Talley was interviewed by Indian Country Today, the predecessor of ICTMN. Talley talked during the show about realizing what his show had meant in Indian country, how “through a different kind of activism,” he had helped Native people get involved in political campaigns, education and economics, the story said, as well as “helped Native artists sell their work, Native writers sell their books and Native musicians promote their music.”
[In 1998] I made sure to contact KBOO and let them know I was in town. John Talley told me to come on down and they would put me on the airwaves. Boy, did they! I brought my guitar and performed acoustic versions of songs like “Navajo Radio” and “Indian Bones.” John had a young co-host with him at the time, Spider Moccasin aka Marcus Moseley. We all got on like a house on fire. There was much laughter, heartfelt stories and great music every time we got together.
The last time I saw John, he was definitely slowing down. He told me that he was okay with that…and that he had lived a full life. I had to marvel at his journey. He was a great storyteller and always had lots of plans and ambitions to remind folks that Native people are still here.
Friends of John Talley, longtime host of the "Indian World" program on KBOO-FM, will gather Friday in Portland to remember his life. Members of his family, who found him late in his life, will be there, too.
"I'm honored that we got to know him," said Patricia Lenzi, a niece who lives in Nevada. A single man living in Portland, he was thrilled to be found by his far-flung family, she said. "We were just as thrilled to find him." ...
Lenzi said family members learned of his existence in 2006, when he was about 75. With the help of Google, Lenzi said they tracked him to KBOO, where he had worked since the 1970s. They called him at the radio station and asked him his mother's name. It matched.
Since I was kid, Saturdays in my house have been accompanied by bluegrass in the morning and the Grateful Dead in the afternoon, courtesy of KBOO, one of Portland's great community radio stations.
In a city that makes the New York Times' travel section every two months for its food and bike scenes, it's comforting to me as an old-school Portlander that this sort of "uncool" programming still dominates KBOO on Saturdays. Of course, I like both bluegrass and Dead music—but what I especially value is the feeling of connectedness I get from listening to our local stations, which have programs dedicated to just about every kind of music and talk.
Nearly two months after Occupy Wall Street set up camp in Lower Manhattan, the New York Times public editor wrote about the challenge presented by the movement’s “difficult, sprawling story.” To journalists, editors and readers he asked, “How should the New York Times cover this movement that resembles no other in memory?”
While the Times was scratching its head, KBOO Radio in Portland, Oregon was several weeks into a reporting experiment. When activists established Portland’s occupation in early October, producers at the volunteer-driven community station decided that the best way to cover the movement was from the inside—to occupy Occupy.