Sunday Night Sound Session: May 2005 – April 2017

“…seasons change, mad things rearrange…” (c) Lauryn Hill

It is with mixed emotions that I announce the 12 year run of Sunday Night Sound Session has come to an end.

Jonathan Moore and I started SNSS in May of 2005, thanks to the opportunity given to us by Eric Powers and Karen Wild, the former Program and Music Directors of KUBE 93 in Seattle. From day one, our goal was simple: good music and good conversation. We built the show organically, exactly as we wanted it to sound. From the intros to the production elements to the interviews we scheduled, and most importantly, to the songs we selected, everything was developed to represent our musical tastes and cultural sensibilities.

We ended up giving hundreds of artists (including some who have gone on to superstardom) their first radio airplay and interviews, but it was never about “breaking” records. All we wanted to do was share good music with the masses and show the full spectrum of the culture, especially to kids that were otherwise only exposed to one sound and message through TV and radio.

When we started, there were very few outlets for this type of content, even on the web. Sound Session pre-dates the hip-hop blog era, Facebook’s public launch, the entire download/streaming music business model, and the iPhone. We carried on in the tradition of great radio programs like The Stretch Armstrong & Bobbito Show, Friday Night Flavas, and The Wake Up Show, scouring every corner of the web and tapping our industry contacts to bring you our favorite new tracks every week. We made it a priority to give unknown artists 100k watts of power to amplify their voices, and to support local music from the entire Pacific Northwest. We’re thankful to have played a part in shaping the Northwest hip-hop scene and are thrilled to see its current strength and versatility.

Over the years, we’ve watched technology completely disrupt and change the music industry, especially within radio. We were one of the last independent music programs on an increasingly homogenized commercial radio landscape, one which is closer to extinction than ever before. For perspective, when I started working at KUBE 93 as an intern in 2002, we had about 50 staff members across on-air, promotions, production, and sales departments. I leave, 15 years later, as the last Seattle-based on-air host for KUBE. The rest of the broadcasts are syndicated from other markets, and the handful of people working hard off the air also do that same work for 6 other radio stations in iHeartRadio’s Seattle cluster.

On behalf of all the KUBE 93 employees I’ve had the honor to work with and call friends over the years: I’m the last one out and I have literally turned off the studio lights for us all. It was a great run and I enjoyed every minute of it. Thank you.

It feels fitting that we aired the last episode of Sound Session on the same night we had a memorial to celebrate J. Moore’s life, and 2 days after his 48th birthday when the Mayor’s Office announced April 21st will forever be known as Jonathan Moore Day in the city of Seattle. The evening was filled with love, laughter, and music, and after the festivities, we had some of his closest friends co-host the show (archive here).

While the quality never dipped, truthfully, Sound Session was never the same after the last show Jon and I hosted together, episode #500 (amazing that it came on such a recognizable milestone), in January of 2015. That was the night we announced I’d spend the next year abroad in London, working for my day job at ESPN. While I still put together the music and helped produce the show from across the pond, we planned on Jon hosting solo until I returned. Right before I came back, Jon’s battles with his kidney problems took a turn for the worse and he was forced off the air. At the same time, KUBE 93.3 flipped frequencies to KUBE 104.9 and our long-time bosses and supporters left the station. I returned to Seattle and started hosting again, but soon embarked on extended business trips to Australia and Brazil, forcing me to broadcast from around the globe. It was a heavy lift, but we kept the show running and kept supplying listeners with the music that we loved.

Jon passed away on March 8th, a few weeks before I returned from Brazil. Nothing has been the same since I lost my brother. I’d love to keep Sound Session going forever, but Jon’s passing and my decision to accept another year-long assignment in London are clear signals that the show has reached its conclusion. Station management has declined my recommendation to pass the reins or rebrand and relaunch a new show in the same time slot. All good things do indeed come to an end.

I don’t plan on hanging up my headphones (even though my trusty Technics broke in studio on our final show…another sign, perhaps) and I have a few ideas on how I’ll stay involved in music. I have all our Sound Session episodes saved offline and may decide to re-upload them, so if you’re interested in that or my next moves, you can follow along on social media (Twitter / Facebook / Instagram). I leave for London in a few days and am looking forward to the next chapter.

Lastly, a massive thank you to all the artists, managers, DJ’s, journalists, promoters, etc. who have helped Sound Session over the years. Special shout to the amazing interns and videographers we worked with. Infinite love and light to my brother Jon and his beautiful family. Above all, thank you to all the listeners that ever tuned in. We did the show for you, the music, and the culture.


– Hyphen

4 Responses to “Sunday Night Sound Session: May 2005 – April 2017”

  1. E-Rock says:

    You guys were the best! Thanks for all your hard work and giving us some fire hip hop! RIP Moore!!

  2. Christian Davidson says:

    Thank you!
    I loved your show ever since I first came across it. Driving in the late night bumping new Rick Ross at the time it was like a dream come true to found a radio station playing new and great music especially with the great and proper knowledge of music. I am so sorry about the loss of J. Moore. I meet him one time in Belltown working as a security guard. I was a big fan boy and totally forgot how to say his name he still gave me daps and told me to have a good day. Again thank you guys for all you done I will still be listening to you guys for as long as I can.

  3. Alex Ferrante says:

    Thank you for years and years of an amazing radio show. You opened my ears to a whole new world of music I never would’ve been exposed too. I cannot thank you enough. I would love an archive of every episode.

  4. Wilhelm says:

    I remember discovering the show when I was kid and listening to KUBE. Staying up late to do homework on a Sunday, literally writing down the tracks that hit so I could search them up later to show my friends.
    The show was dope. Thanks again.

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