Rolf from Germany, Johnny Cash, and “Pladdekaddong”
In my continuing effort to highlight DJs from all over the world, I present Rolf Hierath from Germany. He is a big Johnny Cash fan and does no less then three weekly radio shows.
Bill Frater: Where and when did you start in radio, and what other stations have you worked at?
Rolf Hierath: In August 1996, we founded Radio RheinWelle 92,5 FM and we [have been] on air since September 1997. I also did work for Johnny Cash Radio. I did 255 [episodes of] “Rolf’s Cashbox” for them from 2011 – 2015.
I still work for Radio RheinWelle, broadcasting from Wiesbaden, Germany, doing three weekly radio shows called “Hillbilly Jukebox,” “Rockin’ Rollin’ RheinWelle,” and “Rolf’s Pladdekaddong.” Pladdekaddong is a word for a carton [kaddong] full of records [challplatten].
How do you describe your shows?
On “Hillbilly Jukebox” I play country music — old and new. On “Rockin’ Rollin’ RheinWelle” I play good old rock and roll from the 1950s and ’60s, some modern rock and roll, and rockabilly. I also play the German rock and roll song of the week. “Rolf’s Pladdekaddong” is a radio show where I play all kinds of music: German, rock, pop, blues, jazz, folk, comedy, old and new … everything you can imagine.
How do you prepare for your shows?
I spend a lot of time listening to music, reading magazines, etc. And then I put the playlists together.
How many new releases do you play and how much old stuff?
I play a lot of new releases [plus] a lot of old releases, as well as indies … it depends on what comes in.
What was the first artist or album that turned you on to roots music?
Long ago, my first favorite song was the German version of Sheb Wooley’s “Purple People Eater,” sung by Bill Ramsey. I was about three or four years old at the time. Then in school we had a teacher who played the guitar and taught us the songs of Lead Belly, Pete Seeger, Woody Guthrie, Lonnie Donegan, and such. That’s how it all started. Later I began collecting records, which I still do.
My all-time favorite albums are [Johnny Cash’s 1964 album] Bitter Tears, Johnny Cash At Folsom Prison, Johnny Cash At San Quentin, and Bridge Over Troubled Waters by Simon & Garfunkel.
Who are your favorite artists from any genre and whats artist define Americana music for you?
My favorite artists are Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Simon & Garfunkel, Willie Nelson, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Delmore Brothers, Sheb Wooley, Louvin Brothers, Chet Atkins, Merle Haggard, Carter Family, Little Richard, Bill Kirchen, Joan Baez, Bob Dylan, Kingston Trio, Dick Dale, Bill Haley, Elvis, Fats Domino, Dinah Washington, [and] Eartha Kitt, just to name a few. To me they’re all Americana.
What recent albums or artists are you excited about?
Del McCoury Band’s Del And Woody album, Pledge Drive from Blind Lemon Pledge, and Josh Williams’ Modern Day Man.
Do you have any other interesting hobbies or interests you wish to share?
I like playing guitar and Dobro, sitting on my back porch having a cold beer … and music, music, music.