Ryan Goose Nissley arrived at Northwestern College’s student-run radio station in the fall of 2004. Upon first stepping into WVOE’s studios and beholding the fuzzy red microphones, there was no way he could have anticipated the mirth and memories that were to follow. The next four years would see Goose host a 97 hour marathon for charity, host a special program on race that garnered him a death threat from a disgruntled listener, and earn nine national radio awards. All the while, his increasingly loyal listeners followed him each week in his two hour effor to provide entertainment, information, and a general sense of well being.
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The young Goose was tutored for the opening weeks of his first fall at VOE by an elderly techie named Andrew Savitski, who had has own show on the station and taught our fowl friend the basic tricks of the trade. After this short time, Nissley was released to do his own radio will. He teamed up first with his classmate Emily and they formed “The Gooseberry Pie Program”. After several months, Goose contracted mono and went home to sleep… and sleep some more. When he returned later that year, his broadcast partner had abandoned him in favor of an Irishman. Because of this, Goose was forced to begin his own program. He called it “The Duck, Duck, Goose Program”.
Making a Name & Keeping Things Secure
The Mel Johnson Media Center saw more entertainment, information, and a general sense of well being the following year. Sophomore year saw the institution of this audio hodge podge at the open of every Duck, Duck, Goose Program. Meanwhile, the Program began to hit its stride. The 2005-06 campaign offered unique advertising that included branding the show in the way of jolly old England.
This campaign also saw the arrival of a completely inexplicable phenomenon – Goose being credited with 150 years of excellence.
Some of the most enjoyable moments of the early months of Duck, Duck, Goose were had when the Northwestern College Campus Safety officers paid visits to the studio. Ken, George, and Tony made their way to WVOE on occassion, and Ken’s visits in particular became a staple of the early portion of the program. The evening that Ken and Goose discussed the culinary art of turducken proves particularly memorable.
Tackling Tough Issues, Expanding the Levity
2006-07 will be remembered for controversy at Northwestern College. Following a scathing rebuke on racial issues during the school’s required chapel by a former NWC student guest speaker, race issues were brought dramatically to the forefront of campus consciousness. Nissley brought the Duck, Duck, Goose Program into the fray with a special DDG – Race at NWC. Listen to the full broadcast here. Featuring portions of over thirty interviews with NWC faculty, staff, student government officials, and students, the program was the first of its kind on WVOE. It’s two hour airing had its own impact on campus, with several notable scuffles stemming from comments made by guests on the program. The show went on to win first place nationally in the Intercollgiate National Religious Broadcaster’s radio news category.
The Duck, Duck, Goose Program also was home to some of the more entertaining discussions about NWC campus politics. During the race for the student associations’ top jobs, Goose constructed this tongue in cheek montage to pay homage to only candidates running. The very same NRB, which gave this Goose this award was duly attended by a contigent of WVOE students in the spring of 2008. DDG did a live show from a hotel in Orlanda where they were staying. You can catch the whole episode here. It featured Northwestern broadcasting professor and Goose’s mentor Mark H. Seignious, the Twin Cities radio icon formerly known as “Disney Dayton”, doing an impression of the otherworldly visitor ‘ET’.
Goose was blessed with a remarkable cast of characters, including a liberal think-tank named Michael Alan Novak. Goose and Novak often teamed up over the next two years to provide unique political and cultural commentary on DDG’s NPR Segment. Here’s a sampling.
Wrapping up in Style
The 97 Hours of Christmas was held in December of Goose’s senior year. This involved, among other things, Nissley living in a radio studio for over four days. Hear Goose Open the Inaugural 97 Hours of Christmas. VOE continues the tradition of that first each December to benefit local charities. The last year of college wasn’t just about serious matters though. Goose also playfully accused non WVOE listeners of belonging to various cults.
In Nashville, Tennessee – in the spring of the year – a venerable broadcast legend named Reid Holsen joined the WVOE live remote broadcast from Gospel Music Week, and set everyone laughing. Hear Reid thoroughly roasting Goose.
The night finally came when college graduation loomed only days ahead and it was time for a fond and heartfelt farewell to the mirth of college radio. That night on Duck, Duck, Goose, Mr. David Gregory joined Goose on the program. Gregory helmed Northwestern’s student newspaper, The Column. The two used this emotional moment, to sing the Bette Midler classic, “The Wind Beneath My Wings”.