Journalist and activist Thorne Dreyer has interviewed hundreds of people for Rag Radio since it went on the air in 2009. Making Waves features transcripts from twenty-one of those interviews, with everyone from TV anchor Dan Rather to Senator Bernie Sanders to monumental sculptor Bob “Daddy-O” Wade. The Rag Radio archive is now part of the collections at the Briscoe Center for American History at the University of Texas.
As a student at the University of Texas in the 1960s, Dreyer joined the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) and became heavily involved in civil rights and the movement to end the war in Vietnam. He also helped create and edit two underground newspapers—The Rag in Austin and Space City! in Houston—and later ran a public relations business with a diverse list of clients, including progressive political campaigns. Dreyer credits the influence of his artist mother and writer father and their lively salons plus his journalism career, his political and social activism, and his stage acting experience for his interviewing success—“Put it all in a blender and Rag Radio was bound to whip up.”
Making Waves holds a wealth of information, but Dreyer makes it read like conversations among friends. “I always tell my guests that I want the discussion to be informal,” Dreyer says. “We’re going to record some important history here, but we also want to have fun.”