She’s the voice most Louisvillians recognize in an instant. Smooth like butter and as calming as Xanax, it can be heard daily on 91.9 WFPK-FM from 3-6 p.m., when Laura Shine plays afternoon host to those rushing home from a hard day’s work. When she speaks — and especially when she gets to giggling — that white-knuckled grip you have on your steering wheel slowly begins to ease up.
Shine was the first voice ever heard on WFPK in 1996, and before that, she got her start in radio on sister station WFPL in ’92 when she hosted “Womanwaves,” an hour-long show that focused on music by women. As an English major at U of L and lead singer in local band Yer Girlfriend, Shine had no idea she would spend her career behind a mic introducing Louisville audiences to new music.
She’s now the assistant program director for the public radio station and hosts the popular “Live Lunch” on Fridays at noon as well as “The Paws Report” on Tuesday afternoons.
She tells Insider she loves the instant connection and immediacy she has with listeners through the radio, and she enjoys getting to interview up-and-comers as well as her musical idols. Some of her highlights include talking with Bonnie Raitt, Elvis Costello, Joan Baez, Carlene Carter, Todd Snider and, most recently, host of NPR’s “Morning Edition,” Steve Inskeep.
“I’m not afraid to meet my idols, but it does make me nervous sometimes,” says Shine. “The pressure to do a good job feels tenfold when it’s somebody I greatly admire because I want them to be pleased and not feel like they’ve wasted their time.”
Some of her favorite interviews have been ones she went into not knowing much about the artist or artists.
“I love being surprised that way — and those are usually with people not as well known,” she says. “Honestly, I try to treat all of my guests with the same respect for their time, hard work and talents.”
We thought we’d turn the table on Shine and ask her seven very important questions …
What’s the most surprising thing on your Bucket List?
To do a show for TV or radio called “How’d You Get Your Dog” and travel all over the world recording people’s stories, answering that one question.
What poster was on your wall in junior high?
I had a collage glued to my wall of thousands of pictures I had cut out of magazines that I liked. Needless to say, we lost the deposit on our apartment!
If you were mayor, to whom would you give the key to the city?
Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein, so they could do something akin to “Portlandia” about Louisville. My hope is they would put a bird on it. Also, to Oprah, because Oprah.
What are your preferred pizza toppings?
Pepperoni, mushrooms, onion and banana peppers with garlic butter for the crust.
If you could be any age for a week, what would it be?
11 — the year I first went to Camp Piomingo. I’d enroll and do it all over again if I could.
What famous person do people say you resemble the most?
I have a lot of people ask me if I’m Laura Shine. I always assess the situation before answering that, especially if I’ve just made a fool of myself somehow. I’ve learned this the hard way! In my younger days, it was Kristy McNichol.
Who would you most like to be stuck with in an elevator?
Ellen Degeneres. She makes me laugh a lot. I love her.
Turns out Ellen did get stuck in an elevator once, kinda — take a look below …