90.1’s Jyl Hershman is that rarity of rarities: a DJ who did not come to 90.1 by way of the University of North Texas in Denton. (For you nostalgia buffs, that’s NTSU.) How she slipped in is a mystery, but 90.1 listeners can be glad she did.
As weekday afternoon music host, Hershman brings to the 1 to 4 p.m. slot a keen ear, an offbeat sense of humor, a wide knowledge of music, and a unique collection of records that are making 90.1’s afternoon show the liveliest spot on the FM dial.
“The show I do is the music I like,” Hershman says. “It wouldn’t work, otherwise. I’m happy I found 90.1 , . . and they found me.”
What she likes is folk music, reggae, Celtic music, blues, jazz, R&B, classical, maybe a calypso tune now and then, and some Brazilian sounds just for spice. Plus whatever else happens to strike her fancy.
The variety comes naturally. Hershman, a fine arts graduate of Boston’s Emerson University, is certified to teach English to Texas high schoolers. She toured France on the back seat of a bicycle built for two. She’s worked for a publishing company, done freelance writing, and created slide shows in Austin. Some of this, some of that.
And in the midst of it all, she managed to find a few years to do practically everything at WERS-FM in Boston, from on-air music duties to filing records and operating the transmitting equipment. It was that experience that led Hershman to 90.1, where she debuted last winter as a fill-in for various announcers. By February she had settled into the Saturday afternon slot, and moved to weekdays in May.
On the personal side, Jyl owns a cat named Mombasa, and has a good reason -well, a reason -for spelling her name that way. Catch her show weekday afternoons and maybe she’ll divulge it. If not, you’ll still hear three hours of the most diverse, interesting music anywhere. -D.F.