WDET is Detroit’s public radio station based at Wayne State University. The station was originally put on the air by the United Autoworkers Union in 1949. A few years later, the UAW gifted the station to WSU which has used the station as a station to reflect the community. During the period of the Detroit punk/new wave scene, there were several programs that developed, overlapped, and evolved as the station moved from what people would consider a community station to a more polished public radio station within the National Public Radio affiliate ecosystem.
Originally hosted by jazz trumpeter Charles Moore, who would also create the influential but short-lived Starta Records label, the show featured live performances by renown jazz musicians such as Charles Mingus. After Moore left to Los Angeles in the late 1970s, the show was hosted by several different writers and poets from the Cass Corridor scene including George Tysh and Dennis Teichman.
In the late 1970s/early 1980s, thanks in part to their connections with poet/writer Jim Atkinson, Martin Bandyke and Ralph Valdez were offered an opportunity to play some of their record store finds from the underground music scene. Bandyke was offered an opportunity to join in some jam sessions with Atkinson which lead to the formation of the band Retro which Valdez would later joint. By 1983, Bandyke and Valdez became hosts of Dimension. As WDET’s music offerings began to evolve, Bandyke and Valdez were eventually hired full time and had their own daily music shows on the station until the mid-2000s.