By Jackie Salowitz
Tribune Recorder Leader
“This is a dream gig for this Deckerville gal who digs music, Lake Huron, and loves to talk,” said Jane Asher-Reaney of her new opportunity to be part of Sonic Coast, a Michigan based streaming app focused on the rich musical history surrounded by the Great Lakes.
Born and raised and graduating from Deckerville High School in 1979, Asher has always loved the music industry, from playing flute from fifth grade through her senior year, with Mr. David Smith as her teacher, to attending SC4 in Port Huron, where she did her first radio show and then attending Specs Howard School of Broadcast Arts in Detroit.
Four days after she graduated from Specs, she started her first gig at WBMI-West Branch. From there, she worked at the following radio stations: Foxy 95-Clare (Owned by Paul Christy who ultimately lead her to California); WJML-Petoskey; KTYD-Santa Barbara; and KTMS-Santa Barbara.
In 1990, Asher made a segue out of radio into the record industry. She worked in promotion and marketing for Virgin Records in Chicago held a similar position in Los Angles for I.R.S. and Imago Records. She worked with various bands such as UB40, Lenny Kravitz, Iggy Pop, and Steve Winwood creating promotions and taking radio listeners back stage to meet the artists.
She met her husband, Tom, after she moved back to Southern California from Chicago and they married in 1993. No longer wanting to be on the road once she became a mother, she went back to radio after having her two children, Betty and Thomas. Jane is the daughter of Don and Betty Asher, and sibling to Lynn, Gail, Patti, Donna and Tom.
Asher worked at the following radio stations in San Diego: The Eagle, KGB, K-Best, KSON, KIFM, and KyXy
She said, “Needing more freedom to express myself creatively I eventually stepped away from terrestrial radio and created a podcast and wrote a book by the same name called “The Next Room.””
So just how did the opportunity arise for Asher, who resides in California, to get the opportunity to work with this Michigan-based streaming app?
She said, “Funny story, to be honest I was having a good time interviewing experts for my podcast and writing in my home studio but then Nancy Schoenheide called. She and I have been best friends since Specs. Nancy has built quite a name for herself in PR & Marketing out of Detroit area (The Michigan State Fair, Motor City Music Foundation and the Gasoline Gypsies) she had recently reconnected with Brian Maloney, the creator of The Sonic Coast. At the time Brian was playing the Gypsies at his radio station in North Carolina when he shared with Nancy about his idea and desire to create a Michigan based streaming app focused on the rich musical history surrounded by the Great Lakes. Brian, also a native Michigander was born and raised on the east side of Detroit happened to be our classmate at Specs Howard-PD9/80. Nancy encouraged him to follow his Sonic Coast dreams and at the same time in her wand-waving-magical-style she suggested he may want to reach out to me. Brian and I hadn’t really talked in 40 years since attending Specs. Once he explained his concept and asked if I wanted to be on board I jumped at the opportunity. Wha-la! Michigan, Music, Talking, I was all in!”
With today’s technology, Jane Asher uses her small recording studio in her garage, which she works in daily to record. She said, “Brian sends me weekly updates on all of the new music he has added to The Sonic Coast. I do research as well on the bands and their music, so I know what they are up to, where they are playing, or if they are releasing a new album. It helps that I was born and raised in Michigan and have always had a life-long connection to my home state. I also visit as often as much as humanly possible. When I asked about guidance for this position, Brian told me two things, he said, “#1. “Be yourself” and #2. “ Have fun” I mean come on!”
Several Deckerville teachers influenced her career choices:
Mr. Smith – Band Creativity and discipline: I played flute from 5th grade through my senior year.
Mrs. Buhl: She instilled in me a passion and love of art.
Mrs. Russell: The world’s best English teacher and a sweetheart of a human being
Mr. Schramm and Ms. Champion “Schrambo & Champ”, they both fed my tenacity and encouraged a dedication on becoming a team leader and a generous player (Basketball, Volleyball, Track & Field).
Asher said, “I would like to thank Nancy for always being in my corner, and of course Brian Maloney for this magnificent opportunity. Also a BIG thanks to all of my family, friends, and listeners especially in the Thumb. The love, support, and belief in me is beyond anything I could have imagined. There’s definitely a secret magic in the water surrounding Michigan. Anyone who has ever had the pleasure of either living or visiting knows what I’m talking about. The people are the best of the best. And please download the Sonic Coast app and help us spread the Great Lakes and Great Grooves of The Sonic Coast where Michigan Music comes first!
For those wishing to view Jane Asher’s book, the link is https://www.amazon.com/Next-Room-Jane-Asher/dp/1737435608/