Annie Harrigan may be 22 years old, but she still has a Bert and Ernie sing-along tape in her car.
"A part of me, culture-wise, is a kid at heart," she says. "I never really grew up."
That's part of the reason why the Kansas University senior has started "Little Red Radio," a children's radio program heard on KJHK 90.7 FM, the student-run radio station at KU.
The show started earlier this month - it's heard at 10 on Saturday mornings - and Harrigan has big plans. She wants to play children's staples through the years (such as songs from "The Aristocats" and "The Muppet Show") as well as have themed shows, storytime and child guests.
She says the show is appropriate for children of all ages but adds: "My secret hope is people of all ages tune in - that people my age tune in. It can be their guilty pleasure."
Harrigan is a veteran DJ at KJHK who plans to be an art teacher. She's taken shifts behind the microphone since her freshman year and grew up listening to a children's radio station in Kansas City. She realized there is no similar station in the area now.
"I'm going to be a teacher, so I'm interested in cultures that are appropriate for kids," she says. "In Lawrence, there's a demographic that's not being tapped into for children and families. It seemed like the missing link in our programming."
Harrigan plans to have themed shows - including animals and numbers - and wants to give children a chance to be on the radio. She also hopes to develop an online community/forum where parents and children can talk about issues (www.littleredradio.blogspot.com).
Her top five songs for children:
¢ "Sunshine, Lollipops and Rainbows" by Lesley Gore.
¢ "I Don't Want to Live on the Moon" by Ernie (of "Sesame Street" Bert and Ernie fame).
¢ "Yakko's World" from "Animaniacs."
¢ "Interplanet Janet" from "Schoolhouse Rock."
¢ "Apples and Bananas" by Raffi.
Nick Spacek, program director at KJHK, says he thinks the show is a good fit in Lawrence. He notes that both he and his 8-year-old son have enjoyed the music.
"The sort of listeners who are probably going to be most attracted by 'Little Red Radio' are parents with kids in that 1- to 10-year-old range," Spacek says. "But you are going to get people who are KJHK's demographic, too."
And that's what drives Harrigan's choice in music - the idea that once you're a kid, you're always a kid.
"There's a sense of nostalgia that will never go away," she says.