WSUM Show of the Week: Heavy Petting Zoo

  • Post Author
    by Web manager
  • Post Date
    Tue May 07 2013


Name of show: “The Heavy Petting Zoo: Make-Out Music & More from the 1930s-1950s”

Time:   Saturdays at 7:00-9:00 p.m.

Host info (Name, Major, year):  You know me as “Grandma Cyd.” I graduated from UW-Madison in 2005 with a major in Communication Arts (Radio/TV/Film) and a certificate in Leadership.

What is your show like?

“The Heavy Petting Zoo” features music from a wide variety of artists spanning four decades. You'll hear rare recordings of bands from the “hot jazz” era (1920s) as well as some classic favorites by the likes of Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald. We revive the big band sound of the 1940s and feature the occasional World War II V-Disc recording. Once in a while, you'll catch a song out of the1960s. But whatever you do, don't call HPZ an “oldies show.”

Why should people listen to your show?

There are few (if any) opportunities to hear this type of music on the radio anymore, especially in the Madison area. Each week, I try to select songs that are hard to find but worth remembering. I find that younger listeners stick around because they appreciate the musical charm of a bygone era, and older listeners are grateful to hear this music on the radio again.

I'm told the show is a wonderful backdrop to a dinner party, cookout, or campfire. It's the perfect accompaniment to your Saturday night!

How long have you had a show at WSUM?

HPZ turns 8 years old in June!

What do you do outside of the station? (Hobbies, job, etc)

I just wrapped up my five-year membership and two-year term as the President of the Friends of Madison Student Radio board, which raises funds to help support WSUM (donate at!). I've also served as the volunteer coordinator of the Wisconsin Book Festival for the last four years. On the side, I have a day job that pays me to read books and ask questions, which are two things I do best.

But they don't call me “Grandma” just for grins. I earned that title! I enjoy old movies and TV shows (Dick Van Dyke is the shiz); attending the occasional opera, symphony, or figure skating championship; traveling; reading; bowling; gardening; and going to bed at a reasonable hour. I also like baseball, which is SO a granny sport.

Favorite Music:

Anything featured on “The Heavy Petting Zoo,” of course! (Is this a trick question?) When I need a break from my ‘homework,' I listen to groups like Vampire Weekend, Passion Pit, and whatever else my friends might recommend.

Fun Fact about you or your show:

“The Heavy Petting Zoo” is one of the longest-running shows on WSUM, and it's the longest-running show upheld by a single host. Other shows like “On Wisconsin” and “The Student Section” have had new hosts come in and out throughout the years.

You can learn more about HPZ at