This story was published on Arizona Sonora News on March 31, 2016
TOMBSTONE — Lincoln Leavere saunters through a saloon off Allen Street and takes a seat outside. The Tombstone “gunslinger” leans in to explain his plan: He wants to bring the Wild West into the age of podcasts.
Leavere, an actor at Old Tombstone Western Town, along with a few other partners, hopes to launch Tombstone Radio later this spring as a podcast. The radio station will broadcast stories about the West and music to fit the setting in Tombstone, as well as provide updates on the area’s current events.
“It’s a little bit of history, a little bit of rock n’ roll,” Leavere says. “It’s mostly about having fun in the West.”
So, in the town that thrives on living in the late 19th century, the plan is for its podcast to be able to reach anyone around the world through smartphones, tablets or a connection to the Internet.
“It’s not about turning on your radio anymore,” Leavere says. “Everyone is on their phone or on their tablet and we have to tap into that. Even though we’re a 100-plus year old town, we’ve got to catch up.”
The idea of Tombstone Radio is one that’s been around for a couple years, Leavere says. In addition to the music — a mix of outlaw country, blues and rock — the radio station will have some talk shows and stories about the paranormal. Some Tombstone historians also will make appearances, he says.
He plans to work with Deacon Drawdy, a Tombstone IT worker, for the technical logistics of launching Tombstone Radio. Drawdy — who, along with his brother, also created the first website dedicated to Tombstone nearly two decades ago — will develop a website and an app for the podcast.
Leavere’s goal is to draw more interest to Tombstone and Cochise County and entice people from around the country to visit after listening. He also hopes this will help in some way to bring more movies back to Southern Arizona.
He’s not too concerned with being able to attract local advertisers for Tombstone Radio, and when he does start bringing in money, Leavere wants to give some of it back to the community. This includes making donations to the animal shelter, the senior center, the Marshals Office and the Fire Department.
Leavere already has plans to promote the coming podcast. In addition to acting in gunfights in Tombstone, Leavere also acts in movies and he’s worked alongside the likes of Johnny Depp, Kevin Costner and Kurt Russell. He also played Butch Cassidy on a Fox News program about the Old West.
He plans to tap into those connections, as well as his network of people in Tombstone, to grow an audience for the podcast. Tombstone Radio’s Facebook page has more than 400 likes, as of this week.
Drawdy has a foot in the movie industry, too. He recently returned from a trip to Los Angeles, where he’s working on a film project.
“We’ve got some street cred to be able to pull off something to get people to follow it,” Drawdy says.
Drawdy hopes that Tombstone Radio also will be made available through Micro FM airwaves that would reach the immediate area of Tombstone. That way, he says, visitors can begin their Tombstone experience as they pull up in their cars to the O.K. Corral.
Leavere also requested use of a train car in town from the Tombstone City Council last month to serve as a “home base” for the podcast and attract interest through foot traffic.
Even if some of the loftier goals aren’t met, the Tombstone actor plans on having a good time making the podcast.
“It’s all about having fun,” Leavere says.