Forrest Letson always knew he wanted a career in radio. “I’ve always been a Top 40 guy,” he says, “I did dance in Austin and San Francisco and have a passion for dancing, so I decided to fuse the two together.” Forrest, also known as Partyboy Bueller, fused these two passions to create Partyboy Radio, a round-the-clock station on Live365. The station features Top 40 hits from artists like Drake, Justin Bieber, and Taylor Swift. And Forrest’s favorite artist right now? Justin Bieber. “I’ve got Bieber fever!” he admits.
Forrest began working in the Austin radio scene when he was only 15 years old. After living in cities like Dallas and Palm Springs, he returned to his home town and decided to start the radio station. “It was my dad’s idea,” he says, noting that Partyboy Radio is a son and pop operation. Forrest handles the programming, music, and talent, while his dad is “more of the engineer.”
Like any job, there are challenges. “Sometimes we are under pressure to put a show together last minute – a guest cancels…[it’s] live radio, these things are going to happen,” says Forrest, who adds that it’s mostly really fun work. He likes for his staff to “have creative freedom. I want everyone to present their personalities on air. [We] welcome differences in variety…we have drag queens on air.”
Forrest is proud that Partyboy Radio is one of the only LGBT-owned stations in Central Texas. Anyone can listen by downloading the Live365 app and using the keyword: partyboy. Listeners can also check out the personalities at http://www.partyboyradio.com. The station is expanding their staff and currently interviewing for spots. For more information, contact Forrest at email@example.com
On Saturday, December 12th, Partyboy Radio is hosting the Winter Masquerade Ball which will benefit AIDS Services of Austin. The organization is near to Forrest’s heart, saying that ASA “[focuses] on a very holistic approach to living with HIV and AIDS. It’s important for people to be more educated about HIV and AIDS.” Forrest often mentions on his shows about the importance of this. “I always encourage people to check out ASA, get tested, know their status, and learn [how] you can live with HIV and how to deal with stigma.”
He continues, “Education is the number one priority. I am part of the LGBT community and ten years ago I didn’t understand what [HIV] was. I started having friends come out and tell me they were positive, and I was forced to learn more about it.” Guests at the Winter Masquerade Ball are encouraged to wear something red to show their support for HIV and AIDS awareness.
The Masquerade Ball will feature a fun array of musicians and entertainers. Sarah Jane, a rock star flute player, is on the lineup alongside the blues sounds of Busk Walkers and The Swamp Bats. Female impersonators Mechelle Marco, Kelly Kline, and Goldie Haynes will be performing individually on stage. And don’t forget the go-go dancers, Jello shots, and cupcakes! Dress is cocktail attire. Entry is free, and all proceeds from the evening will benefit ASA.
You can learn more by checking out the Facebook event page at https://www.facebook.com/events/1207045079322639/. Special shout outs go to Carrie Steffen, Richard Letson, Gino and Ashley, and all of the volunteers that evening. Thanks also to sponsors Lagunitas Brewing Company, The Metropolis Apartments, Package Menswear and Wake and Bake. Partyboy Bueller is also the founder of Partyboys Do Good that raises money for various charities. The event details are at partyboysdogood.moonfruit.com.
Get your masquerade mask and red attire ready, and we’ll see you on December 12th!