Five reasons Wendy Rollins is excited to return to Philly on the XPN airwaves - WXPN | Vinyl At Heart

This fall, the XPN community will hear a new voice in the mix that’s very familiar to radio listeners in Philly. Wendy Rollins is joining the station’s airstaff, hosting on weekends and various other shifts throughout the week, beginning this Saturday.

Rollins was a prominent on-air personality and Assistant Program Director on Alt 104.5 from its launch in 2007 up until 2016, when she moved back to her native Georgia to work at Atlanta’s iHeartRadio affiliate Alt 105.7, contributing occasional fill-in shifts on the Philly airwaves on weekend. After taking a hiatus from radio beginning in January of 2020, Rollins has moved back to Philly with her husband and their four dogs, and will host her first shift on WXPN this Saturday, November 13th, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Rollins’ career in radio has taken her all over the country: New Bern, North Carolina to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina; Reno, Nevada to Charleston, South Carolina. But her decade living and working in Philly had a profound impact on her, and the city has a special place in her heart. We asked Wendy to share five reasons why she’s excited to return to Philly, and here’s what she had to say.

1. The local music scene! 

The local music scene is absolutely different here. And it’s not just that Philly is a metropolitan city — so is Atlanta! First of all, there are more bands, and they play shows together, they know one another, they write together. There’s more of a community. I find that to be different from other cities I’ve lived in. And I missed that when I moved, because when I’d meet one band here in Philly, I’d go to their show and meet all these other bands that they’re friends with. It’s not competitive, and that’s honestly how I found so many bands – through these groups of friends who all happen to be great players. 

2. There’s more live music happening in general. 

A lot more artists play Philly than other cities. I don’t know if proximity, and being along that D.C. to Philly to New York corridor. But when I see bands announce a tour where they’re only doing select sets or select cities, Philly is always on there. Being in radio in Atlanta, I saw all these artists that were touring, and they just wouldn’t come down. And there’s a variety of shows that are always happening, and I mean from arena shows down to club shows — there’s just more music actively happening in Philly. 

3. Getting around is easy. 

Philly is a walkable city, and it makes such a difference. I like how you can go get a drink at this place, and then go over there and get dinner, and go over there and go to the show. You can just bounce around! It’s easy to do a lot of different things in one night in Philly. In other cities, you walk out the door wherever you’re at, and it’s ghost town; you get in your Uber and get home. But Philly has a dirty charm to it, and that’s something I like…there’s something always happening! If you don’t have plans, but you go to dinner, you can walk a couple blocks and find something to do. 

4. The diversity of the neighborhoods 

One of the things I like is that there are all kinds of people in Philadelphia and there are all kinds of neighborhoods. You will find a place that you will feel at home, and fit in. You can find your people, your tribe. I really love Manayunk, there’s so much packed into the area, so many different things — Main Street Music, Lucky’s Last Chance — but I love the big hills, and so much scenery too! I also love the green spaces tucked all over the city. The Wissahickon is a favorite. I could spend all day on Kelly Drive…if there isn’t a regatta. Any day we can take our dogs out on the trails is time well spent.

5. The people!

There is the whole idea of southern charm, and to me, I find that people in the Northeast are far more approachable and passionate about their community and their neighborhoods. There’s something about the people here that I find them actually to be more friendly than the south. In the south, there’s this idea of “don’t speak till you’re spoken to,” but people in Philly will walk right up to you. Which I like! People in Philly aren’t afraid to get rowdy, but they aren’t afraid to be your best friend. When we first moved to Philly we were very intimidated, but we found the brotherly love actually exists. Everyone wanted to tell us where to check out a show, ask “have you met this person?” They didn’t hesitate to help us out and introduce us to their city. 

In preparation for her first shifts on WXPN, we asked Rollins what music she’s been excited about lately. She responded with a Spotify playlist, Wendy’s Headphones, which you can take a listen to below!

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