by: Mari Frank, Esq.
Roland Esq Holmes has been involved with KUCI since 1984, but both of his shows have existed since 1963. He has two great shows “the Gospel Soul Train” which airs Sundays from 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. and “ESQ – All About Jazz” which airs Mondays right before “Privacy Piracy” from 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. Roland is a musician, himself, and is dedicated to great music. Now that he is our program “neighbor” at KUCI (our show airs immediately after his), we have enjoying hearing his great music. I am thrilled to interview Roland, let you know more about him and his terrific show.
Tell us how and when you came to be at KUCI.
I came to UCI on a 6-month Contract, in Mid-1983, working for the Vice Chancellor and discovered KUCI. I was on the Air on Radio XEMO in Tijuana, Mexico. I filed for a Time Slot and gave Notice to XEMO, and began on KUCI in March 1984.
Tell us the name of your show on KUCI and how did you decide on that name?
My Gospel Show on Sundays is called “The Gospel Soul Train.”
My Monday Show is “E.S. Q. It’s all about Jazz, flavored with a little Soul.
Both Shows started in 1963 on Radio XEXX-1420 in Tijuana, Mexico, and followed me to KLRO-FM in San Diego, California, KDIG-FM in La Jolla, Ca and back to Tijuana on Radio XEMO-AM.
When I first came to KUCI, I was concerned about the conservative community, and changed the Gospel Soul Train to the Gospel Connection. Then one day a listener called and told me that they remembered me when the Sunday show was the Gospel Soul Train, and I should change the name back to that., and I did.
How has the station changed in all these years?
Because of the changes in the music and the fact that the station is a Student Run station, the musical format has followed along with the times. Thank God, nothing has been Negative.
Tell us why you have Esq. in your name?
The name Esquire was given to me by an Admiral when I in the Navy, back in the 50’s. During Inspection one day, my ship’s Captain and an Admiral held Inspection of the entire crew. I had what was called a “Rolled collar” on my dungaree shirt, and the Admiral said, I was Mr. Esquire himself. The crew never let me forget it and it has stayed with me since.
What part of being a DJ is the most enjoyable?
You get to educate your audience as you entertain them, and you get great feed-back from them.
You’ve done some special shows each year. Tell us about those.
Because Jazz is received and respected around the world as “The American Cultural Art Form”, I’ve always had the feeling that we don’t “Highlight” the Works of our musicians whom the world over Love. So when the opportunity presents itself, I jump at the chance to do so, by doing 24-hour marathons. (Smile)
What are your goals for your show?
To continue to Educate while I Entertain the public.
Who helps you with your show?
I have a Co-announcer on Sunday. She’s been with me for 10-years now. That’s it.
When do you air?
Gospel on Sundays from 7:00 A.M. to 10:00 A.M. Jazz & Soul on Mondays from 6:00 A.M. to 8:00A.M.
What is the website URL for your show and what will we find there?
I am not computer literate. I don’t know about those things. (Smile)
What types of music and talent do you play on your show?
Straight Ahead Jazz, with a little R & B. The Giants of yesterday.
Describe the format of your show.
Entertainment, with information on the musicians.
Who is your ideal listener?
Young and old adults.
What do you do when you aren’t being a DJ?
I work in the Medical Field. I’m an Asthma Coordinator for a UCLA Sponsored Program. I’m also a State Certified Para-legal.
What have you learned about yourself and others while volunteering at KUCI?
We are appreciated, because of the absence of commercial. More music, less talk.
What do you want your legacy to be as a KUCI DJ?
One who Educated, while Entertaining.
What would you like to see happen in the future at KUCI?
Sponsorship of Live Jazz Concerts on Campus.
What are your hobbies outside of the station?
I’m a musician. I play Conga Drums with musicians in the Los Angeles area. I also play Tennis and Golf as well as swim and read.
How has KUCI affected your life?
It has opened doors in the music world. Now that we’re heard around the world, I receive communication from outside the USA.
What else do you want the UCI community and our listeners to know about you or the station?
We’re here for their enjoyment.
Thank you Roland for 26 years of your great music shows, and your dedication to KUCI. We’re proud to have our show air right after yours—it’s a great way to start Monday morning with jubilant jazz!
Mari Frank is a local attorney and the host of Privacy Piracy, which airs every Wednesday from 5-6 PM on KUCI. She also presents the weekly public service announcements called "Orange County News and Safety Tips" sharing important safety reminders from our local Orange County sheriff.