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Brian Vander Ark Joins WLAV as Afternoon Host

October 27, 2023

Brian Vander Ark

Cumulus Media has announced that it has appointed Brian Vander Ark as On-Air Host, Afternoons, for Classic Rock station 97 LAV/WLAV-FM (Grand Rapids). Vander Ark, a native of West Michigan, is best known as lead singer and songwriter of Rock band, The Verve Pipe. He debuts on 97 LAV in Afternoon Drive on Monday, October 30th and can be heard Monday through Friday from 3:00 - 7:00 p.m.

Vander Ark began his music career as a guitarist for the band His Boy Elroy and moved on to start the band Johnny with an Eye with his brother, Brad Vander Ark. In 1992, he disbanded Johnny with an Eye to form The Verve Pipe with Brad, drummer Donny Brown and guitarist Brian Stout. The band recorded two independent albums, I’ve Suffered A Head Injury and Pop Smear. The Verve Pipe’s major label debut, Villains, featured the Vander Ark-penned single “The Freshmen”, the group’s highest-charting single and one of the most successful multi-format tracks of 1997. “Never Let You Down,” the lead single from the band’s 2001 album, Underneath, was one of the Top 50 Most Played songs for Adult Top 40 and Modern A/C radio in 2001.

Brian Vander Ark released his first solo album, Resurrection, in 2003. He toured extensively in support of the album, including a double-bill acoustic tour with Butch Walker. Vander Ark’s second solo release, Angel, Put Your Face On, was released in 2006, followed by a self-titled third record in 2008, produced by Bill Szymczyk. Szymczyk then produced Brian’s follow-up, Magazine, in 2011. In 2016, Brian released an album of story songs with actor/songwriter Jeff Daniels.

Derek Falter, Vice President/Market Manager, Cumulus Grand Rapids, said: “I’m excited to add such a dynamic talent to our team right from our own backyard! I see Brian collaborating with our stations in West Michigan in many ways in the very near future.”

Gregg Henson, Program Director, WLAV, remarked: “I’m happy Brian has decided to join the LAV team. He matters to Grand Rapids, and this is a natural platform for him to continue to engage West Michigan music fans.”

Brian Vander Ark commented: “I’m thrilled to join the team at WLAV. I look forward to not only playing the best in Classic Rock, but also to sharing stories from my humble beginnings in West Michigan, all the way to my rise to Rock stardom. I’m proud to be a part of the WLAV legacy.”

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