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longer road towards realizing the scope of her now-obvious gift. "After that, I literally did not sing lead in front of a crowd until I was 15 years old."

After a fellow youth choir member couldn't show up, Leonard performed "Now Behold the Lamb," by Kirk Franklin, for the crowd. "When I opened my eyes, people were crying, people were in worship ... and I looked at my parents like, 'Okay, there's something special here.' "

Tasha Cobbs Leonard, "You Gotta Believe"

It's now decades later, a year after Billboard named Leonard "gospel artist of the decade" – but she says her father, who died several years ago, had a different vision for her.

"He loved gospel music, but he was really cultivating the communicator in me. The preacher, the teacher," she says. It was a role she grew into, and eventually Leonard and her husband were dreaming of founding a church. Last spring, they decided to take the plunge.


Rachel Martin, Morning Edition: "I mean, was that just a terrible coincidence, or... ?"

Tasha Cobbs Leonard: [Laughs] "We felt like, this is a moment where people really need God. And we felt the pull to launch a Bible study online, and put out a flyer saying 'Meet us on Zoom this Thursday, we're going to share some encouraging words with you' ... and here we are."


Leonard and her husband are now leading a blossoming, virtual (for the time being) church – something which, she says, directly inspired her Song Project piece.

"My husband and I, we're in the middle of making several decisions about life moving forward, and I just had this thought, 'But I have to keep believing.' All I have to depend on, to lean on, is my faith."


Rachel Martin, Morning Edition: There were so many low points, for so many, over the past year. Did you have one?

"Several. At the beginning of the pandemic, I lost a cousin. She was 21 years old, lived in New Jersey, and when COVID-19 hit so hard in that area, she was one of the ones that didn't make it.

"One of the hardest parts about those deaths is that they were alone. Family and friends weren't able to be there to hold their hands. Nobody was there to encourage them ... I can only imagine, had there been some physical touch, that maybe some of them would have been encouraged to keep breathing."

You referenced that particular lyric, "there's a reason for all these tears." Do you have a sense of what that reason is?

It's different for everyone. For me, my husband and I – we've gone through several things, with infertility, and it just became so heavy, so challenging. I found myself crying a lot. I literally had to stand up on stage at the Ryman Theatre and minister songs of worship about a God who's good. But during that time, it just didn't feel so good.

But now I see, through those tears, I'm able to speak to those people ... I can tell people, "You're going to smile again."

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Why is 104.9 becoming an NPR station?

104.9 FM has been purchased by Northern California Public Media. The former KDHT is now KRCB FM. The frequency has been changed, by permission of the FCC, from a commercial station to a non-commercial station. NorCal Public Media wanted to acquire a larger, more powerful radio frequency, and Amaturo Sonoma Media Group was willing to sell 104.9 to NorCal Public Media.

Why did KRCB need another signal?

The former KRCB FM Radio 91 signal covers a very small area, and only a portion of Sonoma County. KRCB FM listeners have made it clear over the decades that what they wanted most from KRCB was to expand the geographic reach and signal strength of the public media news and music service. Over the course of two years, NorCal Public 

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KRCB 1049 radio logoBrowse around our site and you'll see a few ways you can join in the effort to make KRCB 104.9 a great community radio station for Sonoma County. You can record a message that we play on-air, give us some new ideas, and keep abreast of what we're doing. New ways to engage with us our coming soon.
 
But there's an old fashioned one that's really important to us: become a member! We're making a big commitment to serving Sonoma County better, and while we really do want you to listen, and participate, helping pay for all of this would be really helpful too! Any amount helps, and we've got lots of cool gifts including some great CDs curated by our DJ Doug Jayne.
 
Please click: www.krcb.org/join   Thank you!
 
 
Welcome to the new KRCB 104.9. This is a forum so we can hear from you, answer your questions, and generally exchange ideas about how we can improve.
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“Sonoma County Baby” began in 2013 as a way to connect new Sonoma County mothers with the history of the county. In cooperation with Sutter Health, a nice book was published that featured the stories of several dozen Sonoma County families, describing how they each came to Sonoma County. The book was given to new moms. The project’s website is here: http://sonomacountybaby.com/.
 
Now, we want to put stories like this on KRCB-FM, Sonoma County’s NPR station. How and when did your family come to Sonoma County? Does your story include some old Sonoma County landmarks that some of us might remember? What was interesting about it? Finding the interesting part is important! These recording are all short, less than a minute or under 100 words. That’s not enough time to tell the whole story—just the highlights. Here's a sample script that’s about the right length. Click "Read More" to hear what others have submitted.
 
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Be on KRCB 104.9...answer this month's "Talk to Me" question: What does Sonoma County need that it doesn't already have? 
 
You can do a recording right from your computer or smartphone, but please use an external microphone (ear buds are good enough). Don't worry, you can try as many times you like until you get a "good take." We won’t hear any of the bad ones. After you finish, the page will give you a chance to listen and decide if you like it. Once you get a good one, you'll be asked for your name and email address. Then hit "Send.” (Click "reset" if you would rather try again.)
 
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Each week, Santa Rosa-based travel writer Dana Rebmann introduces us to great local spots to visit. Listen on-air for the latest. Or click here:
 
 Crane Creek Regional Park
 
 Marijke's Sculpture Grove
 
 
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Listen to the Sonoma County Birdwatch!

fullerThroughout the week, we play short segments about what birds are out in Sonoma County and what they sound like, from Harry Fuller. Harry spent his working career as a TV and Internet newsman in the Bay Area.  He’s been leading bird trips and writing about birds for thirty years.  He has written three natural history books: Freeway Birding, I-5 San Francisco to Seattle; San Francisco’s Natural History, Sand Dunes to Streetcars; Great Gray Owl in California, Oregon & Washington. He blogs regularly about birds: atowhee.blog.  And he frequently leads birding trips on the Pacific Coast. Check him out at http://www.towhee.net/.

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