About HPZ

Grandma Cyd in WSUM studioWho is Grandma Cyd?

Get to know the voice behind the show, featured in the Wisconsin State Journal in October 2015.

Grandma Cyd discovered her love of radio as a student at UW-Madison in 2001.

The concept

Many years ago, while alphabetizing her CD collection (yup), Grandma Cyd came upon a realization: There were no radio stations in the Madison, WI area that still broadcast the timeless melodies of Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and many of her favorite artists. And this, she thought, was a tragedy. She felt compelled to share this musical beauty with the masses. Thus, The Heavy Petting Zoo was born in June 2005.

Why The Heavy Petting Zoo?

Let’s be honest, you wouldn’t give it a chance if it were called something like That Big Band Show, would you? With its catchy title, the more appropriate subtitle, and its longstanding presence on WSUM’s Saturday night line-up, The Heavy Petting Zoo has developed a loyal following in Madison, as well as across the country, thanks to WSUM’s live online stream!

Why “make-out music”?

It was just a thought. Everybody sucks face on Saturday nights, right?

“…and more!”

When the show began, its timeslot was only an hour long, so Grandma Cyd would play non-stop ballads and love songs from long ago. It was a way to live up to the Heavy Petting Zoo moniker. When WSUM’s program director asked Grandma Cyd if she’d like to do a two-hour show, she expanded her playlist. Now the show is billed as “Make-out Music and More from the 1930s-1950s.” No romance required to listen. Just kick back and enjoy!

Some HPZ trivia for you:

  • HPZ is WSUM’s longest-running show upheld by the same on-air host. Grandma Cyd’s been behind the mic of HPZ since June 2005.
  • HPZ is the third longest-running show of all time on WSUM, beat out only by The Student Section and On Wisconsin, respectively (Bonus Trivia: Grandma Cyd was a founding host of On Wisconsin).
  • HPZ was heard from 8-10 p.m. on Saturday nights for many years. It moved up to 7-9 p.m. in 2010 to accommodate a new Saturday night line-up, and many new listeners discovered the show as a result! Welcome to the Zoo!