50 Stories for 50 Years: From Audio Console to Colonel

Jan 30, 2020

Then Jincy Canterbury in the 1978 Murray State yearbook, The Shield.
Credit Murray State University.

It’s WKMS' 50th year of broadcasting and we’re celebrating with 50 stories for 50 years. This week’s story comes from WKMS alumna Jincy Canterbury-Hayes. 

Canterbury-Hayes was from Hopkinsville, and attended Murray State in the mid 1970’s. She wasn’t quite sure about her major, until she walked into the WKMS Studios for the first time during a tour.  

“I could push all the buttons, and I was so excited. So I knew that was me.”

Canterbury-Hayes started working at WKMS in the spring of 1975. She was also in Band. 

"It was neat because we played classical music during the hours that I worked," said Canterbury-Hayes. "And I knew how to pronounce a lot of the names, which I remember hearing one of the guys one time said, "and that was choppin’..”  and I was like no it isn’t it is pronounced “show-pan.”

Canterbury-Hayes also recalls times when she felt a sense of duty from her time with WKMS.

“There was some bad weather one time and I think we were in a tornado watch," said Canterbury-Hayes. "We flipped off all the other music and we were just doing weather reports.  I felt so needed, people would call the station and go, “do you have anything else? Do you have anything else?” But I remembered feeling like I was really a providing service to the community.”

Canterbury-Hayes didn’t spend a career in radio. And she didn’t it because she wanted to paid the same as a man. 

“I did an internship down in Nashville, and they hired a guy to help me and paid him more than they were paying me,” said Canterbury-Hayes. “And I was promised a raise one place in six months. And at eight months, I asked about it, and it was like, well, we had to get so and so a raise, you know, he's married, got family. It was like, where can I make enough money that I feel like I'm making the same as the guys?”

That place was the United States Marines Corps. Jincy was one of a small percentage of women allowed in the 

Retired Colonel Jincy Canterbury-Hayes
Credit Photo Provided

marines in 1978. And as she told the Kentucky New Era in 2017 only two percent were officers. It took her a few tries to complete Officer Candidate School, she even broke her leg during one training exercise. 

Now, after more than 40 years Retired Colonel Canterbury-Hayes says her experience at WKMS went with her everywhere.

"Every duty station that I've had, except for one, I always went and volunteered at one of the radio stations," said Canterbury-Hayes But I needed to keep my fingers in it because I really loved it. And I think that Murray gave me the love for that by helping me to be successful doing what I loved. And you can't ask for much better than that.

You can share your WKMS memories here or call us and/or leave a message at 270-809-2070.