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[Audio] Hear 'The Black Cats Jump Part Two' Tuesday Nights on WKMS

Please note: Due to programming restrictions, this program will not be streaming online, but can be heard on an analog radio.  

Murray State’s listener supported public radio service WKMS-FM celebrates a special part of the station’s history with a recreation of The Black Cats Jump: Part Two, a thirteen part series of hour-long programs on African American big band music, originally created by the late Bobby Bryan and lovingly restored by Dr. Todd Hill and Mark Welch. 

The Black Cats Jump: Part Two airs Tuesday evenings beginning October 6 at 9 p.m. during Café Jazz. This second half of the series, originally produced by Bobby Bryan and Mark Welch, aired in the early 1980s but these thirteen episodes were lost or destroyed. Dr. Todd Hill recounts, “I recreated the script from the original handwritten notes provided by Terri Bryan, and researched to find the best possible recordings for broadcast.”

Part One of The Black Cats Jump aired on WKMS and was syndicated nationally to twenty-seven NPR stations in sixteen states, ten percent of the network at that time. Bobby Bryan described the series with the words, “The Black Cats Jump is the story of the great but sometimes unrecognized contributions of the black bands and musicians of the big band era.”

Each recreated hour-long segment focuses on different themes. A new segment will air at 9:00 p.m. with an encore of the previous week's show at 10 p.m.


  • October 6: The Harlem Express Roars Again- Jimmie Lunceford
  • October 13: They All Swung from Kaycee – Andy Kirk and His Clouds of Joy, Jay McShann and Harlan Leonard and His Kansas City Rockets
  • October 20: The Uncrowned Kind of Swing and The King of the Savoy Ballroom- Fletcher Henderson and Chick Webb
  • October 27: The Nightingales Sing, Part Two- Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Willie Bryant, Pha Terrell, Ivy Anderson, Billy Eckstine and more.
  • November 3: More from ‘Fatha’ and ‘Lucky’- The Big Bands of Earl Hines and Lucky Millender
  • November 10: The Swinging Small Bands of Stuff Smith, John Kirby, and Louis Jordan
  • November 17: More from Two Giant Cats- Cab Calloway and Lionel Hampton
  • November 24: The Great Bands of Benny Carter, Erskine Hawkins, and Louis Armstrong
  • December 1: Singers and Swingers (More Nightingales) – Billie Holiday, Ivy Anderson, Dan Grissom, George Tunnell, Dinah Washington and Many More
  • December 8: Duke Ellington- Things Ain’t What They Use to Be
  • December 15: Piano Men- The Art Tatum Trio, The King Cole Trio, and Fats Waller and His Rhythm
  • December 22: To Be, or Not to Bop- The Bands of Billy Eckstine, Cootie Williams and Dizzy Gillespie
  • December 29: Count Basie and His Orchestra - 1939-1946

WKMS broadcasts a continuous, comprehensive mix of news and music, with stations including 91.3 WKMS-FM, WKMS HD-1 and All-Music HD-2, Murray; 90.9 WKMD, WKMD HD-1 and HD-2, Madisonville; 89.5 WKMT, Fulton; and All-Classical 92.5 Paducah, 88.9 Murray and 105.1 Madisonville. WKMS also streams both its News and All Classical channels online at, a robust website offering playlists, regional news and an online contribution page. For more call 1-800-599-4737.

Jenni holds a degree in Music Education from Murray State University and a Masters degree in Arts Administration from Florida State University's College of Music. She's equipped with knowledge and enthusiasm for fundraising and the arts. She also serves as a Girl Scout Troop Leader and on the Murray Independent School District Foundation for Excellence Board of Directors.
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