50 Stories

Murray State University

Today we hear from WKMS Alumnus Greg Alpin. He attended Murray State and started working as a student in 1979. That spring he was producing the morning classical music program that was hosted by Bobby Bryan. 

“That summer they told me that it was going to have a new host,” said Alpin. “I said that’s great who is it? And they said, it's you. And Bobby and Joe Jackson grinned wickedly at me and literally said, here's how you turn on the microphone. Here's how you start the turn tables, don't break anything.”

Murray State University

Charliese Jenkins King came to Murray State in 1968.  She wanted to be a speech language pathologist.

“I got there and they had just opened the facilities for the radio TV building," said King. “I fell in love with the idea of it and decided during freshman orientation that I was going to become a television major.”

King’s father was not pleased.

“Growing up in segregated South, there were no people who did what I wanted to do,” said King. “My father forced my hand and told me I needed to get a degree I can do something with.”

50 Stories for 50 years: A WKMS Love Story

Feb 14, 2020
Jenni Todd

It’s Valentine’s Day and we thought it’d be fun to give you an extra story this week. A WKMS love story. 

Bryan Bartlett worked at WKMS in the mid 1990’s then after a break, he returned in 2004. That’s when this love story begins. 

“I was training to host All Things Considered with Tracy Ross,” said Bryan. I was distracted by this willowy young lady in the next studio.” I finally stopped our conversation, I said Tracy, what’s her story.” “And as if he knew we were going to get married he said, ’that’s Jen Schatz I’m not sure why she’s not married.”

50 Stories for 50 Years: Cruisin' Main Street

Feb 12, 2020
Murray State University

  In 1978 Gil Hopson was a senior at Murray State and working at WKMS. He hosted a Saturday evening program called “Cruisin' Main Street. It was mostly a music show.

But one evening he decided to literally cruise Main Street with some teenagers and college students with his handheld cassette recorder.

U.S. Senate Historical Office [Public domain]

In 1970 WKMS went on the air. In 1971, a then little known network aired its first broadcast. That was National Public Radio. WKMS joined the network in the fall of 1972. Alumnus Jay Landers recalls the spider web of technology it took to get NPR programming on the air.

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. 

Murray State University Shield

We’ve learned that in the beginning of broadcasting at Murray State University, the home of all thing radio, whether it was the forerunner to WKMS, The Thoroughbred hour, or first time the station signed on the air… all of it came from Wilson Hall.

Murray State University Archives

It’s WKMS 50th year of broadcasting and we’re celebrating with 50 stories for 50 years. 

In our second story we recall the first broadcast of WKMS on May 11th, 1970. Dr. Ray Mofield was the Director of Communications in the School of Arts and Science at Murray State. He spoke some of the first words heard on WKMS.  


It was 78 years ago this year. According to testimony of reliable witnesses in Murray, when Nathan B Stubblefield broadcast a program more than a mile without wires calling out, according to various authorities, some such remark as do you hear me Rainey, which referred to Dr. Rainey T. Wells, generally regarded as the founder of Murray State normal school and today of course Murray state university.

50 Stories for 50 Years: The Thoroughbred Hour

Jan 6, 2020
Murray State University Shield


WKMS is celebrating 50 years on the air this year, and we’re remembering with 50 stories of the station’s history. 


Today we go back to the infancy of WKMS and hear from one of the founding directors of the station, Dr. Tom Morgan who came to Murray in 1965 which was just a few years before WKMS went on the air.

Morgan’s father worked in the broadcasting industry, and despite Tom's hiring to work in the english department he was co-opted in working with students to create radio programming. He'd eventually go on to help design the studios that radio and television programs at Murray State still use today.