Remembering Colonel Tom

April 30, 2007

Tom Morgan, WKMS volunteer host and friend, was born in Kentucky on April 26, 1936 and passed away on April 26, 2007 at the age of 71. Survivors include one son, Blaine Morgan and wife, Jodie, Peach Tree, Ga.; two daughters, Mrs. Dana Gaither and husband, Jeff, and Mrs. Joanette Moseley, all of Colliersville, Tenn.; seven grandchildren. We will remember him forever.

This Wednesday on Cafe Jazz (9 to 11 p.m.) we’ll rebroadcast Col. Tom’s special program featuring his 7 favorite
  female jazz vocalists. They are, in alphabetical order: Karrin Allyson, June Christy, Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Lena Horne, Peggy Lee, and Sarah Vaughan. Blaine Morgan requested that WKMS accept Col. Tom’s wonderful collection of jazz CD’s so that his service to our jazz audience may continue.

Current WKMS staff who worked most closely with Col. Tom, George Eldred and Tracy Ross, are organizing a program in memory of Col. Tom to be aired later this year. George and Tracy would like to hear from any of you who would like to add your voice to this program. You can e-mail wkms @ if you would like to do this. We will give you advance notice of when the program will be featured.

A friend of Col. Tom’s has established a website memorial at, which will also allow the family to learn more about Col. Tom’s cadre of admirers.


Happy Birthday, Ella!

April 25, 2007

Today Meridian and Cafe Jazz celebrate Ella Fitzgerald’s birthday with clips from her career.

Here are some things you might not know:

Ella was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President George H. W. Bush and the National Metal of Art by President Ronald Reagan. 

Ella Fitzgerald won the first Grammy Award ever to be given to a black female.

Jazz singers Dee Dee Bridgewater, Patti Austin and Ann Hampton Callaway have all made Ella Fitzgerald tribute albums.

Hal B. Wallis reportedly considered casting Ella Fitzgerald as the piano-playing character Sam in Casablanca, changing the role from a man to a woman specifically for Ella. Instead, Dooley Wilson was cast.
Read more on the First Lady of Jazz at her official website and listen for more today on WKMS.

M-Class planet detected!

April 25, 2007

Star Trek fans recognize the phrase “M-Class” planet as one like earth – convenient to beam down onto without having to spend extra money on space-suit props.  Nasa’s found a real M-Class planet 20 light years away, orbiting a Red Dwarf star called Gliese 581. It orbits very close to its star, going all the way around in just 13 days. Because it’s a red dwarf, a much cooler star than our sun, scientists calculate that average temperatures on the surface of the planet should be around 32 to 104 degrees Fahrenheit. Mayor says that is a friendly environment for liquid water and maybe even life, but nothing to indicate the presence of either has been discovered yet.


Dr. Randy Dunn on Meridian

April 25, 2007

Newly inagurated MSU President Dr. Randy Dunn will be on Meridian tomorrow at noon.  He’ll be sharing his plan for the university now that he’s officially in office, and taking your questions about the future of MSU. Call in or submit questions through

Wordshakers – this Friday at Noon

April 24, 2007

To close out national poetry month, WKMS airs Wordshakers. Part of, Wordshakers expores to voices of poetry.
Host Andrei Codrescu invites you to experience the written word as read by its authors. Lord Alfred Tennyson bangs the podium in “The Charge of the Light Brigade.” Thomas Edison waxes Walt Whitman’s “America.” Cheerleaders Chant” a found-poem. Host Andrei Codrescu decontructs his “Poetry.” Denise Levertov knows “The Secret.” Carl Sandburg wonders “What is Poetry?” (produced by Barrett Golding). Scott Carrier presents the categorical conundrum of “Alex Caldiero- Poet?” Ed Sanders poses “A Question of Fame.” Host Codrescu gives a play-by-play of “Poetic Terrorism.” DJ Spooky remixes Vladimir Maiakovski. Pre-teen poet Sawyer Shetfs lists “The Sound I Hear at Night.” In New Orleans a hot-dog vendor, a barkeep, and a stripper get churned in the “Poetry Combine (produced by Larry Massett). “Soldiers Drill” their found-poem. Jan Kerouac responds to her father’s poetry and parenting in “Jan on Jack” (produced by Marjorie Van Halteren). Allen Ginsberg runs a “Personals Ad.” Marianne Faithful performs Gregory Corso’s “Getting to the Poem.” Another poem is found in “Double Dutch Rhymes.” Alex Caldiero concludes “Poetry is Wanted Here.” And a Phoebe Snow fan helps sing “Poetry Man.”

Mountaintop Removal Roadshow comes to Murray

April 24, 2007

On Tues, April 24th, Dave Cooper from the Mountaintop Removal Roadshow will be presenting to Murray State University. This program, complete with film and discussion, will take place in Alexander Hall room 240.

From the Mountaintop Removal Road Show website:

The Mountaintop Removal Road Show includes a stunning 22-minute slide show about the impacts of mountaintop removal on coalfield residents, communities and the environment, and features traditional Appalachian mountain music and shocking aerial photos of decapitated Appalachian mountains.

The Mountaintop Removal Road Show has been shown over 350 times in sixteen states since 2003 – including over 100 large and small universities such as Duke, Antioch, and Ohio State, plus many church, community and civic organizations.

Digital Tower Update

April 20, 2007

We are now operating at close to 90% power, which means the signal for most of the listening area should be just about back to normal. There’s some fine tuning to be done before we’re up to 100% again.
Once we turn the HD transmitter on, we’ll probably learn that its signal reach is not going to be as far as the current analog signal reach. At first the digital signal will be identical to the signal you get now. In the next few months we’ll be speaking with you more about “splitting” the digital signal into the two streams we’ve been working toward. Currently, there are 1,236 HD Radio stations broadcasting across the nation. There are 13 radio stations in Kentucky broadcasting digital signals including Morehead State University’s public radio station. Most of the stations currently licensed by Ibiquity (the license holder for HD technology) are in Lexington and Louisville. Ibiquity says 20 more stations in Kentucky are coming on soon and WKMS is among these. You can learn more about the consumer receivers available now at