When I lived in Florissant, Missouri, a suburb of St. Louis, I listened a lot to KMOX radi0. I had the station on in the mornings while preparing breakfast for the family. In the afternoons I would listen to talk radio programs or Cardinals baseball games. I even listened on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day to the old radio shows they would play, such as Lionel Barrymore and Campbell Soup presenting “A Christmas Carol”. Our move to Rolla, Missouri meant no more KMOX, and I would have to find a new radio station to listen to. (KMOX, claims they are 30,000 watts of power, but they’re nothing but static in Rolla, during the daytime at least. I’ve tried streaming the station in on my laptop, but it isn’t consistent, and the signal cuts off a lot.)
Playing around with the radio dials, I discovered a station on the fm dial, 99.7, KTTR, and I began my odyssey of discovering a new radio station. The early morning hosts, Bill Bates and Lee Buhr, who call themselves the “Morning Mayors” start the day out with weather reports, when I tune in at 6:30 a.m. Mr. Buhr reads the Regional Record, a list of obituraries in the area, and Mr. Bates reads off community events and area school lunch menus. There is also a snippet about Missouri history that coincides with today’s date. ABC Radio carries the national news at the top of the hour, then there is Missouri Net News for state news, and then after a stacatto, beeping tune, Rolla news is reported by Mr. Buhr. After all of those items have been commented on, the Morning Mayors get down to business, sort of, and they discuss topics of interest to them, once in a while having a trivia question and callers can win tickets to a community event. They also mention the birthdays and anniversaries that callers have called in weeks before in order to have them announced on the special day. Breaks are ended with songs by musical artists as varied as Garth Brooks and Tom Jones, Frank Sinatra to Five for Fighting’s 100 Years song. I know what some might think, that listening to a radio station that actually reads obituraries outloud? I will say it was odd when I first tuned in, but then I thought about it. Rolla is a smaller community, with even smaller communities ringing it, and it is a service to read those announcements for the listeners.
The Morning Mayors also have citizens join them on the air. Small business owners, charity groups, spokespersons for the area hospital about classes being offered, or new doctors who are in town and what they specialize in. One weekly guest is the Ford Dealership owner, Denny Ford Lincoln, and after the banter is over, Mr. Bates always comes up with a poem about saving money and getting great deals at the dealership. Every week, the poem is brand new, and usually has a reference in it about the season of the year, or a current event. I really don’t know how he comes up with those rhyming poems so quickly!
On Friday mornings at 9, a local business owner, Mr. Dave Weinbaum, comes on the air, to host a one hour talk show, airing his conservative, political views. The callers make it interesting, as a few number of conspiracy theorists always call in. I have heard some very interesting conspiracies, to say the least! Mr. Buhr stays nearby handling the calls for Mr. Weinbaum, and once in a while, Mr. Buhr will let his opinion out, which is usually not in alignment with the host’s, and that makes for some interesting and amusing radio discussions!
One show that always makes me shake my head is the half-hour, Monday through Friday Garage Sale. From 10 am – 10:30 am, people can call the radio station and list items they are wishing to sell, buy, or barter for. One can’t call in and sell property, animals, and a couple of other items, but one can call in and sell guns! I shake my head at that because that would never fly at KMOX!! It just illustrates to me that South-Central Missouri and the St. Louis Metro area march to different drummers’ beats!
The afternoon talk radio shows the station carries are hit and miss with me, as I am busy with homeschool lessons with my youngest three kids, and they appreciate the radio being off while they are working. If it’s a Cardinals baseball game, I will leave the station on and that doesn’t bother them. There is a one night a week local sports talk/call in show on Mondays from 6:00 – 7:00, hosted by two great guys, Justin Renaud and Bryan Rush, both who also attend the same church our family attends, Greentree Christian. Their show is a fun one to listen to and it is obvious that they are both knowledgeable about sports and not afraid to share their differing opinions to one another and to the callers.
There is a Saturday morning Green Thumber show hosted by Huffman’s Garden Center, a business located in neighboring St. James. A show about troubleshooting computer owners computer problems, hosted by a local computer business, airs after the gardening show. Then there are several hours of bluegrass music, hosted by a local bluegrass musician and sadly, my family only tolerates the bluegrass music for about an hour, and then requests begin to filter to me to please turn that radio off! I am alone in our family in liking this style of music.
So to radio station KTTR, I say, keep up the good work that you do for Rolla and all of the listeners from the surrounding communities. Did I mention that they also carry high school sporting events like football and basketball games? It is a nostaligic feeling I get when I tune in to KTTR, I guess, as I did grow up listening to WOWO radio out of Fort Wayne, Indiana-the station my parents liked to tune into every morning in our Defiance, Ohio kitchen. I think it’s in my blood, to tune in to the local radio station and listen in as the day goes by.