40 years of public radio history

Wayne Bledsoe, longtime host of “Bluegrass for a Saturday Night” and general manager of KMST, is helping the station celebrate 40 years on the air waves.

On Aug. 1, 1973, “Bluegrass for a Saturday Night” introduced area radio listeners to what would become an institution in public radio. Since then, KMST has broadcast an eclectic mix of music and NPR news and garnered a worldwide following.

Known then as KUMR, the station was on the air as early as 1963 as KMSM. At that time it was affiliated with the campus’ student radio station. When National Public Radio was formed in 1970, the University of Missouri System created radio stations at each of its four campuses.

The first locally produced show KMST aired, “Bluegrass for a Saturday Night,” was born of necessity, says General Manager Wayne Bledsoe.

“Bluegrass was virtually the only form of music we had enough LPs of to run an hour-long show,” he says. Those LPs — which will soon become history thanks to digital music broadcasts —  were donated from KMST’s sister station KBIA in Columbia.

Bledsoe joined the S&T faculty as an assistant professor of history and political science in 1968 and retired as professor and chair of the department in 2002. But he has been around KMST from the start, first as a volunteer, then as a contributing writer to the station’s program guide. In 1979 he took over the reins of the station’s flagship bluegrass program.

When the university announced plans to change its name to Missouri S&T in 2007, a small California radio station called KMST was in the process of going out of business.

“We timed it just right,” Bledsoe says. The FCC approved the transfer of the KMST call letters on July 16, 2007, making the radio station the first official harbinger of the name change.

KMST broadcasts at 88.5 FM in Rolla, Mo., and 96.3 FM in Lebanon, Mo., and livestreams its programming at kmst.org. Thanks to the Internet, KMST has contributing members in 47 states and 41 countries.

Around the Puck

Q&A: Miners got game

What was the most memorable sports team during your time on campus? As part of his research for the S&T 150th history book, Larry Gragg, Curators’ Distinguished Teaching Professor emeritus of history and political science, asked you to share your memories. Here are a few of your answers.

[Read More...]

Honoring new academy members

In October, 12 alumni and friends were inducted into Missouri S&T academies. Academy membership recognizes careers of distinction and invites members to share their wisdom, influence and resources with faculty and students. Some academies hold induction ceremonies in the fall, others in the spring.

[Read More...]

Boosting cyber-physical security

A wide array of complex systems that rely on computers — from public water supply systems and electric grids to chemical plants and self-driving vehicles — increasingly come under not just digital but physical attacks. Bruce McMillin, professor and interim chair of computer science at Missouri S&T, is looking to change that by developing stronger safeguards […]

[Read More...]

MXene discovery could improve energy storage

In spite of their diminutive size, 2-D titanium carbide materials known as MXenes are “quite reactive” to water, a discovery S&T researchers say could have implications for energy storage and harvesting applications such as batteries, supercapacitors and beyond. Their findings were published in 2018 in the American Chemical Society journal Inorganic Chemistry.

[Read More...]

A faster charge for electric vehicles

One drawback of electric vehicles (EVs) is the time it takes to charge them. But what if you could plug in your EV and fully charge it as quickly as it takes to fill up a conventional car with gasoline? Missouri S&T researchers, in collaboration with three private companies, are working to make speedy charging […]

[Read More...]

Comments

  1. Proud to have been the first Chief Engineer and to have constructed the studios in the library basement in 1973 when KUMR went on the air. Prior to that I was student Chief Engineer at the 300 watt KMSM on 88.5 which was displaced by the 100KW KUMR. With the Board of Curator’s help we established a new station license on 89.7 but had to get a new call letter since the Montana School of Mines took the abandoned KMSM. Thus KMNR was born and is still in operation.
    As an ECE Academy member I visited Rolla a few months ago and delighted to hear Norm Movitz on the air on KMST. He was there when I was – I left in 1975!

  2. Ronald Sherard says:

    I was the first “News Director” when KMSM decided to broadcast news from “your world and around the world”. We had a teletype and everything! Probably the biggest story covered was the fire in the Chemistry Building. We even got to go to St. Louis and cover UMR recognition at a Cardinals baseball game. We used to take requests and got lots from the soldiers. Biggest star of the day was probably Wally Edwards (Edward Wallenstein) spinning the platters and doing the Mystery broadcasts.