It's a birthday celebration that's going to be fun and exciting.   KWTS the radio station at WT is celebrating it's birthday.

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I'm excited to share this news with you because I'm a KWTS alumni, it was the first station where I cracked a mic.

I remember one of the first shifts I was on the air, the PD of the station at the time, was in the studio with me, and I was getting ready to go on air, and the CD case (yeah, don't do the math) with the song title and artist was sitting in front of me.  I cracked the mic, and introduced myself and he grabbed that case, and I went blank,  "KWTS, the One 91.1, I'm the Pinecone Woman (don't ask questions, I was young), and that was "Where the Red Fern Grows."  No, no it wasn't, "Where the Red Fern Grows" it was "Where the River Flows," by Collective Soul.  Talk about a face palm moment.  Javier, the PD at the time, just laughed at me.  That was not cool, but it did loosen me up.   Just one of the memories I had with KWTS.  I spent many an hour with that radio station, serving as a on-air personality, with special shows and serving as the Asst. Program Director and Music Director for many of my college years.

Now as time moves on they are celebrating 50 years as a radio station.   First located in the original Fine Arts building, which is now a parking lot, and now in their new state-of-the-art studio.   I learned a lot of what I know from that station.

The station will be celebrating it's 50th birthday, or anniversary, however, you want to say it during Homecoming Week, September 26-October 1st.

Plus, the station will be making some changes, the station is changing formats, Dr. Marty Kuhlman, and Professor Jenny Lind Porter along with KWTS Advisor Randy Ray and, announced on the Psychotic Reaction show on Friday night, that the station will now focus on, the 90's, and all things 90's.  This include rock, country, hip hop, R&B and Top 40 of the 90's.

KWTS officially launched  at 3 p.m. April 12, 1972. It upgraded to 100 watts in 1982, then to 6,000 watts in 1998.

I was a part of the 6,000 watt upgrade in 1998.

Photo Courtesy: Lori Crofford
Photo Courtesy: Lori Crofford

As a part of the celebration we were playing songs that played over the years on the station. Well, we forgot one and nobody had a copy, so I had to drive very quickly from Canyon, to the Hastings (RIP Hastings) on Teckla to get a copy of Chirstopher Cross' "Don't Pay the Ferryman."  Dr. Leigh Browning, (RIP Leigh, we miss you terribly), insisted we play this song.   As I was pulling back into town, I realized that Alanis Morrisette's "You Ought to Know", was on the air, and it dawned on me we were playing the album version.  My friend, who was driving, hit the gas and we sped back into Canyon and squealed to a stop in front of the Fine Arts Building.  I ran (in heels) down the hallway at lightening speed and busted into the studio.  I made it just in time to hit the mute button, right as the lyric, "are you thinking of me when you [expletive deleted] her."  Whew, dodged that bullet!  Just what we needed, a curse word flying over the air when we had so many people listening for the celebration.

This is just one of the many stories I have and I know thousands of students, that have come through WT and the Mass Communication program, share their own stories.  KWTS is a family where lifelong friendships are made, people fall in love, and people learn the art of broadcasting.  I'm thankful for my time at KWTS because of this, I am where I am today. with a lifelong career in radio, which I love more than anything.   We can't wait to see the future talent that comes out of WT and KWTS.

Happy Birthday/Anniversary KWTS!!  We can't wait to celebrate with you.

The Abandoned School House Outside of Canyon, Texas

This was once the Jowell School. Built in 1901, the building was the cornerstone of the teeny tiny farming community of Jowell.

The building had been rebuilt and restored in the late '80s or 90s before vandals destroyed it in an act of arson. What remains of the Jowell School sits in a desolate part of rolling farmland between the small towns of Canyon and Happy, Texas.


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