GREAT INTERNATIONAL RADIO AIRPLAY FOR TRADITIONAL COUNTRY, BLUEGRASS, AND ROOTS MUSIC
“Uncle Billy Dunbar” is a well known radio personality from the heartlands of America. He has been bringing bluegrass and old time country music (now oftentimes referred to as roots music) to Mid-America since 1975. He actually started his country music radio show by playing the records of such bluegrass performers as Bill Monroe, Flatt and Scruggs, and Homer and Jethro in 1967 as a disc-jockey on AFRTS, playing the music to troops internationally, while serving in the Air Force in Southeast Asia. The music he played was already well known world wide. He brought the same music, bluegrass and old-time country, to the upper Midwest in 1975 on a small rural radio station, KOTD, in Plattsmouth, Nebraska. The station covered the eastern section of Nebraska, as well as reaching listeners in Iowa and Missouri.
Three years later, he became a disc-jockey on KYNN in Omaha, Nebraska, known as the ‘Radio Ranch’ on the AM band. This station was the first of the Great Empire Broadcasting Group stations. KYNN-Omaha eventually became the dominant country station in that market, and the only station that still programs bluegrass music today. A few years later, Great Empire Broadcasting purchased the powerful 50-thousand watt radio station WOW, and Billy began programming classic country music that he loved then, and still does. WOW was the 59-spot on the dial. Great Empire kept the FM frequency they had purchased while still KYNN, and it became WOW-FM.
Uncle Billy took a chance and stayed with the change, and took his bluegrass and old-time country music to the overnight ‘Country Shift’ as well as doing a 2-hour bluegrass show on Sunday evenings. When Dick Zion’s “Country Roots Today” live performance radio show came along, Uncle Billy welcomed his old friend to the Sunday night format at WOW, and became the station engineer visiting with Dick during the program, attracting a huge audience to his disc-jockey recorded music, and Dick Zion’s ‘live’ music show.
In the early ninety’s, Uncle Billy and his wife Sharon moved to her home town of Des Moines, Iowa, where he worked at several stations, and eventually started his own original “Country Unplugged” show, featuring bluegrass and old-time country acoustic music. He currently has a show that he produce’s from his own studio in Madison County, just east of Winterset. The show is aired on Iowa radio stations KKRF-FM (107.9 on the dial) and KGRA-FM (98.9 on the dial), both of these stations are within the multi-million market of Des Moines, the capital of Iowa. His ‘Country Unplugged’ show is aired prime time on both stations at 8am and 10pm central time on Sundays.
One of the most exciting things that he likes, is that he is heard all over the world via the Internet on a Tribune station to the great WOW that he formally worked for, and you can now hear great bluegrass, roots music, and old-time country that you once could hear on the power-house radio station. Tuning in couldn’t be easier. www.WOWradioonline.com and you’ve got it.
Tune in January 8th for a special show featuring Smithsonian Institution recording artists, Bob & Sheila Everhart, along with the Kenaston Family, Rick & Harriette Andersen, Tex & Mary Schutz, Annie & Terri Avery, and many other great Iowa and Nebraska traditional country artists during the show. Sunday air times are 8pm-10pm (CST), followed by his country gospel music show, ‘The Glory Train.’
In addition, you can tune Uncle Billy in ‘live’ four days a week at www.worldwidebluegrass.com for the best in bluegrass music from around the world. He play’s bands and artists from Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, and other foreign countries. The worldwide bluegrass internet radio outlet also has other shows featuring bluegrass done by DJ’s in Australia, Ireland, and the Netherlands.
Any artist that considers their music to be old-time acoustic country, bluegrass, roots, or all around old-time folk music should get in touch with Uncle Billy to find out how to submit material for airplay. His e-mail address is Countryunplugged@aol.com
STORY SUBMITTED BY BOB EVERHART WWW.NTCMA.NET