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The station that everyone knows as KFDI began 50 years ago when Ol' Mike Oatman took over in the control room. But the history of the station goes back way beyond that.
Wichita’s first radio stations began broadcasting in 1922; four years before the automobile overtook the horse as the most popular means of transportation. That year WAAP began broadcasting from a field in College Hill. No one could foresee what the new medium would become, much less foretell the incredible path WAAP would take over the next 80 years.
The station’s history would come to include the distinctions of being the most popular station in the country during the years of 1929 and 1930 - defining the role and power of the medium, as well as establishing programming featuring music of common people. Ownership of the station included Dr. John R. Brinkley, the notorious “Goat Gland Doctor”, as well as movie star Mary Pickford.
Read about the rich history of KFDI by musician, author and historian Orin Friesen. Orin has played Bluegrass Music on KFDI for 40 years. The book is available in paperback at WATERMARK BOOKS and the retailers below:
Al's Old & New Books
Old Cowtown Museum
Wichita-Sedgwick County Historical Museum
The Book Grinder -- El Dorado