Murray State’s public radio service 91.3 WKMS expands the diverse array of American music on its program schedule by adding American Routes beginning Sunday, April 29, at 2 p.m. Host Nick Spitzer, a veteran radio personality, folklorist and professor of anthropology and American studies at Tulane University, brings American Routes to nearly one million listeners on public radio station nationwide each week.
With the addition of American Routes to the WKMS schedule, The Jazzman Show moves to 1 p.m. Sundays replacing Riverwalk Jazz. WKMS Program Director Tracy Ross says, "The new Sunday afternoon lineup is an intelligent exploration of all forms of American music. I think our listeners will enjoy having American Routes back on the WKMS schedule."
American Routes is a weekly two-hour public radio program produced in New Orleans, presenting a broad range of American music — blues and jazz, gospel and soul, old-time country and rockabilly, Cajun and zydeco, Tejano and Latin, roots rock and pop, avant-garde and classical. The program also presents documentary features and interviews with artists such as Willie Nelson, Tom Waits, B.B. King, Dr. John, Dave Brubeck, Abbey Lincoln, Elvis Costello, Ray Charles, Randy Newman, Lucinda Williams, Jerry Lee Lewis and many others. The songs and stories on American Routes describe both the community origins of our music, musicians and cultures — the “roots”— and the many directions they take over time — the “routes.”
Launched in 1997 on WWOZ in New Orleans, American Routes was quickly syndicated by 1998. In the wake of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, production of the show temporarily relocated to KRVS at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Spitzer and his crew produced a series of shows called "After the Storm," which followed the rebuilding of the Gulf Coast through the stories and songs of its musicians. Production operations have since returned to New Orleans with studios now at Tulane University.
WKMS is a listener supported public radio station serving western Kentucky, southernmost Illinois, and northwestern Tennessee. The station's media services include 91.3 WKMS, Murray; WKMS HD-1 and All-Music HD-2; 90.9 WKMD and WKMD HD-1 and HD-2, Madisonville; 89.5 WKMT, Fulton; 99.5 Paris, Tenn., and All-Music 92.5 Paducah and 101.5 Madisonville. The station also offers both channels WKMS HD-1 and HD-2 at wkms.org, where schedules of programs are also on view.