Murray State’s NPR Station 91.3 WKMS-FM rolls out a new schedule of programs starting Labor Day weekend, including its new flagship show Sounds Good with Tracy Ross and Friends weekdays from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. which debuts Tuesday, September 4. The public radio icon, Fresh Air with Terry Gross, moves to 3 p.m. weekdays starting Monday, September 3.
Monday, September 3, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. WKMS offers two hours of its extended Return to Romp Labor Day Weekend Special featuring music from the International Bluegrass Music Museum’s annual music festival in Owensboro held this June. Sunday, September 2, WKMS pre-empts The JazzMan Show and American Routes for a three hour segment of Return to Romp, 1 to 4 p.m.
The new Sounds Good with Tracy Ross and Friends is a music and conversation program offering a mix of legacy artists still making great music now (Willie Nelson, Neil Young, Bonnie Raitt), deep cuts from classic artists (Beatles, Grateful Dead, REM), great contemporary artists who don’t get commercial airplay (Neko Case, Darrell Scott, Wilco) and artists who defy categorization (Punch Brothers, Justin Townes Earle, Bela Fleck) as well as a bit of world music, blues, soul, R&B, reggae and jazz.
WKMS has offered news, discussion, public affairs and arts interview programs from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays for the last few years. The station’s relationship with music venues in the region, including Racer Live Productions, and the established expertise of WKMS News, led management to bring live radio with music and conversation back to lunchtime – the music connecting the dots of other music programs heard on the station like Music From the Front Porch, Juke Joint Shuffle, A Prairie Home Companion, American Routes, House Blend, Café Jazz, and World Café.
Conversation on Sounds Good with Tracy Ross and Friends will involve WKMS News and other station staff bringing interviews with newsmakers and members of the community with stories to tell during the program. Ross anticipates musicians and writers dropping in to discuss and present their work as well.
Tracy Ross’s association with WKMS started in 1994 while he was a Murray State Student. Now WKMS Program Director, Ross has hosted (and will continue to host) the music program Beyond the Edge Saturdays 8 to 11 p.m. for over a decade. He also hosted Café Jazz for many years and until recently has been local host for NPR’s All Things Considered. Ross is a Murray resident with his wife, son and daughter.
WKMS broadcasts to over 20,000 listeners in 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 weekly schedules of programs are available.