40 years on KSON for Wayne Rice

Wayne RiceWhich bluegrass radio host has the longest running show on the same station? Seriously… I’m asking you guys.

We don’t know who actually owns this record, but a candidate surely has to be Wayne Rice, who is about to celebrate 40 years with his show, The Bluegrass Special, on San Diego, CA’s country powerhouse, KSON. This Sunday at 10:00 p.m. Wayne will crank up what he reckons to be his 2080th program, and take it into into its 41st year.

Wayne shared this creaky remembrance on his personal blog about the launch of his show.

“It was on March 7, 1976 that my radio show, The Bluegrass Special, went on the air for the first time. I can’t remember a time in my life when I have been more nervous. When the clock hit 6:00 p.m. (the original air time for my show) I played my intro music from a scratchy LP by banjo player Carl Jackson, wiped the sweat from my brow, opened up the microphone and said ‘Woohoo! It’s time for the Bluegrass Special‘ probably in a very high pitched voice because I was only 13 years old at the time. Make that 30 years old, but my voice was still pretty high pitched. I then played the first song, Bill Monroe’s Uncle Pen.”

He says he can’t remember much else about that initial program. It was 40 years ago, you know. But he has left a lot of bluegrass memories with the people of San Diego since that time.

And The Bluegrass Special has a very large audience. KSON is a powerful and popular station, consistently the #1 country station in their market. Sunday night may not be everyone’s favorite time to tune in, but KSON maintains show archives online for two months, so you can always catch one you miss.

All of KSON’s signal is cybercast online should you want to catch Wayne’s big anniversary program from outside the San Diego market.

Rice also maintains the closest thing we have to a definitive bluegrass wiki at his Bluegrass Bios web site, which he meticulously maintains. The site started through his desire to have a quick reference of bluegrass artists for his own show, and it is now in use by bluegrass radio hosts all around the world. It also contains a helpful holiday reference which suggests suitable bluegrass songs for all the major US holidays.

See all of that at www.bluegrassbios.com.

Congratulations and three cheers to Wayne Rice, 40 years on the radio in service to bluegrass music!

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.