This week Kent County High School’s radio station WKHS 90.5 FM has been counting down to play Elton John’s “Rocket Man,” the first song the student radio station aired forty-three years ago.
The 43rd anniversary countdown, conceived as a fundraising event, offers music selected from each decade of the station’s operation. Friday will wrap up the weeklong segment of the ongoing radiothon with this decade’s music along with their signature tune,”Rocket Man.”
Station Manager Chris Singleton gave the Spy a tour on Tuesday and discussed the need for community support during an era of uncertain financial support while pointing out the need for overhauling the interior ‘temporary’ walls along with replacing the long degraded sound-baffling materials and outdated equipment. “As you can see, over the years the original material has decomposed and even the baffling we replaced it with has deteriorated,” he says.
WKHS is one of the most powerful student radio stations in the country, boasting 17,500 watts for a clear signal as far as sixty miles away. For forty-three years the station has been an educational platform for students and a labor of love for volunteers who provide on-air talent during the evening.
Between 35 and 50 students are involved in the station at any given time. “It requires some complex scheduling,” Singleton says. “These are still classes with period buzzers so there’s a lot of rotation going on to stay on the air. But one of the things I like to instill in the students is that it’s like going to work. You can’t be late and you can’t skip it.”
WKHS 90 FM will continue the fund drive throughout the summer. Have a story about your time at Kent County High School? Call, share and make a pledge.
And if you have never come across the fun and eclectic broadcast station, you’ve either just moved here or never turn on your radio. It’s a treat. High school students at their best.
Gabriel Warner is seen DJing at the beginning of the video.
This video is approximately six minutes in length To make a pledge call 410-778-4249 or 410-778-8100, 9 AM to2 PMM daily. For online donations go here.