2006 Student Research Conference:
19th Annual Student Research Conference


“Yours Truly, W-H-B”: A survey of the sociological and historical impact of a pioneer Top-40 radio station on Kansas City and Northern Missouri
Kyle A. Hill
Dr. Bob Mielke and Dr. Jeff Gall, Faculty Mentors

Few modes of communication weave through American culture as intricate and prolific as the way popular music does. When broadcaster Todd Storz purchased WHB-AM on June 11, 1954, the social life of Kansas City music fans changed dramatically. Building on his unprecedented successes at WTIX in New Orleans and KOWH in Omaha, Storz installed the Top-40 format on WHB. With cash promotions and a well-rounded presentation of the top hits to promote the station, the “World's Happiest Broadcasters” became an instant hit and was soon replicated across the country. This paper chronicles the growth and impact of WHB, taking a peek into the attitudes that brought about 50% ratings. As 10,000 watts of Radio "Seventy-ONEderful" reached into five states, this paper also takes a look at WHB's fandom in rural Northern Missouri, where FM radio was slower to emerge.

Keywords: WHB, Popular music, Kansas City, Missouri, Radio, Broadcasting


Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 59-4
Location: OP 2113
Time: 3:30

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