09 November 2010

Classic 99 Lives On The Web, KFUO Radio Changes

Did you know there is still classical music originating from St. Louis' oldest continuous broadcast facility? KFUO Radio has been on the air from studios on the Concordia Seminary campus for around 80 years of its 86 years on the airwaves. Although the summer of 2010 ushered in the end of KFUO-FM, the AM side of KFUO (AM 850) remains in place.

Classic 99 KFUO-FM may be no more, but the music library at KFUO Radio continues to be put to good use through the studios which housed the former FM broadcast operation at KFUO. With help from former members of the Classic 99 staff, since right after the station signed off and transferred ownership of the 99.1FM signal, the music has continued on the worldwide web through the website that the station had been operating, www.classic99.com - and it continues today.

Ron Klemm spent the better part of four decades in the studios of KFUO Radio, much of it on the FM side after the station was split to AM programming (religious, liturgical, Bible-based) and FM programming (classical music, liturgical music, arts programming). Now severed from his job, Klemm is a constant companion of those who enjoyed Classic 99 on the radio through his helping program the music heard on www.classic99.com each day and night. He and Dick Wobbe are voicetracking much of the musical days through announcing the titles, composers and artists of a large portion of the songs being played on www.classic99.com --- although there is the caveat that not every song has been given a voice, so you may tune in and find some songs do not have any announcing between them. Also, most of the overnight songs were not scheduled to have voicetracking when last I interviewed Klemm about the www.classic99.com programming, although since the voicetracking began several weeks ago, many of the songs played overnight may contain the voiced elements.

Classic99.com is not the only source for classical and sacred music in the building at KFUO Radio right now, either, as KFUO RADIO (on AM 850) has now begun two hours of classical/sacred music weekday afternoons from 1 pm to 3 pm during Diane Summers' show. An aside is that this show began this week (Monday afternoon) and replaces contemporary Christian music (CCM) which had been programmed during that time slot. Summers, a KFUO Radio mainstay since the 1990s, has worked on both the AM and FM stations, knows much of the library at the radio station and is utilizing the knowledge of the music Klemm has as well as others who have had direct and indirect relations with KFUO through the years. She is also a musician who performs at her LCMS congregation and at another LCMS congregation in the St. Louis area, and has performed with recently semi-retired St. Louis Symphony Orchestra trumpet Susan Slaughter in at least two LCMS churches. The title of her show, The Essence, has not changed, but the sacred and classical music is a great departure from the CCM format and is one way that KFUO Radio can use the vast library of classical music it has on hand from 86 years of broadcasting to the St. Louis area and beyond. You can listen to KFUO Radio on http://www.kfuo.org/ - live during the daylight broadcast day, and repeats on the web at night including the two hours of classical and sacred music.

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