WSM-AM 650 Celebrates 75 Years of Down Home Music

Radio station WSM, known as the “air castle of the South,” will commemorate its 75th anniversary with a series of special broadcasts beginning at 5 a.m. CT Thursday (Oct. 5). WSM personalities Kyle Cantrell, Bill Cody, Eddie Stubbs, Keith Bilbrey and Hairl Hensley will anchor the event from the Ryman Auditorium, home of the Grand Ole Opry from 1943-1974. Opry star Jack Greene will do “The Last Letter,” the first song he performed on the Opry stage. At 3 p.m., bluegrass brothers Jim and Jesse McReynolds will recreate their ’60s-era early morning Martha White Show. Porter Wagoner, Bashful Brother Oswald, Wilma Lee and Carol Lee Cooper and Ronnie Milsap also are among those planning to be on hand. Don Helms, the last living member of Hank Williams’ Drifting Cowboys, will play a steel guitar solo, and many special guests will drop in throughout the day including Bobby Bare, Ramona Jones and former WSM personalities Ralph Emery and Jud Collins, the oldest living Grand Ole Opry announcer. At 5 p.m. CT Stubbs will begin broadcasting live from the annual awards dinner of the Reunion of Professional Entertainers (ROPE). From 9 p.m. to midnight CT, Cantrell will premier WSM Remembers, a program featuring re-broadcasts of vintage programming from the 1940s through the 1970s