WRVK 1460 AM
Where it all began...
Yesterday & Today:
The broadcast studio in
the former Museum Building in Renfro Valley, Kentucky (in the above
photo) is where it all began for WRVK back in 1957.
These studios had
previously been used by WHAS radio from Louisville, Kentucky, for the
CBS Radio Network broadcasts which originated from Renfro Valley in the
1940s and '50s. As WHAS and CBS were leaving the Valley, it was decided
to utilize the existing broadcasting studio to house a new 500-watt
radio station to serve the local area. Renfro Valley founder Mr. John
Lair and partner Tom Hargis were the original owners of WRVK when it
first went on the air in 1957. The original WRVK transmitter
tower was located across Renfro Creek, at the modern day location of
Renfro Valley Entertainment Center's 2007 RV Park expansion.
Today, WRVK is no longer a part of the Renfro Valley Entertainment Center. In fact, the station has been separately owned and operated for many years now, although WRVK does continue to be among those stations which broadcast Renfro Valley's famous Gatherin' program on Sunday mornings.
Through the years that followed WRVK's first inception by Mr. Lair and Mr. Hargis, the station has underwent several ownership changes. WRVK was owned by Cochran - Smith Broadcasting, Inc. from Nashville for a number of years. It was in the late 1970s, during this period of the station's ownership history, that the studios and transmitter were moved from Renfro Valley Entertainment Center to a new location on a hill just north of the Valley, where they are still located today.
The Burdette family's Cumberland Media, Inc. of Mt. Vernon owned and operated WRVK next in the late 1980s and throughout the 1990s, changing the format to gospel music and talk radio for several years.
In 2002, WRVK went under its current ownership, Saylor Broadcasting, Inc. of Mt. Vernon. Charles and Bobbie and their staff have since returned the station to a unique country format very much in keeping with the station's early traditions. We're once again "Your Homefolks Station!"
The WRVK broadcasting studio, and transmitter are now located on Red Foley Road, off US 25 North of Mt. Vernon near KOA Campground at Renfro Valley. WRVK business office is located at 35 Lovell Ln., inside Saylor's Furniture at Mt. Vernon. Today, WRVK is a 1,200 watt broadcasting station, as authorized by the Federal Communications Commission.
Pictures through the years....
WRVK's founders, Mr. John Lair (right) and his business partner in the WRVK venture, Mr. Tom Hargis (left)
WRVK's original DJ, Old Joe Clark
Longtime WRVK DJ Pete Stamper (left), and Virginia Sutton (right). Both Pete and Virginia were also both formerly station managers at WRVK at different points in its history.
Dolly Parton visited the WRVK studios and was interviewed on the air in 1976. This was during the time that Pete Stamper was Dolly's road manager. Pictured with Dolly above is part of the WRVK crew of that era. Photo courtesy of Charlie Napier.
Full circle at WRVK: Pete, Al, and Charlie. After having all formerly been longtime DJs at WRVK,
they are all now once again part of the station's family, each in their own way, in this new millenium.