Pioneer Radio History

A history of radio in Kansas City and nearby communities in Missouri and Kansas.

In the 1920s, radio was as big as the Internet became in the 1990s. Pioneer broadcasters in Missouri and Kansas became involved just like their counterparts in the rest of the United States. Some of the stations that were started during that frenzied time are alive and thriving today. Others have gone to the great antenna farm in the sky. Read on to discover more about early broadcasting in the heartland!

About this site/Credits

Kansas City stations

WHB 1937 Reception Card
This from Kansas City station WHB (provided by Al Germond, former owner of KFRU, Columbia, Missouri) was typical of the acknowledgements that stations sent their listeners during the early days of radio.

The following stations were considered the pioneers stations for Kansas City. Not all of them survived.

Note: WREN is now KYYS; WDAF is now KCSP; KCKN is now KDTD

Northeast Kansas stations

These are the stations from the area just west of Kansas City in the Lawrence/Topeka area.

St. Joseph/Atchison stations

Central Missouri Stations

St. Louis stations

W9XBY promotional pamphlet
From the cover of a 1935 promotional pamphlet for experimental high-fidelity station W9XBY. Courtesy Al Germond.

Other Features