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RG3006.AM:  Nebraska Radio Collection

Papers; records:  ca. 1920-1981

Nebraska:  Radio stations

Size:  1.5 cu.ft.


In the fall of 1977, Mr. Terry Townsend of Lincoln, Nebraska, became interested in collecting material about the radio broadcasting industry in Nebraska. Though his own experience in radio was limited to a brief involvement as a studio vocalist in the 1930s, Mr. Townsend correctly recognized that much of the early history of radio was in danger of being lost. In cooperation with the Nebraska State Historical Society, Mr. Townsend began to seek out individuals who had been involved with radio in the state and attempted to gather pertinent materials. This effort was stimulated by an article about the radio project which appeared in the Lincoln Journal Star on November 16, 1977.  During the next few years, a considerable variety of memorabilia, written and oral recollections, printed matter, and correspondence came to the Society, both directly and via Mr. Townsend, for inclusion in the radio project files.


This collection consists of manuscript material arranged in two series: (1) Subject files about Nebraska radio; and (2) Miscellany.

The bulk of the collection consists of subject files containing data about Nebraska radio broadcasting collected by Terry Townsend between 1977 and 1980. Existing material within the Society’s files about Nebraska radio was incorporated into the collection. Most files are labeled with the name of the individual or individuals who provided the particular information while a few files are labeled according to the subject matter therein, such as folders containing material on specific radio stations. A short description of the contents of each file follows the file name. In several instances, photographs and/or cassette tape recordings accompanied manuscript material. Photos or tapes have been transferred to the photo collection or to the audio-visual collection but reference to them has been retained in the description.

Russ Gibson of Lincoln, who was a major contributor to the Nebraska Radio Project, assisted in organizing and evaluating the contents of the various files. His editorial notes have been utilized in describing the Nebraska Radio Collection.

Note:  See the Nebraska History index for various articles about radio in Nebraska.


Series 1 – Subject files

Box 1


  1. Ames, John and Jean-radio station at Ravenna, Nebr.

  2. Anderson, J. Sumner-biographical data

  3. Baldwin, Bill-biographical data (see also tape AVI, item 75)

  4. Barneby, Arthur and Marjorie-correspondence about the Radio project

  5. Bates, Al-Summary of material in RG4006 and AVI, item 153

  6. Beaver, W.H.-file summary (see also AVI, item 157)

  7. Becker, Mrs. Raymond-letter recalling early radio

  8. Bennett, Oscar-letter recalling early radio experiences

  9. Bimson, Essel-letter re: Nebraska Wesleyan and station WCAJ

  10. Bouhan, Martin-KOIL radio script, (see also photos and AVI, item 180)

  11. Bremser, Lyell-misc. correspondence to Bremser requesting information.

  12. Burt, Bob-copies of printed matter relating to WOW and Burt’s work there.

  13. Butler, Douglas-letter recalling several Nebraska radio stations.

  14. Carson, Johnny-letters to Carson requesting information.

  15. Clifford, Mrs. Charles-letter about an old radio set

  16. Combs, Cecil-letter recalling early radio

  17. Cooper, Ed-letters regarding KFAB and Barney Oldfield

  18. Cox, Johnny-news item about Cox’s book, The Big Band Era (see also AVI, item 74)

  19. Cruise, Harriett-various items and letters about KFAB radio and radio personalities

  20. Crumley, Dr. Wilma-correspondence relating to efforts to find a journalism student to write on Nebraska radio

  21. Davis, Warren-letter recalling early radio

  22. DeMoss, Lyle-correspondence and a news item regarding DeMoss

  23. Denney, Edmund, an Hodges, Hilton-correspondence and various items on KMMJ radio, Clay Center, Neb., including a script for a slide-show produced by Ken Iverson and Kirby Hodges.

  24. DiNatale, Joe-letter to DiNatale, requesting information.

  25. Dirks, Dietrick-correspondence, printed matter, and manuscripts relating to KFAB, KFOR, including employees lists, information sheets, script for anniversary broadcast of blizzard of ’88, copies of KFAB publications, recipes, and copy of KFAB application to increase power.

  26. Dorr, Mrs. Everett-letter recalling early radio

  27. Dunning, John R.-biographical material on noted atomic scientist who studied physics under Dr. John Jensen, Nebr. Wesleyan

  28. Dyer, W. Earl-letter with an anecdote of early radio

  29. Ernst, A.S.-letter recalling early radio and enclosing copy of picture of “Heinie and Karl” from WOW

  30. Finlayson, Donald-typed ms, regarding history of KFAB

  31. Gabus, Charles-letters regarding the manufature of the Gabriola radio by his father, Charles Gabus, Brock, Nebraska 1918-1930

    a. German, George B. NNAX (South Dakota) Cowboy Balladier & Inquiry Farm Reporter

  32. Gibson, Russ-letters, printed matter, and daily schedule relating to KMMJ Clay Center and experiences of Gibson who performed there.

  33. Gilbert, Lauren-letters describing Gilbert’s experiences on Broadway and on KFAB radio.

  34. Gingles, Glen-copies of news articles, including some regarding ham radio experiences, station KGBZ in York, studies for operator’s license (see also AVI, Item 154)

  35. Gordon, Don-letter relating to his work in radio on KFAB and other stations outside Nebraska

  36. Grannis, Mrs. L.-letters and copies of printed materials from Station KGBZ in York, home of Dr. Miller’s Federal Livestock Remedy Co. (see also AVI, Item 154)

  37. Grubb, Gayle-Correspondence regarding acquisition of photos of Gayle Grubb (Gloomy Gus), musician, composer, KFAB staffer later V.P. of ABC network

  38. Hay, Bill-data regarding Hay as former announcer at KFKX, Hastings, who went on to be announcer for “Amos n’ Andy” (see also AVI, Item 75)

  39. Heim, Gretchen-letter telling of Howard Heim’s experiences with radio at University of Nebraska in 1922

  40. Hertel, Roger-copies of “The Service Bench” from RADIO NEWS, 1932, regarding servicing radios

  41. Hitchcock, Jack-letter relating to his work at KFAB-KFOR, 1936-1943

  42. Hitchcock, Ray-recollections of KFAB radio broadcasts and bands in which he played, ca. 1927-1941

  43. Hollingsworth, Harold-autobiography, former KFAB staff member

  44. Hopkins, Jettabee Ann-(Mrs. Jack Hanssen) correspondence relating to KFAB work in the 1930’s, her, program, “The Jangles” and an article about commentator Steve Cartowright, written by James Cox (see also AVI, Item 160)

  45. Jensen, Robert-Correspondence, 1976-1980

  46. Jensen, Robert-printed matter regarding Nebraska Wesleyan and KFAB. (see also AVI, Item 75)

  47. Jensen, Robert-copies of scrapbook items about KFAB and KFOR

    a. Jensen, Robert-printed matter etc. about 9YD and WCAJ, Nebraska Wesleyan, including material on Dr. John Jensen

  48. Johnson, George-correspondence recalling early radio

  49. KFAB-printed matter, brochures, manuscripts relating to the history of KFAB in Lincoln and Omaha. (see also AVI, numerous tapes with related information)

Box 2


  1. KGCH-Wayne, Nebraska, correspondence with Jim LaShaum, Henry Ley, Joe Lutgen, and Rosalie Fuller and others relative to this station. Photos transferred to the photo room.

  2. KGFW-Kearney, Nebraska-material written by Herbert Kendall and Helen Kendall Jensen. (see also AVI, Item 75)

  3. KFKX-Hastings, Nebraska-contemporary brochures and copies of printed matter. Historical data compiled by the Adams Co. Historical Society.

  4. Kister, George-correspondence and news items about Kister’s career as announcer at KMMJ in Clay Center and Grand Island. (see also film RG4535 and AVI, Items 147 and 181)

  5. Kohn, Jerry-file summary no material received

    a. KOIL-Omaha, Nebraska-historical sketch of KOIL prepared by the Central States Broadcasting Co. in 1937)

  6. McKinney, Alene-death notices from Lincoln newspapers and Variety, (see also AVI, Item 135).

  7. Moore, Gardner-printed matter regarding Moore’s connection with KMA Radio, and the Ideal Grocery of Lincoln, NE. (see also AVI, Item 135)

  8. Oldfield, Barney-correspondence, manuscripts, and printed matter relating to Oldfield’s early career as movie critic for the Lincoln Journal Star and KFOR Radio in the late 1930s. (see also RG3702 for other Oldfield papers and memorabilia).

  9. Poska, Al-letter with his recollections of early announcing over KFAB, and later on the West coast. (also AVI, Item 75)

  10. Reed, Dean-correspondence in regard to his experiences at KMMJ, including particular reference to performers.

  11. Rennie, Orville-news clippings about Orville and Jane Rennie from Cedar Rapids (IA) Gazette, Oct. 1, 1976. (Rennie was primarily a Broadway and theatre performer).

  12. Scroggin, John-news items and correspondence regarding KFEQ at Oak, Nebraska which Scroggin established in the early 1920s. (see also AVI, Item 130).

  13. Schweser, Gil-correspondence and printed matter-Schweser was a piano player with KFAB at one time.

  14. Shalkhauser, E.G.-letter recalling his early interest in amateur radio, and some information about an early radio set.

  15. Sievers, Stan-recollections of experiences as an engineer at KFAB during the 1930s.

  16. Snyder, E.H.-No manuscripts but see AVI, Item 138

  17. Townsend, Howard-recollections of broadcasting news for the Lincoln Journal over KFAB.

  18. Townsend, Terry-copies of original scripts and program materials used by “The Carollers,” a studio trio with KFAB and WCAJ in Lincoln, ca. 1929-1931. (Townsend was a member).

  19. Turner, Harold-letter recalling work as a pianist and organist at KFAB in Lincoln and later at WGN, Chicago.

  20. Wallace, Clyde-letter recalling building a radio and stations to which he listened.

  21. Williams, Jess-mostly news clippings about Jess Williams and his ragtime piano playing, (see also AVI, Items 129, 132, and 719).

  22. Wilson, Ray-letter providing his recollections of early radio.

  23. Wishnow, Emmanuel-file summary and news clippings. Wishnow was an early studio musician (violin) with KFAB. (see also AVI, Item 164).

  24. WJAG Norfolk, Nebraska-correspondence from Bob Thomas, General manager, and printed matter, regarding the history of WJAG, (see also AVI, Item 75).

  25. Woodward, Dutch-file summary, no material received.

  26. WOW-Omaha, Nebraska-copies of articles from “The Sovereign Visitor,” ca. 1923-1931, regarding radio station WOW and its predecessor WOAH, both operated by the Woodmen of the World Insurance Co. Also historical sketch of the station.

  27. WOW-Atwater Kent Auditions-printed matter and correspondence, 1930, relating to musical talent contest sponsored by Atwater Kent Radio Co. and affiliated local stations. Terry Townsend competed in 1930.

  28. WRAR-David City, Nebraska-predecessor to KFOR, Lincoln. Correspondence, news clippings about WRAR. Historical sketch for KFOR. (See also tape, AVI, Item 720, Charles Gray interview dealing with WRAR).

Series 2 – Miscellany

Box 2


  1. Miscellaneous Correspondence, ca. 1977-1979, mostly related to gathering data on early Nebraska radio

  2. “Lead” file and “no-response” letters

Box 3


  1. Mostly printed matter on early radio

  2. Mostly printed matter on early radio

  3. Material on early radio collected by Nebraska State Historical Society including a list of Nebraska stations and date licensed.

  4. License and correspondence of P.M. Thies, Hartington, Neb.

  5. Program for Christmas Show, KFAB, 1928

  6. Nebraska Civil Defense Operational Plan, Amateur Radio Stations in Nebraska, September 1960.

  7. Radio QSL cards (Acc. 1995. 0165)

  8. WOW Radio Script-WWII photocopy and original [original is restricted-use photocopy]; WOW war correspondence (Ray Clark) program.

  9. Newsclippings and printed materials concerning various radio stations and radio personalities throughout Nebraska.

  10. “KFAB Your Neighbor Station.” Personalities around the Clock program

  11. KFOR radio script for Pioneer Zephyr’s 10th Birthday Party, April 10, 1944



KFAB (Radio station: Lincoln, Nebraska)

KFEQ (Radio station: Oak, Nebraska)

KFKX (Radio station: Hastings, Nebraska)

KFOR (Radio station: Lincoln, Nebraska)

KGCH (Radio station: Wayne, Nebraska)

KGFW (Radio station: Kearney, Nebraska)

KMA (Radio station: Shenandoah, Iowa)

KMMJ (Radio station: Clay Center, Nebraska)

KMMJ (Radio station: Grand Island, Nebraska)

KOIL (Radio station: Omaha, Nebraska)

Radio broadcasting — Nebraska

Radio programs — Nebraska

Radio stations — Nebraska

WCAJ (Radio station: Lincoln, Nebraska)

WJAG (Radio station: Norfolk, Nebraska)

WOW (Radio station: Omaha, Nebraska)

WRAR (Radio station: David City, Nebraska)


KFK                  07-22-1996

Revised TMM   10-23-2007