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KTSU 90.9 FM celebrating 50 years of broadcast excellence with Backyard Party

By: Texas Southern University

Texas Southern University’s award-winning KTSU 90.9FM “The Choice” is celebrating its 50th anniversary of service to the Houston community with a Backyard Party.

The TSU Board of Regents was issued a license by the Federal Communications Commission in 1972. KTSU first hit the air the following year, on June 23, 1973, with just 10 watts of power. That day, KTSU became the first African-American FM station on Houston’s airwaves. The first song ever played on KTSU was “The Funky Worm” by the Ohio Players. To date, KTSU remains a source of local music of all genres, and a destination for Jazz, Blues, Gospel, Rhythm and Blues, and more.

 

“KTSU has been a beacon in the Houston community since its inception,” said KTSU general manager Ernest Walker. “From the beginning, the station has been committed to the greater good of Houston. Not only is KTSU a source of entertainment, but it is a major component of outreach as a source of news and public affairs information that ensures our listeners know what’s happening in the community around them. We are thankful for the members who support us, and for every listener who makes KTSU a part of their daily routine.”

The public is invited to celebrate with the entire KTSU family, past and present, at a free 50th Anniversary Backyard Party outside the KTSU station (3100 Cleburne St., Houston, TX 77004) on Friday, June 24, 2022, beginning at 6 p.m. There will be live performances by Houston artists Mary Griffin, Spud Howard, Melanie Covington, and Werner Richmond, as well as other celebrity guests. There will also be live DJ performances by Chilly Bill Smith, Paul “PD” Davis, and Michelle McKnight.

KTSU is a training platform for students enrolled in TSU’s School of Communication. In 2019, the station launched KTSU2 “The Voice,” a student-run streaming radio platform. KTSU expanded further with the launch of The Vibe in 2020. The Vibe is the digital and innovative Urban Alternative station, powered by KTSU, that appeals to Millennials and Generation Z, offering the latest in Hip Hop, R&B, and Neo-Soul on the FM dial and through 24-hour streaming.

“KTSU continues to evolve to meet the growing needs of an ever-expanding audience,” said Melinda Spaulding, TSU’s Vice President for Communications and Advancement. “As we celebrate 50 years of being a leading public radio station and a fixture in our community, we look forward to all KTSU will accomplish and all the students who will launch into successful broadcast careers over the next 50 years.”

Tickets are not required for the Backyard Party. Attendees are invited to bring lawn chairs. Anniversary events began in June 2021 and will continue throughout the year.

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