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WGNA TURNS 37

On December 5, 1973 WGNA played it’s very first country song, a tune called “Country Sunshine” from Dottie West.   Since then, we have never stopped playing your favorite Country hits!  

Dottie West was the first artist heard on WGNA (Photo by Hulton Archive)

Although the musical landscape has constantly changed, our love of Country Music, it’s artists, and it’s fans has never been stronger.   If you’re like me, you probably grew up listening to WGNA.  I remember songs like “Elvira,” “Swingin,” and “The Devil Went Down To Georgia” as childhood favorites.   Although I really didn’t pay attention till the early 80s, WGNA was always a part of my life, thanks to my mom who always had the radio set to 107.7FM enjoying the top hits from Loretta Lynn, Tammy Wynette, and Conway Twitty.

As a child I always wondered what it would be like to be the man who’s voice beamed over the air to introduce these great records.   It wouldn’t take me long to get behind the controls of a local radio station to find out.   Luckily, that connection led me here to WGNA!   

I thought it would be fun to look back at some of the songs and award winners from the year that WGNA signed on the air, lets see if you remember these CMA winners from 1973!

  • Entertainer of the Year- Roy Clark
  • Female- Loretta Lynn
  • Male- Charlie Rich
  • Group- The Statler Brothers
  • Duo- Conway Twitty and Loretta Lynn
  • Single, Song, and Album- “Behind Closed Doors” by Charlie Rich
  • Country Music Hall of Fame Inductees- Patsy Cline and Chet Atkins
  • BMI’s Most Performed Song of the Year- “The Happiest Girl In The Whole USA” by Donna Fargo
  • According to the CMA, there were 764 full-time country radio stations in the United States.  Now, we are at around 3,000.
  • By the way, Gretchen Wilson, James Otto, Mark Wills, and Billy Currington were also born the year that WGNA started playing Country Music.

The entire staff at WGNA is very thankful for the support of our great listeners who have continually placed us at the top of the ratings for most of those 37 years!

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