The Epperson family is keeping the music alive on the radio for us to listen to since WPAQ’s founder Ralph Epperson died in 2006. His brothers and sisters and their children have stations all over the United States. Ralph’s daughter Deborah Stringer has WBRF and WWWJ in Galax, VA. Kelly Epperson is running WPAQ and WSYD in Mount Airy, NC since his dad died.
I am happy Kelly promotes the old time, bluegrass and gospel music for us like Ralph did in the early years. He carries on the tradition of playing the music of the Blue Ridge that Ralph promised the FCC when he started the station in 1948. WPAQ is in good hands with Kelly.
I am missing Ralph, but it is good to know that his dream is still alive.
I am missing Ralph Epperson today. It was ten years ago since the day I interviewed him for my documentary about his radio station in Mount Airy, NC.
I met Ralph in 1995 at the station for the first time. I was twelve. He talked about starting the station in 1948. I knew that day I wanted to do a documentary about Ralph and the early years of WPAQ. He was my good friend for the next eleven years.
When I met Beth Crookham in 2005 at the tv show One Tree Hill she told me to go with my plan for the documentary. On April 11, 2006 Beth and her friend Chris Varner met me and my mom and dad at WPAQ for the big interview with Ralph.
It was a dream come true for me to talk with Ralph about starting the station. I will always remember the day in my heart.
I am looking forward to show my documentary “Broadcast: A Man and His Dream” at the Arc of North Carolina conference on September 25 and 26 in Cary at the Embassy Suites Hotel. I want to help you learn to not give up on your dream like Ralph Epperson and me.
Ralph’s dream was to build WPAQ radio in Mount Airy, NC. He worked hard to put his station on the air in 1948. My dream was to do a documentary about Ralph building the station to play the music of the Blue Ridge. It took a long time but I finished it with the help of my family and friends.
I hope you can come visit me at the exhibit hall on Friday and Saturday or come to the dinner and movie on Friday night.
Ralph Epperson had a dream to serve the people listening to the station when he started WPAQ. He promised the FCC he would play the music of the Blue Ridge. It was important to him to go on remotes to broadcast and record musicians for us to hear. He went to ball games and meetings so his listeners would stay up to date on all the news of the area.
I am happy his son Kelly and grandson Hal are carrying on the traditions that Ralph started in 1948. Thank you Team Epperson. You are the best!
My friend Rhonda Vincent is the “Queen of Bluegrass”. She sang in her family band when she was a little girl in Missouri. She always dreamed of singing and playing bluegrass music and sharing it with the world.
I first met Rhonda Vincent at the IBMA for my birthday in 2004. I really like Rhonda and her drive with the mandolin. She really makes me feel special when we talk. I feel like one of the guys in the band.
You can have a dream like Rhonda and Ralph and me.
I first met Ralph Epperson at WPAQ in 1995. He told me he worked really hard to build the station so he could put it on the air on February 2, 1948. I remember him telling me that WPAQ was his dream. I will not forget what he said to me. Broadcast: A Man and His Dream is my tribute to Ralph and WPAQ.
I am really proud UNC-TV showed my documentary Broadcast: A Man and His Dream on the 19 of February 2015. I am happy to share the documentary about Ralph Epperson and the early days of WPAQ on my favorite television station. Ralph’s stories and recordings helped me experience the mountain music first hand. I hope the people who watch it will feel the same way I do.
I have watched UNC-TV since I was a little boy. When I was three I started watching Mister Rogers Neighborhood. I liked Fred singing and talking to me like he was in my room. He would tell me “I like you just the way you are”. That would help me every day. In 1997 and 2000 I went to see Fred tape in Pittsburgh. He was really nice to me and a good friend. I saw him again in 2002 before he died.
Ralph Epperson and Fred Rogers made me feel really special when they talked to me I miss them still. It was so cool that the premiere of Broadcast: A Man and His Dream was on the forty seventh anniversary of the first Mister Rogers Neighborhood program on national television. The 19 of February was a beautiful day in my neighborhood with my friends Ralph and Fred looking down on me.
My documentary Broadcast: A Man and His Dream will premiere on UNC-TV on the 19 of February at 10 PM. I have been looking for this day for a long time. I am happy to share about Ralph Epperson and his story of starting WPAQ with you. I hope you will like my tribute to my good friend and the music he loved.
I am Jordan Nance the director of the documentary “Broadcast: A Man and His Dream”. I am thirty one years old. I have cerebral palsy but it is okay. I sometimes have to get help from my family and friends.
I like music since I was a baby. I fell in love with bluegrass when I first heard it in 1994. I like the beat of the music and the story it tells in the song. Ralph Epperson helped me to love the music like he did when I listened to WPAQ radio and talked to him.
My dream is to help people know about Ralph Epperson and his dream to build WPAQ. We have the bluegrass and old time music from the Blue Ridge because he played it on his station and recorded it for us to listen to today. Ralph told me he did not give up on his idea when it got hard for him. He had to get some help from his family and his friends. He had people praying for him to finish WPAQ.
When Ralph said “do not give it up” it helped me to stick with it and keep working on the documentary until I finished it. I worked hard but I needed help for my dream to come true. I could not do it without my producer Beth Crookham helping me and my mom and dad.
And here it is my website “Broadcast the Dream”. I am happy I get to share it with you. I hope it helps you to live your dream like Ralph and me.