We are grateful to Paul Brown, former NPR News morning anchor and old-time musician, for sharing about his special bond with Ralph Epperson.
Through his example of running a station devoted to reflecting the community’s life back upon itself, Ralph helped me understand the positive power of media. WPAQ affirmed its community’s life, values, and art, and thereby strengthened the community it reflected. That understanding prompted me to continue with radio and guided my entire career. Also Ralph, simply through his example, was constantly asking the question of others, “What are you doing to help make our world better?” Through what he was doing, he reminded me every day of what I came to consider an obligation to try to improve the lives and potential of those around me. I’m sure I fall short as frequently as I succeed in that, but I suppose the effort counts for something at least.
Photo by Paul Friedman
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.