History Not Signed Off: Radio Stations Across Acadiana

The radio, since its invention in the late 1800s, served as perhaps the most important invention throughout the twentieth century. For decades, listeners across the U.S. listen to the radio for news, music, information, and entertainment. The radio has also helped shape an increasingly connected world as it can be accessed through automobiles, mobile devices, and the internet. When Louisiana’s first radio station aired in 1922, a new chapter in the state’s history began that connected people on an unprecedented level.

To identify radio stations in the U.S., stations are assigned call signs by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The letter “K” in a radio call sign is for radio stations west of the Mississippi River, which includes Southwest Louisiana, the area also known as Acadiana. Historically, radio stations have played a large part in the daily lives of people in Acadiana in times of war and peace, for promoting and preserving culture, and in providing resources for local communities.

This tour will tell the stories of six radio stations throughout Acadiana whose histories can still be heard today.

KVOL: Voice of Lafayette

In 1935, the Evangeline Broadcasting Company was issued a license from the FCC for the creation of a radio station in Lafayette under the call sign KVOL (Voice of Lafayette). In late 1935, the station officially began broadcasting from the Evangeline…

KRVS: Radio Voice of Southwestern

In 1940, the Fine Arts building of the Southwestern Louisiana Institute (S.L.I.), Burke Hall, had an “ill-equipped radio facility” maintained by various speech departments (1). During this time, KVOL acted almost as a radio station for S.L.I. and…

KROF: Rice, Oil, Fur

KROF in Abbeville differed from nearby Acadiana radio stations for its unique programming geared towards agriculture and farming: the main occupation of many of its listeners.  Indeed, the importance of agriculture to the formation of the station is…

KANE: Of Sugarcane (and Sports)

On October 9, 1960, Franklin’s Hanson Memorial Tigers played against New Iberia’s Catholic Panthers in a high school football game. The Franklin area was convinced that the Tigers would win despite the expected difficulty Catholic High posed. Indeed,…

KSIG: The Signal of Crowley

When we think of radio stations, we think of the sound rather than focusing on the people behind the sound. The radio station call sign, KSIG, will sound more familiar than the names B. Hillman Bailey, Jr. and Clovis Bailey, two brothers who worked…

KEUN: Eunice, the Prairie Cajun Capital

The founding of radio station KEUN in Eunice occurred as Cajun and zydeco music were gaining prominence in the mid to late twentieth century. However, both genres struggled to get airtime anywhere because Cajun music was long considered a “novelty”…