The Tri-State Broadcasting Company
WCPM - The Tri-State Broadcasting Company

The Tri-State Broadcasting Company operated for a very short time in Middlesboro, Kentucky. From May 1949 until it merged with the Cumberland Gap Broadcasting Company in May 1950, it operated WCPM radio station on 560 KHz. Many preachers who had programs on WCPM called it "Heaven's Radio Station."

This page will eventually display a daily broadcast log from every month of station operation. Other information about WCPM, including the newspaper column, "Life Begins At 560" by Walt Gaines, is reprinted below. Employee informamtion is also here, and I'm working on getting more photographs for the page too. There are photos around including those in the Three States newspaper. Getting good quality copies is a real problem after 50 years.

(Reprinted from the Three States newspaper, May 5, 1949.)


Walt Gaines, who was born and raised in Knoxville and who began his career at the age of 15 when he announced for WROL in Knoxville, has been named manager for WCPM. Mr. Gaines says he left WWOK in Flint, Michigan to return to his home country.

He studied at the University of Tennessee. His radio career has continued for 10 years and he has been in it continuously except for a four year hitch with the U.S. Marines during the war. While with the marines, he was member of the famed Carsonís Raiders.

Although he has announced for several stations in New York City, his radio career reached its peak while manager of WLOG in Logan, West Virginia and manager of station WMOC in Cofington, Ga.

Mr. Gaines is married but has no children. His wife is a school teacher. She received her masters degree at the University of Michigan, and hopes to participate in the education system here.

Mr. Gaines is interested in civic welfare and in youth projects. It is his hope that the service of WCPM for the Tri-State area will be to the best advantage of all residents of the area. He said there will be no discrimination of any sort over WCPM in compliance with regulations of the Federal Communications Commission.

In speaking of the test broadcasts of the new station, Mr. Gaines said they had received calls from Birmingham, Alabama and Toledo, Ohio while on test hours in the early morning when there was no interference. When asked about his favorite music he replied, "To speak frankly, I have to say hillbilly music is my favorite."

Programs are being planned now for the opening of WCPM Sunday, May 8 (1949).


LIFE BEGINS AT 560 by Walt Gaines (No. 1 from Three States, June 30, 1949)

Friends, this is the first of a series of articles about radio life at WCPM, 560 on your dial. We are proud that our friend, yours and mine, Mr. H.C. Chappell, editor and publisher of Three States newspaper, has asked us to write a column about the activities of WCPM.

We thank Mr. Chappell for this great opportunity. We hope we can give your readers something of interest to them and keep WCPM listeners better informed through this column. We are happy to learn you are printing the news of this area in which the people are vitally interested. Every week you have printed our program schedule free of charge. We thank you also; the readers appreciate this service.

A few days ago we received a letter from which I am going to quote: "In our home, WCPM is becoming our first activity." We want to attain this position in many homes. WCPM repeats its pledge "to give to the poorest man something which the richest man can not buy."

Incidentally, the letters we receive have come from many different distant places. Our southernmost city to be heard from is St. Augustine, Fla., the northernmost Monroe, Mich., the westernmost Nashville, Tenn., the easternmost Richmond, Va. We do not cover any such area as these far distant points might indicate. However, we have been heard in Middlesboro as well as in an area of 45-50 miles without distortion. We are very grateful for the physical potentialities of WCPM. This station is your station. Our broadcasts have originated from many points in Kentucky, Tennessee and Virginia. We feel rather confident that the local programs of WCPM have greater dimensions than any other type of program. We are proud of each member of our staff and proud of everyone associated in any way with WCPM. We are proud of the many ministers preaching over WCPM. Each leads a different flock with peculiarities akin only to that group. Therefore, we accept these men for their stand and trust that their efforts will be for the glory of God and betterment of our tri-state area. We would like to remind you that WCPM will be 2 months old July 5.

LIFE BEGINS AT 560 by Walt Gaines (No. 2 from Three States, July 7, 1949)

Hello there! This is the second in a series of articles on WCPMís activities.

This week we want to introduce you to some of our programs. With ladies making 85% of all purchases these days, we decided to lean over backwards to please the ladies in our listening audience. With Mrs. Viola Cawood Flowers as our womanís program director, WCPMís womanís programs have increased in time and listener reaction. The Alice Blue Gown program is the steady standby heard at 10 a.m. and conducted by Mrs. Flowers who is known as Alice. She presents a program of true value and interest to local women. Mrs. Flowers also edits "Mainly for Women," a program heard for 5 minutes at 10:55 each morning. This is really newsy and informative. Ladies seem to enjoy it very much.

A new feature in the womenís program department is the 9:45 morning program, "Lindy Louís Market Basket." For each recipe mailed to Lindy Lou and used on her Market Basket program will bring you one dollar. So ladies, send your favorite recipe to Lindy Louís Market Basket. Incidentally, listen to the program, itís full of home tips that could be of great help.

WCPM is planning something new, in fact, two new local interest programs that should create a lot of talk. You will hear about them before too long.

This week introduces the Pineville Hour which is broadcast from the front porch of the Hotel Continental, Pineville at 1:30 daily except Sunday. So far, each day has brought bigger crowds to the broadcast. We hope to give Pineville something the poorest man can receive free and the richest could never buy. On our opening broadcast.

LIFE BEGINS AT 560 by Walt Gaines (No. 3 from Three States, July 14, 1949)

This is the third in a series of articles about WCPM. Last week we told you about our womenís programís. This week we tell you a little bit about our "live talent" programs.

First, we are happy about the programs started during the past week. We trust you are already accustomed to the format of "Lindy Louís Market Basket." So many ladies expressed their interest that this program is surely marked as one of our best programs. It is heard at 9:45 a.m. Monday thru Friday. Another new program is bringing much response. At 8 a.m. each morning "The Record Shop of the Air" has such a variety of music that one finds it refreshing.

Our Pineville Hour broadcast from the font porch of Hotel Continental in Pineville is being attended by large crowds. We hope to bring more programs from Pineville with a greater variety.

The early risers in the three states area are learning to enjoy the gospel songs of the Powell river Boys from Speedwell, Tenn. They are heard at 6:15 a.m. Shorty Ward and his Cumberland Mountain Boys follow at 6:30. They play the songs of the folk people and added comment is blossomed into the program about a well known mustache. If things continue to progress on this program, a new club will be needed as more members are more members are applying for membership into the exclusive "Hen Pecked Husbands Club." Listen for youíll enjoy it.

At 7:15 a.m. WCPM is fortunate to have George Treadway to sing songs of yesteryear. George is form Noetown and his mail response is as good as his program.

The Mid-Day Frolics conducted by Tommy Trent and his pals from the stage of the Park Theatre is here form 12 noon to 1 oíclock. Itís some program. Amos and all the others really entertain you. Listen to it and youíll enjoy dinner a little better.

Our faithful Crusaders Quartet with Cecil Veasy at the piano is heard at 6 each evening with half an hour with songs of good cheer and faith. Cecilís piano ramblings has added more sparkle and listener appeal to this program.

On Tuesday and Thursday evenings at you can hear one of your local dance bands. Johnny Walker Ork serenades you at that time.

Colored folks are broadcasting over WCPM on a regular schedule. Each afternoon a different colored group is heard. Saturday morning at 7:15 the Harmony Four give us a 15 minute program of spiritual numbers. The "Spiritual Trio" heard on Sundays at 9:45 a.m. have good harmony and present a good program.

We could ramble on with stories concerning WCPM programs but we leave you with the above a s storehouse of programs to listen and enjoy because they feature your neighbors.

Donít forget the Singing Convention of the Air at 5. It is broadcast from East Cumberland Avenue Baptist Church

So long and look for another article next week. Remember to smile, because when you smile you always receive a smile in return.

LIFE BEGINS AT 560 by Walt Gaines (No. 4 from Three States, July 21, 1949)

This is the fourth in a series of articles about life at WCPM.

We are very about the Thomas Walker program heard this Monday at 11:30. The students from Union College came over to the station and presented a dramatic playlet "The Man of Destiny." It was a complete story of Thomas Walkerís life. If you missed it, you missed a rare treat. We hope to have more programs of this nature. We would be happy if other schools in the WCPM area would use our facilities to augment their programs and inform our listeners of their projects.

This week I want to spend a little time telling you about how you can learn while you earn as you listen to WCPM throughout the day. >p>WCPM has many programs of information. These to follow pay of f with some sort of compensation. At 8:45-9:15 a.m. Monday thru Friday, Bob Thompson conducts "Rewards for Rhymes." He gives you a few little clues and helps that pay off with money as a reward to the person who answers correctly Bobís poem line.

At 9:15 a.m. Monday and Wednesday "Homing" is heard. A very lovely vacuum cleaner is to be given a away on this program to the person writing the best letter about her good neighbor.

At 9:15 a.m. Tuesday and Friday, "Musical Mysteries" are heard. The ladies receive free hose for answering correctly the title of the musical mystery.

At 9:45 a.m. "Lindy Louís Market Basket" is for the homemaker and offers a reward for recopies submitted to Lindy Lou. Ladies, listen and youíll enjoy the program. Also, send Lindy Lou your recipes. It will help her and reward you.

The "Call for Cash" program had to be moved to 11:30 in the morning because we were blocking the telephone switchboard. The telephone traffic at Bud Hughes place isnít so heavy at 11:30, so the switch in time of the "Call for Cash" program where clues help you win money.

At 5:45 "Tele-Tune-Frolics." Identify the tune and call 1521. First correct answer means money to the caller. Donít miss it or it might cost you as you surely will be first to call one of these days.

At 7, the "Telaquiz" program where everybody can participate. We use the questions you listeners submit. If we use your letter and question, it worth a dollar a day each day it goes unanswered. The person called on the "Tellequiz" program is always rewarded.

Get the habit of listening to these programs and I feel sure on a day in the near future you may be a winner. Hope you like these programs and all our other programs.

Remember the fine religious programs over WCPM. Any program suggestions will be appreciated.

Bye now, and remember to smile and a smile in return will be yours. See you next week.

LIFE BEGINS AT 560 by Walt Gaines (No. 5 from Three States, August 4, 1949, First article of same edition)

This is another in a series of articles about life at WCPM. We have been as busy as the politicians this week, therefore we have just a little time, but we have two big things to interest you.

First, political announcements and programs heard over WCPM are all paid for and do not carry any endorsement whatsoever from our radio station. We are allowing any candidate to use WCPM at the same rate. Each has equal opportunity on WCPM.

Second and itís good news for sporting fans-WCPM has signed up all the Tennessee ballgames. White Furniture Co. of Middlesboro will sponsor the games.

íNuff said-and remember to smile and a smile in return will be yours. See you next wek and trust to have something of prime importance for you to read.

LIFE BEGINS AT 560 by Walt Gaines (No. 5 from Three States, August 4, 1949, Second article of same edition) This is the fifth in a series of articles about life at WCPM. With the hot and humid weather, let us talk today about our outside programs. For instance, Saturday afternoon WCPM is going to broadcast from LMU. This will be in regards to the "Four Lane Highway" barbecue with many outstanding people from our three states of Tennessee, Kentucky and Virginia. WCPMíS broadcast is going to be carried on a special network of stations in Tennessee and Kentucky. It will be the stations biggest opportunity to date to help this area. All of us believe the new highway will be of value to Middlesboro and our community. WCPM will always work for the betterment of our outstanding community.

Down in Pineville on the front porch of the Hotel Contintental each day WCPM broadcast the "Pineville Hour." Don Eddy, feature writer for Crowell Publishing Co. said, "this program is worth a story ." Incidentally, he has written to stories of interest to all-they will appear in American magazine and Readers Digest in the fall. They are about Harlan county and Frakes, Kentucky.

Rev. Lee Key who is conducting a tent meeting in Binghamtown is heard at 10:30 a.m. The Thankful four sing on the program.

Mnay political announcements are heard over WCPM. However, do not be mislead. WCPM is not endorsing any candidate. It is our policy to sell time to all and discriminate against none. WCPM is serving this community and we invite you all to use it.

So busy this week that we must cut this short. See you next week and trust you will remember to smile a little more, because when you smile, a smile in return will be yours.

LIFE BEGINS AT 560 by Walt Gaines (No. 6 from Three States, August 18, 1949. This was probably the last one.)

This is another in a series of articles about life at WCPM.

Would like to let you learn that WCPM was 100 days old on August 14. For many weeks the management has been considering a move that is the utmost importance to radio listeners and advertisers in the Tri-State area. There have been many occasions when we were unable to serve our clients as they desired to be served, unable to give them just the type of program service due to our start and lack of time. However, we now are in a better position to serve our listeners and advertisers.

Three new men have been added to the staff since last you read "Life Begins At 560." Guy Hoskins Jr. Is our Pineville man and a good one . Ben Rogers is our LaFollette and a good one. Ted Harris is the new voice you are hearing throughout the day from the studios of the Karl Harris building. We are mighty proud of these three fellows. Two are college graduates and the third has two years of college work. WCPM is on the march, new fields to conquer, new trails to blaze. Our motto: Serve to best of our ability and give to the poorest something the richest couldnít buy.

WCPM has five new programs on the air. Lulu Belle and Scotty are heard at 8:45 a.m.; Easy Aces at 9:30 a.m.; Career of Alice Blair at 10:30 a.m.; and Forbidden Diary at 10:40 a.m. Hospitality Time is heard at 6:30 p.m. More and better news programs are there way and keep tuned to them on WCPM.

Out of town broadcasting is proving rather a new success for us. Our independent operation gives an opportunity to program more to the liking of the people living within our coverage area and also enables us to offer more choice advertising periods.

The management and entire staff of WCPM wish to thank our many listeners and advertisers for their loyalty and continued support. Our pledge is to vigorously dedicate ourselves to not only the maintenance of the present high quality of programs but to ever be on the alert to all possibilities for improving our services to the listener and the advertiser.

More people are realizing that WCPM is becoming their first activity. Tune us in and youíll learn that better programs are heard over WCPM.

Thanks for all the nice flowers, cards, letters and other expressions of goodwill that Mrs. Gaines and I received during the past and this week. Middlesboro and the Tri-State area people are so kind and generous. Bye now and remember to smile, because when you smile, a smile in return youíll receive

(reprinted from: Middlesboro City Directory 1950-51, Copyright 1949, Chas. W. Miller, Asheville, North Carolina)

WCPM Employees December 1949

Walter Gaines, station manager, wife Evelyn B. Gaines, 311 Exeter Ave. Míboro, KY

John D. Caylor, chief engineer, wife Helen H. Caylor, 115 Wildwood Road, Míboro, KY

Dennis E. Smith, president Tri-State Broadcasting, wife, Frances B. Smith, 2821 Cumberland Avenue, Míboro, KY

Robert G. Thompson, program director, wife, June T. Thompson, 2707 Cumberland Avenue, Míboro, KY

Guy Hoskins Jr., salesman, Pineville, KY

Ted Harris, announcer, 1630 1/2, Míboro, KY

Eileen C. Estes, stenographer, Tazewell, TN

William W. Douglas, announcer, 1121 Gloucester, Míboro, KY

Peter T. Colgan Jr., engineer, wife, Marie H. Colgan, 2801 Cumberland Avenue, Míboro, KY

Delores Bell, bookkeeper, 311 Exeter Avenue, Míboro, KY


The program log below may well have been the very last one printed in the Three States newspaper. Three months later, WCPM would sign off for the final time.

Radio Log



Clip This and Keep it by Your Radio

Monday-Friday (with slight variation)

February 9, 1950

5:30 Sign On & News

5:35 Hymn Time

5:45 Powell River Boys

6:00 Early Morning News

6:15 T.N.T.

7:00 Front Page News

7:15 Mountain Balladeer

7:30 Eddy Arnold

7:45 Tuneful Tunes

8:00 Musical Mailbag

8:15 Baptist Hour

8:30 Bing Crosby M W F

8:30 Guy Lombardo T Th

8:45 Mid Morning News

9:00 Call for Cash

9:45 Morning Moods

10:00 Rev. Hastings

10:00 Social Security T

10:00 Womanís Corner W

10:00 Sacred Heart Th

10:00 Hymns F

10:15 Public Health M

10:15 Morning Devotions T W Thu F

10:30 Hymns

11:00 Party Line

12:00 Noon News

12:15 Korn Kobblers

12:30 Musical Scoreboard

1:00 Tazewell Hour

2:00 Hillbilly Xpress

3:00 Forbidden Diary M W F

3:00 Red Bird T

3:00 Clear Creek Th

3:15 Rev. Butler

3:45 Bro. Holts

4:00 Hillbilly Roundup

5:00 560 Club

5:30 Evening News

5:38 Sports Parade

6:00 Crusaders

6:15 Sign Off


5:30 Sign On and News

5:35 Hymns

6:00 Early Morning News

6:15 T.N.T.

7:00 Front Page News

7:15 Harmony Four

7:30 Eddy Arnold

7:45 Story Telling Lady

8:00 Musical Mailbag

8:15 Baptist Hour

8:30 Record Shop

9:00 Princess Pet

9:15 Excursion in Science

9:30 Stars of Tomorrow

10:00 Childrenís Gospel Hour

10:30 Rev. Rowlett

11:00 Gospel Lady

11:30 Sports Duet

12:00 News

12:15 High School News

12:30 Rambliní Swingsters

1:00 Rev. Powell

1:30 Tazewell Hour

2:30 WCPM Presents

3:15 Rev. Butler

3:45 Brother Holt

4:00 WCPM Presents

4:30 Moonlight

5:00 560 Club

5:30 News

6:00 Crusaders

6:15 Sign Off

This is the Crusaders Quartet of Middlesboro. That's John Cawood on the left with Gibson guitar. Photograph was taken around 1950 in the living room of Ruby Maxwell. Photo taken by Lige Yeary.


6:00 Sign on

6:01 Ave Maria Hymns

6:45 Hartford Quartet

7:00 Geo. Schooler

8:00 Sick And Shut-in Hour

9:00 Episcopal Program

9:15 Rev. Bell

9:45 Rev. Barnett

10:00 Rev. Saylor

10:30 Les Lambdin

11:00 Morning Devotions

12:00 News

12:15 Billís Funnies

12:30 Jellico Gospel Hour

1:00 Rev. Cox

1:30 Rev. Robinson

2:00 E. Cumberland Ave. Church

2:30 Greasy Creek Baptist Church

3:00 Rev. Gibson

3:30 Baptist Hour

4:00 Rev. Williams

4:30 Singing Convention

5:30 News

6:00 Jubileers

6:15 Sign Off

More WCPM Logs Coming Someday