Four generations of KPAN on the 60th anniversary -- Clint Formby, Chip Formby, Sharleen Formby, Jonathan Formby and Lane Formby

                                                         History

        Texas journalists John Blake of Brownwood and Marshall Formby of Plainview originally planned to establish the station in 1948 in Canyon, but were swayed to move the city of license to Hereford by the town's potential for growth, publicity and the aggressiveness of the community leaders. The AM station went on the air at 6:15am August 4, 1948 at the location of the current transmitter 2 miles west of Hereford. Clint Formby, nephew of Marshall, assisted in the station's construction while a student at Texas Tech, and he commenced regular broadcast ceremonies early that summer morning with "The Star Spangled Banner". The next musical choices were a tune by Spade Cooley, then a Spike Jones number. The first commercial was then read by Clint, a Western Auto special on Truetone two-tube radios for $29.95.      

        Marshall Formby became the station's sole owner in 1950. He and his wife Sharleen lived in Hereford and managed KPAN in the early years. Clint became a partner in ownership in 1956. Marshall prefaced his local newscasts with the phrase "KPAN.....the only radio station in the world that gives a hoot about Hereford, Texas". Clint began the Day-By-Day Philosopher program in 1955, and he broadcast 17,160 consecutive programs at 7:45am Monday - Saturday.  The studios on US 60 were virtually destroyed by fire in 1961, and new offices were then built at the present location at 218 East Fifth. In 1965, KPAN was one of the first area stations to build a companion FM station. It was one of the first West Texas stations to inaugurate daily Spanish programming. KPAN has twice received the Texas Association of Broadcasters' (TAB) Outstanding Radio Station award, and the station has also been featured on the cover of Texas Highways magazine. During the period 1962-1972, KPAN received more TAB awards than any Texas radio or TV station. It is one of two Texas radio stations retained by same family ownership for over 50 years. Chip Formby joined the station staff in 1978, serving as news director and engineer, and became the general manager in 1994. He currently serves on the board of Texas Association of Broadcasters, representing small-market radio.

         KPAN began coverage of Hereford High sports in the fall of 1948. Since the daytime-only AM station was turned off at sunset, the Friday night football games were taped and re-broadcast on Saturdays. Eventually, live broadcasts were possible, and KPAN has been all across the state with HHS athletes. KPAN was the first Texas station to conceive D.E.Day, offering training and on-the-job experience for HHS Distributive Education students, and for many years has provided live coverage of the county spelling bee and junior livestock show. Weekly, the stations have provided live broadcasts of Sunday worship services from the First Baptist Church and First Methodist Church.

       The stations observed the 60th anniversary in 2008, marking 37,400 local newscasts, over 2,800 ballgames, 3,100 Sunday morning worship services, 21,000 Trading Posts and over 327,000 public service announcements. KPAN became the National Weather Service cooperative observer in 1981, and has broadcast 480,000 weather forecasts and advisories. The stations have broadcast over 6 million songs in English and Spanish since 1948, along with one or two lost dogs and garage sales each day. The KPAN website went on-line in 2000.      

   KPAN Spanish-language DJ, Rosa Garcia. Circa 1958 in the original studios at the transmitter site southwest of Hereford.

 

KPAN MOTHER OF THE YEAR HONOREES

 

  1.       1962 - Mrs. Henry Hastings

  2.       1963 - Mrs. Clyde Thomas

  3.       1964 - Laura Pickens

  4.       1965 - Mrs. Frank Wilhelm

  5.       1966 -  Thelma Terry

  6.       1967 -  Louise Ferguson

  7.       1968 - Mrs. F.L. Pinckert

  8.       1969 - Mrs. Joel Hodges

  9.       1970 - Mrs. Gerald Banner

10.       1971 - Mrs. W.F. Ball

11.       1972 - Mrs. Albert Ricketts

12.       1973 - Mrs. Benny Womble

13.       1974 - Mrs. Jimmie Allred

14.       1975 - Caudie Ola Brown

15.       1976 - Mrs. James Jesko

16.       1977 - Mrs. Ed Loerwald

17.       1978 - Murlene Streun

18.       1979 - Donna Brockman

19.       1980 - Lucy Moore

20.       1981 - Dolores Foster

21.       1982 - Bea Hutson

22.       1983 - Jane Eggen

23.       1984 - Ida Schumacher

24.       1985 - Ann Crouch

25.       1986 - Gladys Cavness

26.       1987 - Eloise Smith

27.       1988 -  Isabel Ramirez

28.       1989 - Clara Reinart

29.       1990 - Donnie Owen

30.       1991 - Viola Wagner

31.       1992 - Catherine Cortez

32.       1993 - Mary Lou Shore

33.       1994 - Rafaelita Pacheco

34.       1995 - Emelene Kriegshauser

35.       1996 - Lale Vargas

36.       1997 - June Henderson

37.       1998 - Andrea Urias

38.       1999 - Virginia Anstey

39.       2000 - Dean Bradley

40.       2001 - Frankie Barrett

41.       2002 - Evelyn Hacker Dowell

42.       2003 - Bennie J. Beck

43.       2004 - Florestela Rodriguez

44.       2005 - Grace Paschel

45.       2006 - Frances Foster

46.       2007 - Johnnie Alford

47.       2008 - Margaret Carnahan

48.       2009 - Betty Lady

49.       2010 - Janie Banner

50.       2011 - Georgia Sparks

51.       2012 - Rosa Garcia

52.       2013 - Betty Henson

53.       2014 - Sharon Caro

 

       KPAN FATHER OF THE YEAR HONOREES

 

  1.      1966                Rocky Lee

  2.       1967                S.A. Fangman

  3.       1968                Martin L. Simpson

  4.       1969                Bill Bradley

  5.       1970                W.J. “Joe” Schumacher

  6.       1971                Jack Nunley

  7.       1972                Hugh McCrary

  8.       1973                Jimmie Allred

  9.       1974                G.B. “Dick” Hagar

10.       1975                Dick Montgomery

11.       1976                Lester Wagner

12.       1977                Eldon Owens

13.       1978                Eddie O’Rand

14.       1979                Kenneth Duncan

15.       1980                J.C. Allred

16.       1981                Eluterio Mariscal

17.       1982                John Sublett

18.       1983                Bill Buford

19.       1984                Sammy Gonzales

20.       1985                Sid Killough

21.       1986                Terry Connally

22.       1987                Clarence Strange

23.       1988                Walt Warren

24.       1989                Nick Yosten

25.       1990                Elmer Reinart

26.       1991                Lupe Perez

27.       1992               Jim Culpepper

28.       1993                Herb Vogel

29.       1994                Mark Koenig

30.       1995                Andrew Kershen

31.       1996                Richard Hagar

32.       1997                Ramon De La Cerda

33.       1998                Jose Morales

34.       1999                Jerry Warren

35.       2000                Emilio Valdez

36.       2001                Jess L. Robinson

37.       2002                Harlan Resch

38.       2003                Toby Torres Jr.  

39.       2004                 Frank Garcia

40.       2005                 Roy Lopez

41.       2006                 Pete Vargas Sr.

42.       2007                 Erasmo Gonzales

43.       2008                 Todd Murray

44.       2009                  Pete Madrigal Jr.

45.       2010                  Gene Streun

46.       2011                  Cal Mitts

47.       2012                  Guadalupe Tapia

48.       2013                  Steve Hodges

49.       2014                  Stan Fry Jr.

 

 

KPAN PIONEER OF THE YEAR HONOREES

 

  1.  1967             EZRA NORTON

  2.  1968             F.H. OBERTHIER

  3.  1969             BESS WERNER

  4.  1970             EDGAR S. IRELAND

  5.  1971             IRA RICKETTS

  6.  1972             CLAUDE RICKETTS

  7.  1973             VIDA JACOBSEN

  8.  1974             LENA BELL

  9.  1975             CALLA MOUNTZ

10.  1976            BESSIE HILL

11.  1977            LEE COCANOUGHER

12.  1978            ROBERTA WILSON

13.  1979            BILL HACKER

14.  1980            C. ORA COCKRELL

15.  1981            HORACE & JUANITA HERSHEY

16.  1982            BILLIE JOHNSON

17.  1983            JENNIE BUCKNER

18.  1984            DICK HAGAR

19.  1985            PET OTT

20.  1986            CAUDIE OLA BROWN

21.  1987            IRA OTT

22.  1988            MARLIN GILILLAND

23.  1989            MARY MORRISON

24.  1990            HAROLD WESTER

25.  1991            MARGARET SCHROETER

26.  1992            EMMITT MILBURN

27.  1993            LETA KAUL

28.  1994            ELEANOR HUDSPETH

29.  1995            LOIS GILILLAND

30.  1996            URSALEE JACOBSEN

31.  1997            A.B. "HAP" HIGGINS

32.  1998            BENNY WOMBLE

33.  1999            LOIS RUTTER ETHRIDGE

34.  2000            CATHERINE RICKETTS RUSSELL

35.  2001            EMILY W. SUGGS

36.  2002            J.B. NOLAND

37.  2003            F.A. "SPECK" MARNELL

38.  2004            ALTA MAE FORTENBERRY HIGGINS

39.  2005            LESTER WAGNER

40.  2006            CLINT FORMBY

41.  2007            BETTY JO CARLSON

42.  2008            RUTH TEMPLE HASTINGS HILL

43.  2009            BEA NOLAND

44.  2010            BARTLEY DOWELL

 

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