Radio station WSHF plays the same record every morning at 5am. No, it’s not a corporate station that plays the same dull records day in and day out. It’s a locally-owned independent station with plenty of Country music to go around. The record that “Real Country 92.3 FM” plays is a recording of a song that has long been absent from the airwaves…
Our National Anthem.
Station manager Evan Tidwell began playing the Star Spangled Banner two years ago, on June 12th 2017. Since then, it has aired every morning. “It was a longtime tradition for radio stations and later TV stations to play the anthem either at sign-on or sign off. When most stations began broadcasting 24 hours a day in the 1980’s, they quit playing it” Tidwell said.
“WSHF begins its broadcast day at 5am every morning, and we play the anthem to start the day off right, to set the tone for the rest of the day” Tidwell continued. “For me, it serves as a reminder of the sacrifices our service members have made for our country, and for the freedom we enjoy each day. If it weren’t for them, I wouldn’t be able to go on the air and broadcast what our listeners want. We could have ended up like broadcasters in other countries, being subject to a government agency telling us every word to say.”
The version of the Star Spangled Banner that Tidwell chose to broadcast also has a special meaning, as it’s a recording of the U.S. Army’s Field Band. Tidwell said his grandfather and great-grandfather both served in the Army, so playing that version is a small tribute to them. “But no matter what branch of the armed forces, I can’t think of a better recording to play than one made by our men and women in uniform, who put their lives on the line whenever they are asked to” Tidwell said in closing. “If a listener remembers that fact when they tune in to our station each morning, then I’ve done my job.”
WSHF broadcasts on 92.3 FM in the Shoals area of northwest Alabama, and worldwide at www.wshfradio.com via their digital stream.