WCPM-AM Turns 60! – History

WCPM-AM Radio originated in August, 1951, actually going on the air November 1, 1951 with 250 watts of power and the frequency of 1490.  The original owner was E.F. Shadburne, dba Blanfox  Radio Company, Inc., later Tri City Broadcasting, Inc. and finally in 1957, becoming Cumberland City Broadcasting, Inc.; at which time WCPM was changed to the frequency it has now of AM-1280, and 1000 watts.  Subsequent owners were Jack Mills and his brothers, and in 1988, Jesse George Bibb, who had worked at the station since 1957.  After his death in April 2003, Mr. Bibb’s wife Shirley became the owner, with his daughter Susan Burton as Station Operator, until Shirley’s death in 2008. After her death, Susan was joined by her sisters, Paula Stevens and Sandra Hightower as owners, with Susan continuing on as Station Operator. Some DJ’s throughout the years include Clyde Beal, Craig Scott, Greg Yaden, Merle Dockery, George (Fudd) Birman, Jr., Eddie Creech, Tammy Tuttle and Carl Hogg, along with George Bibb. As with most AM stations, WCPM’s main concern was to be a part of the community.  Throughout the years, WCPM has been involved in bringing their listeners the latest in local news, weather and national news.  They have been involved in community events, covering 47 years of the Swappin’ Meetin’ and awards ceremonies, the Grand Reunion, 8 years of the Black Bear Festival, local 4th of July celebrations, Cumberland High School football and boys and girls basketball games and now the Harlan County Black Bears and Lady Bears games, local parades, and also in bringing news to the community during times of disasters such as the Scotia Mine Explosions, floods, storms, community strife, and celebration of community togetherness, such as coverage of the Coal Miners Appreciation Days in Lynch, the opening of the Benham Theatre in Benham, the unveiling of the Tri-Cities Miner’s Memorial Highway in Cumberland, the Storytelling Mural in Cumberland and recently the dedication of the Black Bear statues during the Kingdom Come Swappin’ Meetin’  this past October.  WCPM, over the years, has also been instrumental in bringing live broadcast to their listeners, such as weekly church services and groups; Arthur Johnson and Merle Dockery, and several local artists throughout the years and other artists traveling through the area such as legendary country music star Con Hunley; some here for the Black Bear Festival such as J.D. Shelburne, Phil Stacey, and Claire Lynch; and some up and coming Nashville artists, most recently Lewis Copeland and Kelly McGrath visiting our studio.  WCPM has always tried to promote new and local country talent, knowing that it is always important to help those in our community to succeed.  The station has been involved in helping to promote events of community interest such as the Relay for Life, PRIDE Cleanups, Main Street events, and local civic and church group happenings.  WCPM Radio has been a part of the Tri-Cities and the surrounding communities for over 60 years now, employing local people that know the community and the people, providing Live, Local Coverage; Live HOT Country Entertainers, & Gospel Music.



Please e-mail me let me know if you were (or know) a dj or worker at the station, and when, @ wcpmradio@windstream.net . Thank you:


Gearld Martin – DJ

Wade Martin – DJ

Kim Clark Boggs - Secretary

Annetta Combs Boggs – Secretary