Wrapped about in a holiday garb of music and speeches, KMOX, the new superpower broadcasting station known as the “Voice of St. Louis,” was officially launched last Thursday night, the gift of St. Louis to the nation.
The inaugural program, which lasted from 7 o’clock until the early hours of Christmas morning, was opened with addresses by the men who were responsible for the mammoth station in St. Louis. The entertainment portion included a wide variety ranging from Christmas music by the vested choir of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church to syncopated melody.
The hour of 7 brought the first official message from the station in the form of an announcement by Nate Caldwell, official announcer. An organ prelude by Arthur L. Ott, and two numbers, “The Star-Spangled Banner” and “Hail to the Chief” by the Little Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of David Bittner, Jr., with Utt at the Kilgen organ, followed.
After this, W.S. Matthews, president of the Kirkwood Trust Company, and who has played an important part in this matter, gave the following three-minute address in behalf of the Kirkwood Trust Company over “The Voice of St. Louis”:
“The Kirkwood Trust Company is happy to be one of the forces that has brought the great sending station of the ‘Voice of St. Louis’ to Kirkwood.
“We have great pride in our city, the County of St. Louis and the great City of St. Louis, and stand ready to do anything to the best of our ability for their betterment and advancement.
“In all the United States there is not a more beautiful country than the rolling hills and wonderful valleys of St. Louis County; and in the midst of it is our little City of Kirkwood, a charming home town with all the advantages of rural and city life combined, situated in the highest part of the county in a lovely spot where the summer breezes are the coolest.
“Our educational advantages are unsurpassed; five public schools, one high school, and five other schools and colleges. Churches of all denominations, three golf clubs, our own water supply and electric service, fine roads and streets with easy access to all parts of the county. Two railroads, two electric car lines and several bus lines connecting us with St. Louis. We invite those who are seeking a suburban home to come to see us.
“To all of our friends, both far and near, we wish a Merry Christmas and all the success, prosperity and happiness that can be crowded into Nineteen Hundred and Twenty –six.”
The other speakers included Isaac H. Orr, vice-president of the St. Louis Chamber of Commerce; R. L. Jacobsmeyer, Mayor of Kirkwood, who forgot to mention all the papers of Kirkwood but thanked one paper for the valued assistance given him in this matter; Thomas P. Convey, managing director of the station; Colin B. Kennedy, president of the station, and R. Fullerton Place, former president of the Advertising Club of St. Louis, and Clifford Corneli, president of the Merchants Exchange.
(Originally published in the Kirkwood Monitor 1/1/1926.)