Corbin H. Crable
Charlie Wyatt wants to spread the word of God on the Information Superhighway – and he’s even willing to work with your own schedule to do it.
July 23 will see the official launch of WUCA Radio, an Internet station that specializes in broadcasting Christian metal, Christian rock, Christian pop and Christian rap music. The official launch and a related press conference will take place at 11 a.m. July 23 at the Gardner branch of the Johnson County Library, 137 E. Shawnee St.
The station will be on the air 24 hours a day, seven days a week, making it convenient for listeners to have access to popular music with a positive message, Wyatt said. As a parent, that makes him feel good about what his kids are listening to.
“We all have different things we’ll allow in our kids’ lives,” Wyatt said. “I want to make sure my kids are listening to something with positive, pure lyrics. I don’t want my kids to hear about putting a cap in someone or beating a woman.”
Before he had those children, Wyatt said he worked as a concert promoter in the mid-1980s. He met his future wife, Crystal, in the industry in 1992. In addition to falling in love and eventually getting married, the two struck up a business partnership and began promoting musical artists such as Neal McCoy, Robin Lee and Molly Hatchet. The duo also worked to promote independent Christian artists.
“We really saw a revolution coming in the Christian market,” Wyatt said.
Wyatt said that after leaving the music promotion business – and doing much soul-searching – he and his wife decided that the best way to prepare for that revolution was going online – specifically, with the advent of a Christian music radio station.
The two developed WUCA Radio. WUCA, an acronym for “Wake Up and Come Alive,” boasts 18 staff members, including disc jockeys, advertising sales representatives, public relations officials and technicians. Wyatt described the station’s target audience as ages 10 to 55.
The program lineup includes morning (8 a.m. to 12 p.m.), midday (12 p.m. to 6 p.m.) and evening shows (6 p.m. to 10 p.m.); peppered between the uplifting music likely will be interviews with local and area residents.
Wyatt said he specifically would like to be able to interview Gardner Mayor Dave Drovetta, as well as members of the Gardner City Council. Wyatt even attended a July 6 council meeting to introduce himself to the governing body and invite them to WUCA Radio’s official launch.
If the first year goes well for the station, Wyatt said he’d even like to organize a “WUCA-fest” next summer, inviting Christian music artists to come to Gardner to perform live.
Wyatt said he and his wife simply believe the time is right for another option in Christian radio, and that he believes there is a market for this music in Gardner.
“”We want to get the word out that Kansas City does have another avenue where they can listen to Christian radio,” he said. “The timing for everything is right.”
He said that thus far, response to WUCA Radio has been positive, and that those who listen are surprised by the quality of some of the artists.
“You listen and you go, ‘Wow, that’s Christian music? These guys can actually rap,’” Wyatt said. “The music has a style and pizzazz that doesn’t chase you off. … People say they’re amazed with the music.”
Since its first broadcast May 23, Wyatt said the station has attracted listeners not only from across the country but across the world, too – he said the station has listeners in Russia, Saudi Arabia and Colombia, among other locations.
But it’s Gardner that will see the birth of Wyatt’s Internet radio station later this month, and Wyatt said he is excited about the opportunity to bring Christian music to the area.
“We see the explosion in Internet radio coming, and we choose to be ready for that,” he said. “We’re a station for everybody.”