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WMRY signed on in May 1966 from studios at the Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows on an Illinois bluff overlooking downtown St.
Unlike most of today's non-commercial stations, WMRY did not solicit monetary contributions from its listeners, but money dribbled in anyway, and when lightning hit the tower and blew out the transmitter for 10 days, the station reportedly received hundreds of phone calls (and a few checks) from listeners who had grown fond of the music and messages.
WMRY was, for a time, the only station of its kind in the country When lightning hit the tower and knocked the station off the air for 10 days, more than 1,500 calls came in from listeners.
As the years wore on, WMRY did away with much of the talk programming and placed emphasis on music and the inspirational messages, and jazz became a nighttime staple featuring the legendary Leo Chears, the "man in the red vest." In 1985, the public service format ended and WMRY began selling advertising.
He was the brains behind the heyday of WMRY even though others sought the credit.
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