Stan Ray, a Yankton mortician, grew up in the transmitter building of WNAX, where his father worked as an engineer. He experienced firsthand many of the momentous events associated with WNAX. Marilyn Kratz, a retired elementary school teacher, is a freelance writer and a longtime resident of Yankton.
WNAX 570 Radio:: 1922-2007by Marilyn Kratz
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Life on the northern plains was lonely in the early 20th century. Farmers and ranchers went for weeks without hearing any voices other than those of their families. Then, in 1922, Al Madson, proprietor of a Yankton radio parts shop, made a radio transmitter. He formed a broadcasting company, and on November 25, 1922, WNAX broadcast its first program. People of the northern plains now had a daily "visitor." Gurney Seed and Nursery Company owned the station for its first 16 years, adding distinctive innovations to its programming. In its constant commitment to agriculture, the station has influenced the history of the five-state area it covers. Lawrence Welk got his start there. Wynn Speece, known as the Neighbor Lady, still broadcasts daily after starting at WNAX in 1941.
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