WMKV-FM (89.3) turns back the clock 75 years Thursday to broadcast radio bulletins and news reports about the World War II Normandy invasion on June 6, 1944.
The 12-hour marathon was originally produced and broadcast as D-Day Plus 50 Years by WVXU-FM in 1994, before Xavier University sold the station to Cincinnati Public Radio.
It won a prestigious George Foster Peabody Award in 1995.
D-Day +75 Years opens at 8 a.m. with a remote broadcast of a Harry James band concert being interrupted by the first D-Day invasion bulletins. Listeners will hear how Americans learned about the pivotal battle in 1944, when radio was the only broadcasting mass medium.
Reports from CBS, NBC and BBC reporters, news from German radio broadcasts, and eyewitness accounts interrupt live broadcasts of the Bob Hope Show, The Guiding Light, Fibber McGee & Molly and other entertainment programs. The 12-hour special also includes messages from President Franklin D. Roosevelt, singers Frank Sinatra and Kate Smith, and other historic audio from the day.
"We wanted to produce a historically accurate 'rebroadcast' of what the average American would have heard on their radios in chronological order, from the time of the first war bulletin interruptions announcing the launch of D-Day up through late in the night of June 6, 1944," said executive producer James C. King in a media release. He was WVXU-FM general manager at the time.
"Not only does this production capture what took place hour-by-hour on this landmark day, but it also tells another story – that of radio’s coming of age," said George Zahn, WMKV-FM station director, who was one of the WVXU-FM staffers who helped produce the special 25 years ago.
It is hosted by Michigan Broadcasting Hall of Famer Mike Whorf, a longtime Detroit radio announcer and host of the Kaleidoscope history program broadcast by WVXU-FM in the 1980s and '90s.
The D-Day special can be heard until 8 p.m. on WMKV-FM (89.3), WLHS-FM (89.9) in southeastern Butler County, on the WMKVFM website and the free WMKV mobile app. WMKV-FM is owned and operated by Maple Knoll Communities in Springdale.