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Friesen Celebrates 40

Bluegrass show claims to have been the first

It claims to have been the first Bluegrass music show. Whether or not that’s true, it probably isn’t debatable that “Bluegrass From the Rockin’ Banjo Ranch With Orin Fries” is the longest running as it celebrates its 40th year.

Originally called “Bluegrass Country” when it started in 1973, it moved to its permanent home at KFDI(AM/FM) in 1977. At one time it was syndicated nationally on over three-dozen stations. “Back then, I did it by mailing out two seven-inch reels of tape to every station each week. It took a tremendous amount of time,” Friesen said.

He adds, “With the Internet and digital audio, it’s a lot easier to syndicate a program these days.”

In 1990 a release notes, Friesen was the first Broadcaster of the Year selected by the International Bluegrass Music Association.

Journal Broadcast Group-Wichita Operations Vice President and General Manager Eric McCart said, “Very few radio hosts reach this milestone in their careers — 40 years is an amazing achievement. We’re happy to celebrate this achievement and look forward to many more years of Orin bringing bluegrass music to Kansans.”