“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Lufkin in Angelina County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)

KRBA-AM Radio Station

KRBA-AM Radio Station Marker image. Click for full size.
By Steve Gustafson, November 22, 2010
1. KRBA-AM Radio Station Marker
Inscription. By the 1930s, radio had become an established medium for commercial advertising. In 1938, commercial radio came to Angelina County when Redland Broadcasting Association received the first license in the area. Station manager Darrell Yates financed, built, and launched KRBA-AM on May 3, 1938 with the understanding that he would assume full ownership from investors in five years. Programs were initially only broadcast during the day and the station operated at a frequency of 130 kilocycles at a 100-watt power level. KRBA originally operated from Cash Drug Store in downtown Lufkin. Since 1948, broadcasts have originated from 121 Cotton Square and the transmission site has been at what is now 2105 Spence Street.

Early KRBA programming included broadcast news, drama, music, and sermons. The station also covered sports, beginning with Lufkin Panther football in 1938. During World War II, the station employed a number of women to take the place of male employees. By the 1950s and 1960s, new programs included "The Song and Dance Parade," a prelude to rock-n-roll programming, and "Tunes and Tempos," which introduced African-American radio to local audiences; Spanish programming began in the late 1960s with "Sabado Alegres."

Through the years, the station has made a major impact in the area. KRBA-AM has sponsored a number of charitable

KRBA-AM Radio Station and Marker image. Click for full size.
By Steve Gustafson, November 22, 2010
2. KRBA-AM Radio Station and Marker
activities in Lufkin. The station has also served as a launching pad for a number of noted radio and broadcast personalities. Today, under the direction of Yates Media, historic KRBA continues to be directly involved in community and regional events, and continues to serve the public as a viable broadcasting institution into the 21st Century.
Erected 2009 by Texas Historical Commission. (Marker Number 16011.)
Location. 31° 20.338′ N, 94° 43.794′ W. Marker is in Lufkin, Texas, in Angelina County. Marker is on Cotton Square, on the left when traveling west. Click for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 121 Cotton Square, Lufkin TX 75901, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Depot Explosion and Mystery (a few steps from this marker); Calder (Cotton) Square (within shouting distance of this marker); Site of Rehearsal Hall for the The Hoo Hoo Band (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); Kerr's Inc. (about 500 feet away); Lufkin Telephone Exchange (about 600 feet away); Angelina County (approx. ¼ mile away); First Baptist Church of Lufkin (approx. ¼ mile away); Site of Martin Wagon Company (approx. ¼ mile away). Click for a list of all markers in Lufkin.
Also see . . .  KRBA Radio. Official website for KRBA-AM radio. Includes a page devoted to the station's history. “The KRBA programming format attempted to present something on the air for most everyone with an AM radio on a daily basis. From 1938 through the early 1940s, the station regularly broadcast news, dramatic programming, musical transcriptions of all varieties, and live preachers of various denominations. The 1950s and 1960s would continue a very varied format though dramatic programming would begin to fade, but more programs would be directed to housewives, farmers, and a direct request musical program ‘Song and Dance Parade’ would lead the format in the direction of making rock-n-roll a major part of the station’s legacy. KRBA's ‘Tunes and Tempos’ played rhythm and blues and would introduce African America radio announcers to the local audiences in the 1950s and 60s. Spanish musical programming would be introduced for the first time in East Texas in 1968.” (Submitted on December 9, 2010, by Jeff Conner of Norfolk, Virginia.) 
Categories. Communications
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Steve Gustafson of Lufkin, Texas. This page has been viewed 815 times since then and 83 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on , by Steve Gustafson of Lufkin, Texas. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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