RSU Radio is co-producing and broadcasting a special tribute to Will Rogers and Wiley Post that will air during weekend events commemorating the 80th anniversary of the plane crash that killed Oklahoma’s favorite son.
Airports from across the country are expected to tune in to the live broadcast at 9:55 a.m., Saturday in conjunction with the annual Will Rogers and Wiley Post Fly-In at the Will Rogers Birthplace Ranch in Oologah.
RSU Radio General Manager Cathy Coomer said the station will break away from its regular programming to go live to Oologah where Will Rogers Museum Executive Director Tad Jones will officiate a nationwide tribute to Rogers and Post, as well as honor those who have lost their lives in small-airplane crashes.
Afterwards, RSU Radio (91.3FM) will air a short program will air paying tribute to Rogers and Post, who were killed when their two-man aircraft crashed on takeoff from Point Barrow, Alaska.
Ross Adkins, Fly-In announcer for the past several years, will present the commemoration and call for the nationwide moment of silence at 10 a.m.
Coomer said the station is honored to be a part of this historic event, which will commemorate the “crash heard round the world.” In addition to the on-air broadcast, the program will stream live from www.rsuradio.com.
During the Fly-In event, pilots will begin landing on the Ranch airstrip starting around about 8:30 a.m. With “Will & Wiley,” portrayed by Lester Lurk and Joe Bacon, will arrive by air about 9 a.m. Special activities at the event include inflatables for children, Cherokee storyteller, antique and classic cars, concessions and tours of the house where Will was born and Amish-built 1879 era-correct barn.
Admission is free and parking is available on the grounds for visitors to watch the planes land and depart, get a close-up of planes and visit with pilots.
For more information about the Fly-In, visit www.willrogers.com.
The station also will air interviews by RSU Radio Music Director Geoff Parachin with Oklahoma singer-songwriter Beau Jennings about the album and feature-length documentary, “The Verdigris: In Search of Will Rogers.”
Jennings’ journey to produce the album encouraged him to retrace the steps of Rogers’ life, from his birthplace in Oklahoma to his death in Alaska. The singer, who is from Inola, traveled to the major locales in Rogers’ life (California to Alaska) recording new songs he’d written along the way, drawing inspiration from the places he visited and using field recordings of the nature around him to layer the tracks.
The documentary was shown Thursday night in Tulsa at the Circle Cinema and will air today in Kansas City and Saturday in Lawrence, Kansas.
Parachin interviewed Jennings that ran on the station’s “OK Connection” and “Backroads” programs. A final segment will run immediately following the live broadcast from Oologah on Saturday morning.
For more information, visit www.rsuradio.com.