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KDCR celebrates 40th year

By Sarah Groneck

When KDCR 88.5 FM was started forty years ago, vinyl was all the rage and DJs worked midnight shifts to keep the studio running.

“We originally had boxes of records in the studio,” said music director Jim Bolkema, who has worked at KDCR for twenty-three years.

The music selection at KDCR has also changed over the years. The radio station used to play a mix of classical music and traditional hymns. In the 1990s they switched to purely Christian contemporary music in order to better please their audience.

Forty years ago, KDCR’s studio was the size of an apartment.

“The building was so small that you had to be quiet when you walked through the door because someone was on air,” said Bolkema. Although no changes have been made to the facilities in many years, the studio today provides adequate and soundproof space for the range of tasks that need to be done.

Other things have changed since the radio station broadcasted its first show forty years ago. “We’ve since moved to CDs, and now everything is computer-based,” said Bolkema.

KDCR still airs its own news briefs, with employees recording and playing the clips.

With this year’s anniversary, KDCR staff and radio personalities will MC Dordt basketball and volleyball games on air and at the events. To heighten awareness of its celebration, the staff already oversaw and cooked hot dogs and hamburgers for Dordt’s first varsity football game in September.

Former Dordt president B.J. Haan started KDCR to make Dordt more welcome in the Sioux Center community.

“He had a vision of an opportunity to link the college to the community through communication,” said Bolkema. “Colleges can often be set apart from the community, but KDCR gives Dordt a chance to be a part of Sioux Center.”

With nearly half a century of experience, Bolkema said, KDCR has grown into a community emblem.

“We have great hopes for the future,” he said.