WQCH celebrating 60 years

WQCH-AM 1590 in LaFayette is celebrating 60 years on air in the Queen City of the Highlands. Pictured: Charles W. Gwyn, Rich Gwyn’s father, was one of the original owners of the station and became sole owner of the station until his death in 1982. Rich Gwyn bought the station from his mother Brownie in 1988 and has owned it ever since.

LaFayette’s local radio landmark, WQCH-AM 1590, hit a huge milestone this month in celebrating its 60th anniversary on air.

It has been 60 years since the local radio station, then known as WLFA, first signed on in December 1954.

According to the WQCH website:

The station was operated by Radio Dixie Inc. through a partnership started by a South Carolina newspaper and station owner J.A. Gallimore and radio station manager Charles W. Gwyn.

Gwyn and his family moved in 1955 from South Carolina to LaFayette, where Gwyn was already a partner and assumed the role of station manager. Gwyn eventually became sole owner of the radio station, a position he held until his death in 1982.

Gwyn’s wife Brownie became owner after her husband’s passing.

The couple’s son, Rich Gwyn, became manager in 1982 and worked for his mother until purchasing the radio station in 1988.

The corporate name was changed from Radio Dixie Inc. to Redix Broadcasting Inc. and the call letters were changed to WQCH, which stands for “Queen City of the Highlands.”

Doug Williams began at the station in 1983 as a staff announcer and sales representative.

Weekdays from 6 a.m. until noon, Rich Gwyn is on air anchoring and Williams takes over from noon until 5 p.m.

Q-Country plays country music’s greatest hits, from contemporary country to classic country.

Rich said WQCH’s audience is a little bit older with an adult approach and the station has extremely loyal listeners.

Calls for lost dogs and calls of appreciation are consistent at the LaFayette landmark radio station.

Devotionals like “A Word For Your World” reaches out to listeners’ spiritual side.

Rich is very appreciative of the station’s loyal listeners and advertisers.

“There is an intimacy to it that has never changed,” he said. “Like sharing a cup of coffee together in the morning.”

Rich said it is gratifying to know that WQCH is such a part of the local area.

The intimacy of local radio cannot be replaced, Rich said.

The recent advancement in technologies has made things easier, Rich said.

The station play list is computerized, whereas in the past music was played on cartridges.

The cartridge tapes are no longer produced, but WQCH still plays a few for announcements, but the music is uploaded to the station’s computer hard drive.

Rich plans to continue along the same path and still enjoys providing the city of LaFayette with the local radio staple.

“My intention is to keep on riding that horse until I drop,” Rich said.

WQCH AM 1590 can be reached at P.O. Box 746 in LaFayette, or by calling 706-638-3276. WQCH’s email is info@wqch.net or WQCH can be found online at wqch.net, or on Facebook at Facebook.com/RadioLaFayette.