PORT ARTHUR — The Museum of the Gulf Coast recently launched Museum of the Gulf Coast Radio, a 24-hour, online radio station that will act as an extension of the museum.
The station will feature music from the 50s through the 90s, including many artists who grew up in Southeast Texas and along the Gulf Coast region. Cajun music, Jazz, Swamp Pop, and R&B are just some of the genres listeners can expect to hear. Sam Monroe, President of the Port Arthur Historical Society, says the new station is another way of preserving history.
"This sound on the radio, that is history being heard. We’re preserving it by and through this method," said Monroe. "They’re hearing music that’s not being played anywhere else in this part of the country."
Bob Buckalew, an iconic figure in Texas Broadcasting and benefactor of the museum, came up with the idea for the radio station.
"What he wanted to do was to recreate sounds that he remembered as a young man growing up here. And so we helped him do that, to make that come alive again, for him and for everybody else who remembers those days," said Monroe.
The station launched Thursday night and already picked up more than 300 listeners, some from as far away as Athens, Greece. Tom Neal, Director of the Museum of the Gulf Coast, says community feedback has been positive.
"We’ll have people say ‘I remember that stuff from back in high school and college,’ and so bringing back those memories here locally is important to us," said Neal. "This is going to actually introduce us to a market that didn’t know we were here.”
The museum plans to promote its Music Hall of Fame by playing exclusive interviews with musicians pulled from its archives.
"Why I think it’s interesting is because many of these people are now deceased that we have interviews with, and some didn’t grant interviews to anyone but us," said Monroe.
Museum of the Gulf Coast Radio won't feature weather or sports and will have very little announcing. By broadcasting to the world, the museum expects more visitors, higher gift shop sales, and a new 'connection' to the community.
"We’re promoting the entire region. The music, the culture, the food, the lifestyle. It’ll all be promoted by and through this radio station," said Monroe.
The station is already available to play on Amazon Alexa and Live 365. It will soon be available on other apps, including iHeartRadio.
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