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 Ralph Donald Foster

Ralph Donald Foster

Birth
Saint Joseph, Buchanan County, Missouri, USA
Death 11 Aug 1984 (aged 91)
Springfield, Greene County, Missouri, USA
Burial Saint Joseph, Buchanan County, Missouri, USA
Memorial ID 13480379 · View Source
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Radio and Television Pioneer. Considered one of the first people to realize the potential of radio as mass entertainment, in 1924 he and partner Jerry Hall started KGBX, a 50-watt radio station in St. Joseph, Missouri. Started as a hobby, it quickly grew into a full-time occupation. The station was moved to Springfield, Missouri in 1932 and changed its name to KWTO (an acronym for "Keep Watching The Ozarks"). His diligent work made KWTO the dominate radio station in southwest Missouri, and one of the first in the country to have mass market appeal and success. Live talent was featured as part of their main programming, with numerous successful country music stars beginning their careers with appearances on KWTO, such as Porter Wagoner, Chet Atkins, The Carter Family, Lennie Aleshire, Floyd “Goo Goo” Rutledge, and the comedic duo "Homer and Jethro”. He then started “The Ozarks Jubilee” television program, and it grew to a weekly viewing audience of 25 million people nationwide. Hosted by country music star Red Foley, it also guest starred many well-known country music artists. To honor Ralph Foster's love and dedication to his community and his educational interests, the School of the Ozarks at Point Lookout, Missouri renamed their museum to the "Ralph Foster Museum".

Bio by: J. D. McConnell


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: J. D. McConnell
  • Added: 27 Feb 2006
  • Find A Grave Memorial 13480379
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Ralph Donald Foster (25 Apr 1893–11 Aug 1984), Find A Grave Memorial no. 13480379, citing Saint Joseph Memorial Park, Saint Joseph, Buchanan County, Missouri, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .