Originally licensed to Covington, Kentucky (hence the call letters), WCKY-AM went on the air in 1929, and moved its studios to Cincinnati in the early 1930s. In the 1930s, acts such as the Skillet Lickers and Hugh Cross broadcast live shows daily from WCKY. In the 1940s, the WCKY Jamboree became the best known hillbilly DJ show in America with Nelson King voted the top hillbilly DJ in the country for eight consecutive years. He was followed by Wayne Raney in 1956. In 1961, WCKY began broadcasting the live WCKY Ohio Jamboree from Madison Lake State Park in London, with Clay Eager as the emcee and featuring both country and bluegrass music.

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