KUGR lives up to rock ‘n’ roll legacy

KUGR will host musician Corey Harper for live performance Friday


GEORGE RODRIGUEZ | The Daily Evergreen

KUGR General Manager Katherine Barner discusses KUGR’s history and how the organization brings artists to campus.

BLAINE ROSS, Evergreen columnist

KUGR, the rock radio station of WSU, was founded in 1954 by alumnus and legendary sports broadcaster Keith Jackson.

The station was all about rock radio until the early 2000s, when its Board of Directors decided to change direction and make it a top-40 station. This would last only until 2011, when they changed back to rock radio and allowed their DJs to explore the music they wanted to play.

Sticking to that tradition of rock and roll, KUGR is partnering with Lyft and Cable 8 Productions to bring Corey Harper to WSU.

Harper has already established a name in the music world at the young age of 23. His music takes heavy inspiration from the classic rock of the ’60s and ’70s. His contemporary folk-rock style has been compared to the Mississippi blues, John Mayer and ’70s country rock, like the Allman Brothers and the Doobie Brothers.

Corey Harper will perform Friday in Jackson Hall.

Katherine Barner, KUGR general manager, said Harper will emcee Loudspeaker Lunch Hour from noon to 1 p.m. The station will interview him from 1:30 – 2:30 p.m.

The reason this event is so exclusive is because of the limited space KUGR was able to reserve for the concert. Barner said they partnered with Cable 8 to use their studio because it can fit more people, and the organization will do a live filming of the concert for online publication.

Alumni connections at Lyft presented KUGR with the opportunity to host Harper. The company is underwriting Harper’s tour, which lifts the financial burden off WSU and KUGR, Barner said.

“We don’t have to pay a dime, which is beautiful,” she said. “One of the marketing managers over at Lyft is a Cougar alum and told Corey that KUGR would be the spot to host the concert.”

KUGR has performed impressive feats in the past, like hosting rock legend Heart in 1976 for studio session, and continues to provide great music for WSU and the Palouse.

The organization’s stated goal, according to their website, is “to offer the WSU student body a platform for self-expression and broadcast experience while serving our community with bold and creative content.”

They continue to uphold their moral obligation to music by expanding their discography to include a diverse collection to help serve their DJs and their listeners.

KUGR is working to get an FM station. They are currently online only, and their music is accessible at kugr.org.

Harper will be performing at 8 p.m. Friday in Jackson Hall, Studio A, but doors will open at 7:30 p.m. They are limiting the show to the first 65 people.


CORRECTION: This article has been updated to reflect that Corey Harper will be emceeing from noon to 1 p.m. Friday, which will be followed by an interview at 1:30 p.m., and that WSU does not restrict KUGR from renting spaces.