When KCMA Cool Mountain Radio hit the air Friday morning, the sound that came over the radio was familiar to anyone who has listened to local radio in recent years.
Coming across the airwaves, on the dial at 98.5 FM, was the husband and wife banter of John and Lu Carpino. It was the first day of their new live morning show. Every weekday morning, from 7 to 10 a.m., John and Lu will intersperse music with news, weather, Longhorn sports and interviews with local people.
Payson's Classical Music Association, the nonprofit group that procured the license for the radio station, convinced John Carpino to be their program manager. With support from the organization's board members, Cindy and Andy Kofile, who own Arizona Spectrum Wireless, and Tom and Chris Spencer, the new station is up and running from a small trailer off McLane Road.
"Our motto is ‘Community First,'" John said.
"It's true community radio and we are open to whatever programming or music the community wants to hear."
The Carpinos, married nearly 20 years, have been a fixture in Rim Country -- performing, broadcasting and teaching. They met while teaching in Yuma.
"John was performing one night and I was there with some friends who encouraged me to get up on stage and sing with him," Lu said. "The rest is history."
John continues to perform with his wife and band, the Hot Cappuccinos, and Lu is a speech therapist with the Pine school district. Yet the airwaves always call them back.
The music format during the day is a mix of "fun sounds from the '50s, '60s and '70s.
"Our night mix is classic rock and beyond," John said. "But I want to stress that this is a community station and we will play the kind of music and have the kind of programming that the people want."
John said the response to the new programming has been "overwhelming."
"People are loving what we are doing," he said.
The station depends on funding from the community it serves.
"People can make a donation or talk to us about underwriting and we mention them over the radio," John said. "We are interested in anyone who wants to support this community station."
To contact John and Lu about supporting the station or programming ideas, call KCMA at (928) 468-5262 or e-mail them at firstname.lastname@example.org.