Jump to Navigation

Pleasant Valley Gang

In the early days of radio there were no prerecorded programs or networks to fill the broadcast day. All of the entertainment was performed live by artists who used words and music to create sound imagery for their listeners. Stations made their individual trademarks from these people; such was the case at WIBW-AM in Topeka.

WIBW radio signed on the air in 1927. In its early days, the station had more than 30 musicians on the regular staff who became household names to the thousands of listeners throughout the state. Three of those musicians performed in a show called "The Pleasant Valley."

Its title suggested a quiet peaceful place. The songs on the program, for many years, were by performed by Edmund Denney, Bill Kirk, and Miss Elsa. They could be described as light and airy, something to hum or whistle along with as listeners began each day at 6 a.m. But change is part of life and as audiences turned to newer vehicles for entertainment, live radio programs ceased. This musical trio, though, continued to supply their loyal audience with the musical fare to which they were accustomed. But, time does come to do that final show and so was the case with the gang.

In the mid 1980s, after nearly 50 years of being on the air and never missing a show, the gang performed its last broadcast. And with it, the book was closed on another pleasant memory in broadcast history.

Entry: Pleasant Valley Gang

Author: Kansas Historical Society

Author information: The Kansas Historical Society is a state agency charged with actively safeguarding and sharing the state's history.

Date Created: June 2003

Date Modified: July 2013

The author of this article is solely responsible for its content.