‘Soulsations’ Offers Diverse Programming, Free of Charge


Lu Anne Stephens, KMUW

In 2009, longtime public radio journalist and gospel music fan Carla Eckels had a new idea for KMUW, Wichita’s NPR station: a weekly, hour-long R&B and gospel program. She brought that idea to me, as KMUW’s director of content strategy, and thankfully I loved the idea. Twelve years on, the program is a great success. Now we want to share the show with stations across the U.S., which is why Soulsations with Carla Eckels is available on PRX, free of charge.

At a time when public radio stations are looking to diversify their lineup and fill vacancies left by retired programs, Soulsations offers an uplifting and diverse collection of R&B and gospel music. There’s never a shortage of funky sounds that make you want to get up and dance. The show is sprinkled with artist interviews and nods to the classics, like Stevie Wonder, Anita Baker, and Bill Withers. The following video is a snippet of Carla’s recent interview with gospel icon Yolanda Adams.

A recurring segment titled DoubleTake is a listener favorite. Fans share two versions of a song they love; like Al Green’s “Take Me to the River” and the cover by Talking Heads. Listeners are encouraged to share their suggestions on Facebook and Twitter, and are sometimes even interviewed on the program. Listeners always find a familiar groovy rhythm that makes them come back for more every week.

Host Carla Eckels has been recognized numerous times for her effervescent DJ personality, including awards from the Kansas Association of Broadcasters and reader’s choice in The Community Voice. In November 2020, Carla was inducted into the Kansas African American Museum’s Trailblazers Hall of Fame for her work in broadcast journalism. Her spirit, knowledge and passion shines through the airwaves; just listen to this sample to hear for yourself.

KCUR, Kansas City’s NPR station, recently added Soulsations to their weekly lineup. The listener response has been so great that they added a second weekly broadcast.

Ron Jones, KCUR’s director of programming and community engagement, recently wrote: “I am so impressed with your work as host of Soulsations. Your knowledge of music, combined with our interview skills and the passion you exude are what make the show special for me.”

To learn more about adding Soulsations to your lineup, contact me — Lu Anne Stephens — at [email protected] or (316) 978-7187.

Soulsations is 58:59, dropped weekly Thursday evening by 7:00 pm CT.

Included two (2) :59 floating breaks.

Music beds are provided for the breaks but are optional.

Custom promos available.