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CityGreenville, South Carolina
Broadcast areaUpstate South Carolina
Frequency1490 AM
First air dateFebruary 8, 1954
Power1,000 Watts
Facility ID51487
Transmitter coordinates34°51′7.00″N 82°24′54.00″W / 34.8519444°N 82.4150000°W / 34.8519444; -82.4150000
Callsign meaning"P"aper "C"utters "I"nc. (station's owner)
Former callsignsWMRC
WMRB (1954-1982)
WQOK (1982-1984)
OwnerPaper Cutters, Inc.
WebcastListen Live

WPCI is a radio station located at 78 Mayberry Street in Greenville, South Carolina, U.S. that features a format consisting of a variety of music from different genres. The station is licensed by the FCC to broadcast on 1490 AM with a Nominal power (radio broadcasting) of 1 kW, full-time.

WPCI is owned and operated by local businessman Randy Mathena, and the programming consists entirely of selections from his extensive record collection stored on hard drive. Selections are played automatically and there are no disc jockeys, no song or artist identifications, and no commercials. The station broadcasts the minimum number of station identifications permitted by law.[1] Musical content includes, but is not limited to, classic rhythm-and-blues, reggae, blues, country, folk, and spoken-word recordings. The station is sometimes affectionately referred to as "Radio Randy."

1490 AM Radio is located at 78 Mayberry St. (2010 photo)


History of 1490 AM.

In 1940 a Royal Crown Cola bottler by the name of James E. Jolly began WMRC 1490 AM radio with the call letters from "We Make Royal Crown". WMRC targeted local textile communities through southern gospel, World Transcription Library programs, and live country through Mutual Broadcasting System and NBC's Blue network. WMRC's popularity began to increase via Morning man Sid Tear, news reporter Martin Agronski, and Meeting House in Dixie, one of its first religious programs.

When the ban on phonograph records ended, popular local personalities began to emerge like, Bob Poole with "Poole's Party Line," and Frank Cope with "The Ole Lazy Man Show." Local university football games, Saturday afternoon's "The Metropolitan Opera," and the weekday special "The Breakfast Club" with Don McNeal were huge hits.

In the mid-1940s, WMRC moved its frequency to 1440 AM to enlarge the station's power to 5,000 watts and an Atlanta group began controlling 1490 AM creating WAKE. "Wake Up with Wake" drew 40 to 50 million listeners via "The Major League Game of the Day" with the voice of Bob Fulton, the announcer for the Carolina Gamecocks. In 1953, WMRC 1440, and WRBC 1330, merged and president Frank Cope, morning personality Bob Poole, and program director Bill Arrington, who had all been employed at WMRC, bought WAKE 1490.[2] The newly purchased station, with the financial backing of the Simpson partner of Belk-Simpson Dept. Stores, was renamed WMRB with the call letters from "We Make Radio Better". They along with Bill Krieger began by broadcasting as a CBS Radio affiliate featuring Furman sports, easy listening music, big band music, and in the later years more popular tunes.

WMRB Studio 1969 - Calhoun Towers.

In the mid-1950s WMRB became the host to South Carolina Gamecocks football, and Frank Cope purchased the rights to broadcast "The Masters Golf Tournament" originating in Augusta, Georgia.[3] WMRB also became host to Chicago White Sox baseball broadcasts. This unique event began when Frank Cope and a local business associate from Household Finance brokered the arrangement with the Chicago White Sox.[4] The corporate headquarters for Household Finance was located in Chicago and they were key sponsors on the White Sox Radio Network.[5] Some local listeners falsely conjectured the Chicago White Sox broadcasts were the result of Shoeless Joe Jackson's affiliation with the White Sox and his playing time with Brandon Mill of the Textile Baseball League. [6] WMRB continued to carry Chicago White Sox broadcasts from their Calhoun Towers studio until the late ‘60s.[7] WMRB replaced the White Sox with the Atlanta Braves in the early 1970s.

Sound Board - WMRB.

Frank Cope sold the station in 1980 to an associate, Alton Finley. Finley changed the call letters to WQOK, replaced the format with rock and roll, and rhythm and blues, cancelled the CBS lineup, and rejoined with the Mutual Broadcasting System. WMRB in the end lost listeners and the station went dark in the early to mid-1980s. Randy Mathena purchased the station in 1987 and renamed it WPCI for Paper Cutters Inc., as his first station call letter choices, WMRB and WBCH were already taken.


  1. ^ Station identification
  2. ^ http://facweb.furman.edu/~jarmstrong/engaged_radio/paper_two.html
  3. ^ Jim Cope (son of former WMRB owner), Interview by Johnny W. Kicklighter, Feb 25, 2010.
  4. ^ Bill Krieger former WMRB employee, Interview by Johnny W. Kicklighter, Feb 24, 2010.
  5. ^ Lee Abrams' Blog, Play by Play, TV & Print news, The Cubs, The Ventures, Stealing from Trash Cans and Other Stuff, Oct 15, 2007.
  6. ^ Thomas K. Perry, author of "Textile League Baseball," Feb 17, 2010.
  7. ^ Robert Morris, former WMRB employee, email to Johnny W. Kicklighter, Apr 18, 2010.

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