Lawrence will be the featured "town of the week" during a nationally broadcast radio comedy/quiz show to air live on Saturday.
The show, "Whad' Ya Know," will be broadcast on KCUR-FM (89.3) in Kansas City, Mo., from 10 a.m. to noon. Lawrence will be featured for about 15 minutues during the last hour of the show, said Jim Packard, who announces for the show.
Packard said today that during the show he will describe Lawrence's history, economic factors, unusual attractions, and anecdotes in a humorous light.
"It's light-hearted and we try not to poke fun at the town," he said.
"In Lawrence you have Kansas University and a great basketball team, and the town itself has quite an interesting history, so obviously there's a lot to tell," Packard said.
PACKARD SAID the show, which is broadcast on 98 public radio stations across the nation, has gained popularity since it first aired four years ago.
Ruth Bessman, associate producer of "Whad' Ya Know," said the show is broadcast live from a studio in Madison, Wis., in front of a 100-member audience.
Bessman said the show's "town of the week" is determined when a member of the studio audience throws a dart into a map of the United States.
Packard, in addition to announcing the show, does research on the chosen town of the week.
"The first thing I do is go to the state's library here in Madison," he said. "I look up the early history and try to find out as much as I can about how the town was started."
PACKARD SAID he writes a brief summary of the town and reads it over the air to introduce the "town of the week."
The show's host, Michael Feldman, will then call a resident of the town and ask questions, which only a local person would be able to answer, Packard said.
When asked if he would reveal any interesting anecdotes before Saturday's show airs, Packard said:
"Well, apparently there were two sheriffs who fought it out in Lawrence within the first decade of the town's existence. Sheriff Bill Masterson, who was a federal marshal, had to fight his way through the town against the sheriff of Lawrence. They were fighting over seven Cheyenne Indians, who Bill was escorting through town."
"Whad' Ya Know," will not be broadcast on KANU-FM, Lawrence's public radio station, said station general manager Howard Hill.
Hill said KANU has not carried the show.
"It doesn't fit with the type of programming that we've had on Saturdays with news and jazz," Hill said.
"It's ironic that we have public radio in Lawrence but we're not going to carry the show," he said.