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WKDF (103.3 FM) is a Country music radio station broadcasting on a frequency of 103.3 MHz from Nashville, Tennesseemarker. WKDF is owned by Citadel Broadcasting Corporation.


The first station to occupy the 103.3 FM frequency was WNFO-FM, founded in 1962 and operated by Hickory Broadcasting Corporation. Despite several FM stations already operating in Nashville at the time, receivers were not yet in widespread use, and the relatively few listeners were not enough to attract advertisers. It left the air sometime around 1965, with WKDA-AM, then one of the two Top 40-formatted stations in the market, taking over and restarting it on January 1, 1967 as WKDA-FM. WKDA-FM/WKDF was located for many years with its sister station in the downtown Stahlman Building, where its large neon sign remains mounted as of 2009. The station was later moved to Rutledge Hill on Second Avenue South, to a property once occupied by the home of Captain Thomas G. Ryman (of Ryman Auditoriummarker/Grand Ole Oprymarker fame).

In January 1970, WKDA-FM began playing album-oriented rock, aimed especially at Nashville's large college student population, first at night only, and, then, beginning in March concurrent with a format change of the AM to country, full-time, for about a year and a half. Afterward, in the daytime, the station employed a mix of rock and Top 40 music, while switching to hard and progressive rock at night, during most of the 1970s and early 1980s. As the FM format grew, it soon became the dominant station of the two, which eventually separated. For some years in the late 1970s and early 1980s, "KDF" (as it was popularly known after its callsign officially changed to WKDF in 1976) was the dominant station as determined by the number of listeners reported by Arbitron, in the Nashville market, due, again, to its vast popularity among younger listeners.

Although the station, like most 1970s-era album rock outlets, underwent some ratings decline during the early 1980s due to changing tastes among its adolescent listeners (e.g., "New Wave", techno pop), WKDF proved resilient to the point of being able to capitalize on the backlash against MTV-influenced artists later in the decade. By the early 1990s, the station shifted its playlist somewhat to reflect the then-rising grunge and alternative rock scenes, leaving other FMs in the area to pick up the oldies from its early days; in recent times, WNRQ-FM has served as Nashville's "classic" (oldies) rock outlet.

After nearly 30 years of programming rock, however, WKDF reformatted to country music on April 1, 1999, after continued ratings losses to competitor FM outlets. In recent years, the playlist has featured a mixture of contemporary and classic country. It is also currently the flagship station of the local NFL team's Tennessee Titans radio network, and as of 2009 the only radio station that does not send out radio broadcasts of their team's games via Sirius XM Radio.

Station alumni

Notable disc jockeys from the station's rock era included:
  • Shannon (McCombs) 1985-1994. Started overnights, moved to mid-days, then afternoons. Host of "Breakfast with the Beatles", and "Nashville Tapes." Returned for short time when the format flipped to country. Continues to work in the country music business.
  • Joe Elvis: afternoons/late 1980s-1998, now at WNRQ, Nashville. Drummer for area rock band Government Cheese. Bandmate Tommy Womack was often a contributor to his program. Both Elvis and Womack spent time as host of a long-running local music show, The Nashville Tapes, heard on Sunday nights from the mid-1980s until the 1999 format change.
  • Patty Murry: mid-1980s
  • Dave Walton "Toon": 1980s
  • David Hall: 1980s
  • Steve Henderson: afternoon drive/late 1970s. Died in 1983.
  • Carl P. Mayfield: mornings/1980s (later returned during the early period of the country format; also worked for WSIXmarker, Sirius and WKDF's sister WGFX).
  • Ian Case: mornings/early 1990s.
  • Mike "The Duke" Donegan: mornings 1989-2003 - now at Sirius and stadium announcer for the Tennessee Titans.
  • Pauly: nights/mid-1990s - Later with WZZPmarker & WEGI, Clarksville, TN and WRQQ, Nashville. Now morning drive at WBXE, Cookeville, Tennessee.
  • Sheri Sexton: music director, nights, middays/1990s.
  • B. Derek (Buddy Scott): overnights/March 1987-December 1997. Now a local chiropractor.
  • Kidd Redd: disc jockey, program director/1980s-1999. Was the original host of "Nashville Tapes" (mentioned above).
  • Jimmy the K: weekends/1990s - now at WNRQ.
  • Stevie Stevens (Lisa Walker): Assistant Program Director and evenings/late 1980s and early 1990s.
  • Jason Joseph: 1990s - later at WBUZ, Nashville, and program director at WLRS, Lousiville, Kymarker.
  • Aljon Go: 1990s - overnights, weekends and host of "Nashville Tapes" now at WBUZ, Nashville.
  • Jack Sass: 1997-1999 - later program director, WBOPmarker, Harrisonburg, Vamarker. Co-hosted show with Pauly (see above) on Vanderbilt Universitymarker's WRVUmarker.
  • Big Dave: morning co-host (with Mike "The Duke" Donegan)/1990s. Now at B105 (WUBE) in Cincinnati, Ohio.
  • Beth Donahue: morning co-host with Big Dave and the Duke/mid-1990s. Comedienne, later with WBUZ.
  • Charley: evenings/early 1980s - now a high-technology social researcher in San Francisco.
  • Steve Dickert: disc jockey, later general manager/1972-2005. Briefly joined Cumulus Nashville (WWTN, WSM-FM, WRQQ, WNFN, WQQK) as market manager in 2006.
  • Traffic Squeegie: also on sister station WGFX (as Sid). Now at WNRQ.
  • John Nagara: research director starting mid 1980s. assistant program director/music director/starting early 1990s. Left in the mid 1990s to do record company music promotion.
  • Slats: late 1980s; later at WMMS, Cleveland, Ohiomarker. Management suspended him at least once for on-air pranks.
  • John Haggard: early 1970s.
  • Jay Franklin: early-to-mid-1970s.
  • Dick Mason: mid-1970s.
  • Jim Battan(aka-Coyote J.)-70's---later at: WERC Birmingham, Q-93-New Orleans, KPRI-San Diego, THE X-Birmingham; joined WZRR-ROCK99.5 in Bham (classic album rock) in late 2006 after the demise of THE X;

The Nashville Tapes aired on KDF Sunday nights, featuring rock music from Nashville and the surrounding area. Hosts included (but were not limited to): Kidd Redd, Joe Elvis, Tommy Womack, Morgan, Leslie Hermsdorfer, Brent Fox, and Aljon Go. Go now hosts the directly-inspired Local Buzz program on WBUZ, Nashville.

Current Personalities

  • Mornings: Wylie Rose and David Reed
  • Middays: "Sweet" Becca Walls
  • Afternoons: Jack Shell
  • Evenings: Darlas Rai
  • Late Nights: JT

In popular culture

On The Dick Van Dyke Show episode titled "Ray Murdock's X-Ray," which originally aired on January 23, 1963, the call letters of the television station broadcasting the fictitious "Ray Murdock X-Ray Show" are WKDF.

The iconic black and yellow KDF bumper sticker appears in the Howard Stern film Private Parts. It appears on the wall behind Stern in the scene where he is hired as Program Director of WRNW.

In a mid-1990s episode of COPS on the Fox television network, Metro Nashville police answer a domestic disturbance call. Upon arriving at the residence, they are directed down a hallway to the locked door of a male teen who had allegedly been 'huffing' spray paint or glue and who had now barricaded himself in his room. When the police officers get to the teen's door, you can clearly see a black and yellow KDF 'bullet' sticker affixed to the door at eye level.

Nashville based Country Music songwriter/singer Phil Vassar released his debut album in 2000 with an up-tempo song that broke into the Top 5 on the Billboard country singles chart called "Carlene" In the video, the iconic WKDF neon sign and Nashville skyline is seen in the first 10 seconds.


  1. Broadcasting Yearbook 1964
  2. Broadcasting Yearbook 1968

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