Radio: Culture in Texas

Would Texans listen to three hours of classical music every night? Charles Barbe, a former symphony conductor turned highbrow disk jockey, thought they would. But, he recalls, "every advertising agency in town told us we were chumps." Finally, the owner of Houston's station KXYZ-FM, Oilman Glenn McCarthy, decided to give Barbe, and Texas, a chance. Both came through with a symphonic bang.

Houston listeners, hearing such recorded works as Parsifal, Tannhdüser, St. Matthew Passion, all complete, were enthusiastic, wrote more than 50 letters a day praising the program. The four sponsors were equally pleased: one of them got enough new business in...

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