St. Landry Parish is home to the historic radio station KBON 101.1 FM. The station plays a variety of Acadiana’s favorite music including Swamp Pop, Cajun, Zydeco, and more. Established in 1997, the station has acted as an open door to local artists and the local culture for 21 years.
"I just felt somebody’s got to do this," owner Paul Marx said. "I didn’t want to be in the radio business. I just wanted to be able to promote our local area. Our local culture. Our local music and this was the way to do it."
Marx says the station played music that was typically ignored at the time.
"I tried to get other radio stations to include some of our local music into their format," Marx said. "No one was interested."
"Some radio stations had programs on the weekend," Todd Ortego of KBON 101.1 FM said. "They would give them a few hours to do some local music. Otherwise, they would just hope that it got on the jukebox because you wouldn’t get any airplay. The station was a vision that Paul Marx had to play our guys not just on the weekends, but to be heard all the time next to the national artist. Twenty-one years later it continues to grown.
Hundreds of tourists and musicians visit the studio. Many artist leave their signatures on the walls.
"Musicians themselves love coming here," Ortego said. " It’s called the wall of fame that musicians have visited through the years."
Marx added, "Twenty-one years from now I will assure you it will be here supporting our local musicians."