Re-Imagined Radio remembers the Wild West with tales from "Gunsmoke"

VANCOUVER, Wash. – "Gunsmoke" aired on CBS from 1952 to 1961. A realistic reflection of the violence that moved with our country’s westward expansion, it was one of the longest-running radio dramas, and many consider it radio’s last great dramatic series. Re-Imagined Radio compiles two episodes, “Billy the Kid” (1952) and “Young Man with a Gun” (1954).

“Gunsmoke Compilation” premieres at 1 p.m. Feb. 19 on KXRW-FM (99.9), Vancouver, and KXRY-FM (91.1 and 107.1), Portland. Subsequent broadcasts and streams will be provided by local, regional and international broadcast partners.

In both episodes, which are set in the 1870s, a young man intends to make a mark for himself with a gun. U.S. Marshal Matt Dillon in Dodge City, Kans., is all that stands between civilization trying to take hold and frontier violence trying to eat it alive. The two young gunslingers meet different fates.

John Barber, Re-Imagined Radio writer, producer and host, and faculty member in WSU Vancouver’s Creative Media and Digital Culture program, calls "Gunsmoke" “an adult Western radio drama series based on the hard, and violent realities in and around Dodge City in the 1870s. The gritty writing and honest acting are superb. The sound effects and background soundscapes are subtle, realistic and immersive.”

Re-Imagined Radio premieres episodes on the third Monday of the month on community radio stations KXRW.FM and KXRY.FM. Each episode is streamed globally and is then available as a podcast. Information and listening opportunities are available at

Community Partners

Re-Imagined Radio draws on community voice actors, Foley artists, musicians, sound artists and engineers. Partners include KXRW-FM, KXRY-FM, Marc Rose and Holly Slocum Design.

About Re-Imagined Radio

Re-Imagined Radio was begun by Barber in 2013 to celebrate radio storytelling. "We select, produce and perform classic and contemporary stories across a spectrum of radio genres, from dramas to comedies, from oral to aural histories, from documentaries to fictions, from soundscapes to sonic journeys, from radio to sound art,” Barber said. 

About WSU Vancouver

As one of six campuses of the WSU system, WSU Vancouver offers big-school resources in a small-school environment. The university provides affordable, high-quality baccalaureate- and graduate-level education to benefit the people and communities it serves. As the only four-year research university in Southwest Washington, WSU Vancouver helps drive economic growth through relationships with local businesses and industries, schools and nonprofit organizations. 

WSU Vancouver is located on the homelands of the Cowlitz Indian Tribe and Peoples of the Lower Columbia Valley. We acknowledge their presence here. WSU Vancouver expresses its respect towards these original and current caretakers of the region. We pledge that these relationships will be built on mutual trust and respect.

# # #


Brenda Alling, Office of Marketing and Communication, 360-546-9601,