Submitted By Robert A. Naranjo

ESPANOLA – KYBR 92.9 FM, aka “K-Bear,” the sister station of northern New Mexico mainstay, KDCE, was Country when Country wasn’t cool! The words from that old Country song by Barbara Mandrell describe KYBR 92.9 FM’s history as a radio station based in Espanola, New Mexico.

K-Bear Country had a good listening audience before, but it was not supported enough by the business community vis a vis advertising, so a decision was made to change the format to “Mexican Regional.” So, K Bear became “Radio Oso! And, it remained that way until June 30, 2015.

If you’re a night owl and up surfing the Internet, posting on Facebook, Twitter, reading The Valley Daily Post, etc. and you tuned in to 92.9 FM at 12 a.m. July 1, 2015, you would have heard K-Bear’s  growling announcement of his return to the airwaves. What kind of country music will K-Bear be airing? Well, “REAL COUNTRY,” what else?

Yes, the owners of KDCE / KYBR will air “REAL COUNTRY” with programming from WESTWOODONE. According to its website under Programming Formats for

Country music, it touts that “REAL COUNTRY has over 25 years of research and development as the industry’s leader in traditional Country programming. Real Country’s approach combines older Country hits with newer songs by traditional-sounding artists. On-air personalities embrace Country’s roots to position this format from other contemporary or mainstream Country formats.” The “Core Artists” for  the Real Country format that K-Bear will be airing are: Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, Garth Brooks, Conway Twitty, Hank Williams, Jr. Toby Keith, Johnny Cash, Dolly Pardon, Blake Shelton, Waylon Jennings, George Jones, Brooks and Dunn, Randy Travis, George Strait, Alan Jackson, Alabama and Kenny Rogers. Yes, indeed, the K-Bear, 92.9 FM is back!

Casey Gallegos, General Manager, of KDCE/KYBR stated, “We’re excited to bring Real Country to northern New Mexico. We have a lot of Country music listeners in the Espanola Valley, Chama, Abiquiu,– basically all over the northern New Mexico and southern Colorado,” he added. Gallegos was busy dotting all the I’s and crossing all the t’s  June 30 getting ready for the  changeover to Country music with 10 hours to go before the Bear is back!

Country music is popular in the North as evidenced by the success of KDCE/KYBR owner, Richard L. Garcia’s , hit Country show. Garcia, according to kdceradio.com’s website, has one “…of the most recognizable voices in northern New Mexico.” This New Mexico Broadcaster’s Association (NMBA) Hall of Famer has one of the most popular shows on radio in northern New Mexico. The “RG Country Show” airs on KDCE 950 AM Saturday mornings from 6:30-10:30 a.m.. Garcia plays Country gold mostly, and he gets inundated with phone calls during his show. He’s good at what he does, no doubt about that!  He ends his popular show at 10:30 a.m. with George Strait’s mega-hit, “The Cowboy Rides Away,” a good selection to end a morning of Country gold!

Tune in to 92.9 FM, K-Bear Country, and find out for yourself if the old Country bear still has it!  All this bear business tends to beg the question: Does a bear listen to Country music in the west woods? Probably, but don’t try to find out. The Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution says something about the right to arm bears! Maybe, I’ve got it slightly misinterpreted, but in case, don’t bother “da Bears!”