Carla Eckels

Director of Cultural Diversity, news & engagement | 'Soulsations' Music Host

Carla Eckels is Director of Cultural Diversity for news and engagement at KMUW.  She's been an award-winning announcer/news producer for KMUW 89.1FM, Wichita Public Radio for 21 years. Carla also produces a R&B and gospel show Soulsations, Sunday nights at 6 on KMUW.  She also hosted Joyful Sounds, a Sunday morning gospel radio show on Q92FM.  Prior to KMUW, she was the local host for NPR’s Morning Edition at WYSO public radio in Yellow Springs, Ohio and co-hosted a nationally syndicated Gospel Countdown Radio show in Cincinnati. Carla also was program director for KIBN, 90.7 The Inspirational Black Network in Wichita. 

In January 2018, she was honored with the Drum Major Award at Wichita State University's MLK Unity Walk.   In April 2016, WSU presented Carla with the exclusive honor of the Wayne Carlisle Distinguished Service Award, The Carlisle Award is presented to an unclassified professional who models the standard of extraordinary service exhibited by the late Wayne Carlisle.

Carla has reported on national news stories such as the Hesston Shootings, BTK serial killer case, Roeder trial, Greensburg tornadoes and the 1958 Dockum Drug Store sit-in for NPR.  The Dockum feature was the number one listened to story on KMUW’s website in 2007.

Aileen LeBlanc and Carla Eckels have been awarded a prestigious national 2017 Edward R. Murrow Award for their news feature looking at the return of ant-abortion demonstrations to Wichita. Eckels is the recipient of two Edward R. Murrow regional awards for her reporting including a 2015 award for her story on Shockers Men's Basketball: A Candid Look. Carla also won a Public Service Announcement, 2nd place: “A Wichita Basketball Coach Overcomes Depression” in 2017 and a 1st place Kansas Association of Broadcasting award in 2015  for her story on Bipolar Disorder and 2nd place for DJ Personality Aircheck for Soulsations.  Carla has annually emceed the Wichita River Festival and Black Arts Festival gospel music segments.

From 2004 to 2007, Carla hosted the number one gospel radio show on KSJM 107.9 JAMZ. She is the recipient of the Best Disc Jockey award voted on by subscribers of The Community Voice Newspaper.

Carla is a graduate of Wichita State University with a degree in communications. Her greatest joy is her family. She is married to Wichita and WSU Football Hall-of-Famer, Reuben Eckels and they have two children.

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Sunday, April 15

Sunday on Soulsations hear new music from the Temptations.  The legendary group has recorded their first album in eight years called All The Time. The release date worldwide is May 4th. The album includes a mixture of  cover versions of songs by Sam Smith, Bruno Mars, John Mayer, Maxwell, Ed Sheeran, Michael Jackson, and The Weeknd, and three new original Temptations songs.

Carla Eckels / KMUW

Tony Award nominee and Laurence Olivier Award-winner Karla Burns will once again take center stage in her portrayal of fellow Wichitan and actress Hattie McDaniel in the musical "Hi-Hat Hattie."

Wichita Grand Opera

Wichita Grand Opera is presenting a performance of Verdi's "La Traviata" this weekend. The part of Violetta will be sung by soprano Larisa Martinez, who will be making her debut in the lead role on Saturday night. 

Carla Eckels: Your role as Violetta is a very demanding role. How did you go about embracing that?

Larisa Martinez: Prepare, prepare, practice, practice. I've been working on it a long time now — ever since I auditioned and got the role. You need to have a really good vocal technique so that you can make it to the end.

Carla Eckels / KMUW

Funeral services were held in Topeka on Thursday for civil rights icon Linda Brown, the schoolgirl at the center of the landmark Supreme Court case that declared school segregation unconstitutional.

AP / npr.org

April 4, 1968: The date resonates in the hearts of many Americans, including Wichitans.

https://wipfandstock.com/

San Francisco pastor and author Joanna Shenk will speak in Wichita on Wednesday about the work of historian and scholar Vincent Harding.

Harding wrote "Beyond Vietnam: A Time To Break Silence," a controversial speech that was delivered by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on April 4, 1967, in a New York church. King was killed one year later.

Shenk interviewed Harding for her book, "The Movement Makes Us Human." She says King's death weighed heavily on Harding's conscience.

Shenk says the best way people can honor King is by doing something.

Here's a preview of why you should tune in to Soulsations this Easter Sunday!

Enjoy this phenomenal gospel tune from spectacular soprano,  L’Tanya Moore-Copeland:

Sunday, April 1

Hear a mix of classic gospel tunes including "Oh Happy Day" by Edwin Hawkins, recorded nearly 40 years ago, and contemporary gospel music on Easter Sunday.

Sunday, March 25

Coming up on Soulsations, hear music from Jazz/Soul Artist George Benson.  On March 22, 2018, the legendary guitarist and singer turned 75! His music career spans over half a decade.  Benson's upcoming tour schedule includes performing at the Jazz Heritage Fest in New Orleans in April and the Hollywood Bowl this Summer. During an NPR interview, the Grammy award winning vocalist talks about the viability of music:

"If you put something on that record that people want to hear, they'll buy it," Benson says. "So I never gave up on that idea, that jazz musicians have the same opportunity as everybody else. And it's what you put on that record that makes the difference, whether you sell it or not, or are able to get it into people's households."

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Sunday, March 18

Sunday on Soulsations, hear new music from Jody Watley. She’s known as the original female lead vocalist for the group Shalamar on soul classics “Take That To The Bank” and “A Night To Remember.” Watley was featured on dance TV show Soul Train in the 70s. She been named one of America’s 50 Most Beautiful People by People Magazine and one of the Greatest Dance Club Artists of All Time by Billboard Magazine in 2016. Jody Watley is also an award winning songwriter with BMI. Hear her new single, “Waiting In Vain,” on Soulsations, Sunday night at 6 on KMUW 89.1FM.

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