Carla Eckels

Assistant News Director, Music Host

Carla Eckels has been an award-winning announcer/news producer for KMUW 89.1FM, Wichita Public Radio for 15 years. Carla also produces a R&B and gospel show Soulsations, Sunday nights at 6 on KMUW.  She also hosts Joyful Sounds, a Sunday morning gospel radio show on the internet Grown Folk Jamz.  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 has reported on national news stories such as the 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.

She’s the recipient of an Edward R. Murrow regional award for her reporting on Alzheimer’s. Carla has annually emceed the Wichita River Festival and Black Arts Festival gospel music segments. She was the emcee for the 2010, 2011 A Tribute to Trail Blazers Gala for the Kansas African American Museum and the 2011 NAACP Freedom Fund Banquet.

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, Rev. Reuben Eckels and they are co-founders of New Day Christian Church. They have two children. Carla serves at New Day along side her husband, Reuben and co-pastor Rev., Dr. Cynthia Wolford.


5:00 am
Mon June 9, 2014

Renaissance Woman: Wichitans Reflect On The Life Of Maya Angelou

Oprah Winfrey, Maya Angelou and Wichitans Emilyn and Dr. George Rogers.
Credit Courtesy photo

A private funeral service was held Saturday, June 7, 2014, in North Carolina for famed poet, author and activist Maya Angelou. She died at her Winston-Salem home on May 28 at age 86. KMUW's Carla Eckels remembers Angelous's time as a distinguished professor at Wichita State University.

Hear excerpts of Angelou's speech during the 1973 WSU Forum Board Lecture Series and more by clicking the audio story above.

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3:14 pm
Tue June 3, 2014

Soulsations Sunday honors Luther Vandross

Luther Vandross remembered on Soulsations
Credit Platon Official Photo

Sunday June 8, 2014

Sunday on Soulsations, hear songs from the unforgettable voice of Luther Vandross.  The music master was honored posthumously with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on June 3, 2014.  Vandross is ranked 54 in Rolling Stone magazine's list of 100 Greatest Singers of All Time and was included as one of NPR's 50 Great Voices in 2010.

Web extra: Luther Vandross performs "A House Is Not A Home" live at the NAACP Image Awards in 1988.

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5:00 am
Fri May 30, 2014

Local Groups Team Up To Provide Free Asthma Screenings

Credit net_efekt, flickr Creative Commons

Asthma is the most common chronic disease among children and a leading cause of school absenteeism.

According to a 2012 survey published by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, African-American children double the amount of whites and hispanic youth affected by asthma at 20 percent.

Wichita's Sunflower Community Action and other community partners will host an asthma screening Friday for children in grades 4 through 12. KMUW’s Carla Eckels reports…

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11:39 am
Tue May 27, 2014

Soulsations Sunday: Solo project from Chanel of Trin-i-tee 5:7 and the Riverfest Gospel Concert

Trin-i-tee 5:7's Chanel

Sunday, June 1

Hear music from Chanel.  She's one-half of the Dove Award winning duo Trin-i-tee 5:7.  The smoky alto recently released her first solo gospel project.

Also listen for the latest news on national and local artists featured at the Wichita Riverfest Gospel concert set for Monday, June 2nd.  2013 Grammy award nominee Tamela Mann will be part of the lineup. 

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11:24 am
Tue May 20, 2014

Soulsations Sunday: New music from Michael Jackson, remembering Jessica Cleaves

Jackson's recently released album Xscape
Credit Album Cover Art

Sunday May 25, 2014

Hear music from Michael Jackson's posthumous album Xscape.  The May release features songs the pop icon recorded from 1983 to 1999.

Soulsations also remembers soul singer Jessica Cleaves, the lead singer for the late 60s, early 70s group Friends of Distinction.  Cleaves later played with Earth, Wind & Fire as well as funk master George Clinton. 

Web extra: Michael Jackson and Justin Timberlake, "Love Never Felt So Good"

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5:00 am
Fri May 16, 2014

Women In Gospel: Wichita's TRU Releases First Album

Credit Courtesy photo

After three years of singing together, Wichita gospel artists TRU will release their first album.

Though contemporary, the all-female group has not forgotten its traditional roots, which they deliver by adding their own unique flavor.

The members of  TRU include Marie Moon, Carol Cole, Alisha Baldwin, and Rachel Robertson.

TRU will share songs from their inaugural CD “Thank You” on Sunday, May 18th at Wichita’s Central Community Church at 6pm.

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Gospel/ R&B
1:49 pm
Wed May 14, 2014

Soulsations Sunday: Wichita's all-female soul quartet, TRU

The women of TRU on-air and in-person at local church May 18.

May 18, 2014

Sunday on Soulsations: the harmonious sounds of gospel artists, TRU.  The Wichita-based, all-female group is releasing their first album. Though contemporary, the quartet has not forgotten their traditional roots, which they deliver with a unique flavor. 

TRU members are alto Marie Moon, soprano Carol Cole, tenor Alisha Baldwin, and alto Rachel Robertson. On Sunday, May 18, at Central Community Church in Wichita, TRU will share songs from their inaugural CD, Thank You.

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10:47 am
Fri May 9, 2014

More Than 100 WSU Students Protest For The Release Of 200 Abducted Nigerian Girls

Graduate student Idia Tokunboh addressed the crowd.
Carla Eckels

More than 100 Wichita State University students, faculty and community members staged a protest on campus Thursday. The group demanded the release of more than 200 Nigerian girls abducted from a public school in Nigeria. KMUW’s Carla Eckels reports...

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gospel/ r&b
2:07 pm
Thu May 8, 2014

Soulsations Sunday: A birthday tribute to Stevie Wonder (plus web extras)

The most highly awarded male solo artist in history, Stevie Wonder, turns 64 next week.
Credit Number Ones album cover art

May 13th marks the birthday of Motown legend, Stevie Wonder. On Sunday, May 11, tune in to hear the soulful sounds of this musical genius.

Wonder announced he will release two new albums in 2014: a collaborative album with legendary songwriter David Foster called When The World Began and the studio album, Ten Billion Hearts.  Wonder also plans to release a gospel album in honor of his mother Lula, who passed away in 2006.

Web extras: "Higher Ground" live circa 1973.

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5:00 am
Thu May 8, 2014

City Officials Hold Community Meetings To Help Gather Input For Wichita's Future

A second round of engagement meetings will soon get underway in Wichita. The meetings are designed to get input from residents to help shape the future of the community. KMUW’s Carla Eckels reports…

The meetings will include discussions about a long-range comprehensive plan for Wichita and Sedgwick County.

The new initiative is called the Community Investments Plan, a strategy for the city and county that focuses on policies for growth and investment in public infrastructure for the next 20 years.

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