Most people think of internet radio as just streaming music, with random song after song in an endless playlist. But Steve Williams and Karen Williams (not related) set out to create an internet station with real programming to offer R&B and classic soul music fans. They named the station The Sound of Soul with call letters WTSS and it can be found on www.thesoundofsoul.net and in the Google Play and IPhone Store under The Sound of Soul as an app.
Karen Williams said the two created the 24-hour music station that features 60’s, 70’s, 80’s and some 90’s soul after she and Steve left a local radio station in 2020.
“I had worked at the station in the mid-90’s as station manager. My co-host, Steve Williams was the afternoon drive personality. He knew so much about music and had personal relationships with so many artists and people in the music business. After the station closed and we left, I always kept Steve in mind to work with again.”
Once she was asked to come back to the revived station and do an afternoon show, she immediately thought of Steve.
Steve Williams has worked in radio since he was 16. Starting in Alabama and moving his way through Mississippi, he landed at WJPC AM and WGCI AM in Chicago in the 90’s. Later, as a promotions representative for Malaco records, he met and worked with many classic soul stars.
“The first person I thought about was Steve. I knew we could develop a show that was entertaining and informative. So, we combined humor and education to keep our audience engaged. People loved our mix of music. You just don’t hear that music on air anymore. We did that for 18 months on that station. But we both knew that we had to move on and develop something bigger.”
The Sound of Soul playlist includes artists from labels such as Motown, Stax, Chess, Brunswick, Malaco and other labels that produced R&B, Blues, and Gospel artists.
“We don’t just stream music, we also have programming that engages our audience, gives them information about their favorite artists, record labels and offers them entertainment as well. We have a great format!”
The station also features broadcast personalities that play a mix of music from the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s and 90’s. The personalities are from throughout the country, and all have broadcast experience. It was very important, said Williams, that the station sound like what people would find on the AM or FM dial. Williams created The Ride Home for her and Steve. It’s live every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 2 p.m. – 6 p.m. (CT).
“We know that there are tons of people who LOVE classic soul music and R&B, not just locally but throughout the world. The internet allows us to connect to those people as well. You can’t hear this type of music on regular radio anymore. Even on internet stations, they can’t do the deep dive that we can do.” You can also visit them on their Facebook Group.