Beyond the Song by Jantina Baksteen
In this edition of Beyond the Song, SGNScoops is pleased to introduce Marty Smith, Christian Country DJ for Heaven’s Country. On-air music, weather online or on the radio, on our phones or iPods, is usually the first place where we hear a new song that touches our heart, emotions, and life. The DJs that present this music fulfill a very important role. Marty Smith takes this role very seriously and uses it as an opportunity for ministry.
Jantina Baksteen: Please give us a short introduction of yourself for those who’ve never heard of you?
Marty Smith: My name is Marty Smith. My wife and I live in Bayfield, Colorado, with our two dogs. Our three daughters are grown and on their own and live in Colorado Springs, Colorado. I’m a morning host on Heaven’s Country. I’ve been a disc jockey for about thirty years now. I started radio in 1990, at a small AM station in Kansas City, Missouri (AM 1090 KEXS). Our format was Southern Gospel. I’ve worked other formats including Christian Country, Soft Rock, Mainstream Country, Contemporary Christian music and Inspirational Music. I love getting on the air everyday. It’s so much fun! I broadcast from my radio station in Bayfield, Colorado. We’re a local station with a global impact.
JB: You broadcast for Heaven’s Country, an online radio station. Are you the owner?
MS: Yes, I am the owner and morning host of Heaven’s Country. Bev McCann is our afternoon drive time host (“Your Drive Home with Bev”), and Les Roberts is our evening host (“Evenings with Les Roberts”).
JB: How and when did this radio station start?
MS: Heaven’s Country first went on the air on April 1, 2011. I spent two years putting it all together before I went on the air. I wanted to make sure it had that professional sound I was looking for. My goal was to present a Christian Country radio station to the world that would compete with mainstream country radio. Looking at our listening numbers, we have more listeners than a lot of mainstream country stations. We pride ourselves on our professionalism. I wanted to have a fun radio station that people would enjoy and look forward to tuning in to. Millions of people tune in to Heaven’s Country.
JB: What is your mission?
MS: To reach the lost with the good news of Jesus Christ through Christian Country music. My mission is to get this music to as many people as I possibly can. I can’t physically travel the world to share the gospel, but my voice does. It’s pretty humbling.
JB: What kinds of music do you broadcast?
MS: Christian Country music. However on my morning show, I might play some Southern gospel and Christian Contemporary as well. My listeners love it. They have a wide range of musical tastes.
JB: What’s your history in radio?
MS: I started my radio career in 1990. People kept telling me they loved my voice. I tried for years to get into radio but Program Directors kept telling me I was too old at the time. I walked into AM 1090 KEXS and they asked if I had any experience. I told them I did not and they slammed the door in my face. I went in and filled out an application anyway. On my way home, I prayed, “Lord, I give up. If this is what you want, then you do it. I’m going to leave this in your hands.” Five days later they called me up for an interview. They were concerned that I didn’t have any on air experience. So I told them, “You need help and I need the experience so I tell you what, I’ll work free for thirty days and if you don’t like what you hear, let me go.” The owner at the time (Gary Babb) gave me a chance, and here I am, thirty years later. If it wasn’t for him, I never would have gotten into radio.
JB: Do you sing?
MS: Only in the car or in the shower. My dogs run when I sing, tails between their legs, whining as they run out of the room! It’s not pretty.
JB: When you mute your mic and step out of the studio, what keeps you busy?
MS: Step out of the studio? What? Just kidding. I work a full time job running a lab and x-ray department at the Southern Ute Indian Health Center. My full time job funds my radio station.
JB: Do you have a music hero?
MS: Mid South and White River. Those two groups helped define and put Christian Country music out there for the world to hear and enjoy. I’m also a big George Strait and Alabama fan. Their gospel songs are amazing.
JB: What message do you want to share the world in this crisis we live in with the Corona pandemic?
MS: Hope. God’s got this. I know it’s scary right now and there are a lot of unknowns to us, but God is not surprised by this. We’re gonna get through this. I believe when we do, we’ll see ourselves closer to God and hopefully we won’t take too many things for granted anymore. Oh, and remember to wash your hands, cover your mouth when you cough and be sure you are social distancing.
JB: How can listeners tune in?
MS: Just go to www.heavenscountry.com and click the player at the top of the home page. You can also download our Heaven’s Country Radio App there on the home page.
JB: You also do a Facebook live show. Share with us something about that.
MS: I broadcast my show not only on Facebook, but on my You Tube channel, the WOTG Radio Network, The Heaven’s Country Radio Network, WOTG TV West and Heaven’s Country TV and ROKU. You can find me on Facebook by typing in, “Marty Smith Durango.” It will go straight to my page. Be sure to follow me and it will let you know when I’m on the air. During this Coronavirus pandemic, I’m on twice a day, 6 AM and 2 PM LIVE (Mountain Time) on Facebook. It’s a chance for my listeners and I to get together, stay inside and practice Social Distancing. I also host a Christian Country Classics show called, “The Triple C on HC,” every Saturday night at 7 PM. All times are MTN Time. You can also subscribe to my YouTube Channel. Just look for, “Mornings with Mar-Tay” and subscribe.
JB: What is the reach of your radio show?
MS: Worldwide. I tell people, “We’re a local radio station with a global impact,” because Heaven’s Country has reached every country in the world, but we also impact Bayfield. I’m very humbled by this. It’s amazing that with just the touch of a button, Heaven’s Country is heard worldwide. When I do my live Facebook and You Tube show, I have about twelve to fifteen countries that tune in every morning. On average, we have fifty to sixty countries tuning in everyday.
Be sure to listen in to Heaven’s Country every morning with Marty Smith to hear some great music and meet a great community of listeners. Marty Smith will encourage you and leave you laughing. As Marty would say, “Take it from the Top!”