Oral History Collection
Oral History Collection
A collection of sound files, transcribed oral interviews, and images documenting Black radio in Birmingham, Alabama.
Birmingham Black Radio Museum
and numerous student volunteers
All Rights held by The Birmingham Black Radio Museum unless otherwise specified.
Tommy Cox, a WJLD listener interviewed about Bob Umbach, WJLD Radio Announcer and originator of the Atomic Boogie Hour in 1946. Tommy began listening to Bob Umbach in 1949. Tommy called Bob Friedman in 2005 letting him know he had a Rhythm and Blues…
Paul White (b. Aug. 16, 1936; d. Aug. 19, 2001) a classic discussion on WATV 900 AM Radio Birmingham, between two iconic Birmingham radio announcers. Paul White, commonly known as Tall Paul, and Shelly Stewart, known as Shelley the Playboy. Paul…
Curtis Bell (b. Jun 1, 1962), speaks about getting his start in broadcasting in Birmingham.
Bobby Smith of the Spinners (b. April 10, 1936, Detroit, Michigan, d. March 16, 2013) principal lead singer and spokesperson for the group. Bobby and the group were in Birmingham as part of a southern tour, which also included Charlie Thomas’…
Norman B. Wooding, Jr.(b. Nov. 28, 1923, d. Oct. 31, 2015). Eight decades singing gospel quartet in Jefferson County, Alabama, at 89, Norman reflects in conversation on the conditions in the 1930’s and 40’s surrounding the development of quartet…
Charlie Thomas, (b. April 7, 1937, Lynchburg, Virginia) a singer with a couple of different versions of the “Drifters” vocal group, recording with the group from 1958 to the present and with a recording history going back to 1957 as the lead of…
Dr. Lenora Fulani (April 25, 1950- ), a developmental psychologist from New York City, a major leader of the Independence Party of New York, who in 1988, became the first woman and the first African American to gain access to the presidential ballot…
Lewis Kendrick (b. Dec 26, 1923,d. Apr 5, 2004) First came upon WJLD when the station went on the air in Bessemer in 1942. Lewis recounts his work experience there and about personnel at both early WJLD and WBCO, Bessemer.
James Freeman, a Birmingham radio deejay who worked at WJLD 1400 and WEDR 1220 on and off for some 17 years. He spent some time in Columbus, Georgia and in Dayton, Ohio as a gospel announcer and then returned to Birmingham. He recalls his time on…
Rev. Don Solomon (b.Feb 13, 1932, d. Dec 14, 2017) Pastor for many years of the Lily Grove Missionary Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, and worked closely for years with UAB’s School of Public Health founding Congregations for Public Health.…