Sonrose Rutledge, Oral History

Dublin Core


Sonrose Rutledge, Oral History


Sonrose Rutledge
High School DJ
Johnny Jive


Sonny Rutledge talks about his time as a high school radio DJ in the late 1950s.


Sonrose Rutledge
Bob Friedman


March 28, 1994


Emily Bibb





Oral History Item Type Metadata


Bob Friedman


Sonrose Rutledge


B: 1953. Where’d you start?
S: WBCO in Bessemer, Alabama.
B: Really? Were you there in 1953?
S: Yeah. Uh huh.
B: Were you doing part time or full time?
S: Well, actually, my first job for pay was in ’55, but I was there as a DJ representing my high school.
B: Oh really?
S: Right.
B: Which high school?
S: Huh? Johnny Jive as a matter of fact started it.
B: Johnny Jive started it?
S: Mmhmm. Johnny McClure. Johnny Jive started it and there was guest DJs from all the schools and I represented my school, Westville high school.
B: Well…Westville?
S: Uh huh. Westville High.
B: Did they change the name?
S: No. As a matter of fact, the school is not there anymore.
B: Oh ok. The reason I’m kind of surprised that you’re the second person of the week who I’ve talked to who’s been a high school representative at BCO. The other person who’s still working here is Al Bell.
S: Al Bell, yeah.
B: Who came from Western Olin as a high school DJ.
S: Right. Right.
B: A little bit later than that, but…
S: That’s when mine kicked off and when I finished high school, I got my first job there in radio at WBCO.
B: Uh huh. In 1955, was it?
S: In 1955, ‘56, somewhere in there.
B: Uh huh, so it was closing in on the time BCO would change to WENN.
S: Say that again.
B: It was closing in on the time that WBCO would change its frequency and its name to WENN.
S: Yeah, as a matter of fact, they changed from WBCO to WENN.
B: While you were there?
S: No, no, this was … When it moved from Bessemer…
B: Mmhmm.
S: And went to Birmingham, that’s when they changed to WENN, and I don’t remember the year.
B: That was about ’58.

Original Format



SonRose Rutledge 2 min.mp3


Sonrose Rutledge and Bob Friedman, “Sonrose Rutledge, Oral History,” The Birmingham Black Radio Museum, accessed October 19, 2017,

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