Eddie Castleberry, 1992 Oral History


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Eddie Castleberry 1992 2 min.mp3
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Eddie Castleberry, 1992 Oral History


Eddie Castleberry (b.Jul 28, 1928, d.Jan 23, 2009), pioneer Birmingham broadcaster beginning his radio career in 1950 with WEDR Birmingham. Interviewed in the WJLD studios.


Eddie Castleberry
Gary Richardson


Birmingham Black Radio Museum


June 16, 1992


Bob Friedman
Jeff Hayes
Emily Bibb








Gary Richardson


Eddie Castleberry


WJLD studios, Birmingham Alabama


Transcript from audio snippet:

Gary Richardson: When did you work for WJLD?

Eddie Castleberry: Ah, JLD I came to in 1953, uh, or ’54. In 1954, when, when JLD was up on a mountain.

GR: Yeah.

EC: And you had to go way up on the mountain. And I was up there with a bunch of people like, uh, Roberta Roland and King Porter and, um, Willie McKinstry, who is my good friend.

GR: Oh, right. You remember Gatemouth Moore.

EC: Yes, I worked with Gatemouth. We were on EDR together. And, uh, I saw Gatemouth the last time I was here. Last time I was in Birmingham.

GR: What was he like, as a…

EC: Oh, he was a personality. He used to preach sermons like, uh, the baseball ...uh the baseball suit, and he’d be in the pulpit with a baseball suit on, and he’d preach he’d say “the baseball game of life” and he’d have a catcher’s mit and a ball.

[Both chuckle]

GR: So he was a showman?

EC: Yeah, a real showman. And he also, before he became a minister he was a famous blues singer.

GR: Ok.

EC: And I got his record at home now, “I Ain’t Mad at You, Pretty Baby.” It was a big thing.

GR: Wow, that’s funny. We had him on a few months back, and he was quite a character.

EC: Yeah, I know.

GR: When did you start workin for the, uh, the network, the major network?

EC: Oh, that was, that was something else. Like, like all, most things that I’ve gotten in radio, that was a lucky break. I was doing a, I was workin in Washington, DC, and I was doing a program, midnight to 6, in Washington. And some guy called me and said “Hey man, I heard you on the air, and you sound pretty good. Did you know that they’re starting a black news network?” I said “Really?” And I had a background in news. Because during that time all black disc jockeys had to do news and play records.

GR: Ok.

EC: And, you know, they had to have a news background. I had a news background, so I went over and I got the job. All of a sudden I’m on 350 radio stations.


Full interview: 95 minutes
Audio snippet: 2 minutes


Eddie Castleberry and Gary Richardson, “Eddie Castleberry, 1992 Oral History,” The Birmingham Black Radio Museum, accessed June 2, 2020, http://thebbrm.org/item/77.

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