Browse Items (18 total)

  • Tags: 1940s

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Lewis Kendrick (b. Dec 26, 1923, d. Feb 25, 2006) 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.

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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.…

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Ms Ophelia Davis George (b. Nov 9, 1929, d. Mar 25, 2005), daughter of gospel broadcaster Deacon Richmond Davis (b. abt 1904, d. abt 1967). Davis began his gospel broadcasting in Birmingham in 1939 on WBRC, forerunner of WERC (960 AM), and was…

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Engineer Ben Franklin (Ben) continues in this 1993 interview recounting his stories of early Birmingham radio.

1948-Ben Franklin inside WJLD Bess Sup Hwy .jpg
Ben Franklin (b. March 12, 1919, Lees Vernon Parish, LA; d. May 10, 1998, Calera, AL) was a radio electronics engineer and eventually a station owner (WBYE in Calera) with a 60 year history in the field. He turned the transmitter of WJLD AM 1400 on…

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Dr. Frank “Doc” Adams (b. Feb 2, 1928, d. Oct. 29, 2014), Director of Education at the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame and The Carver Theatre. Well known for his proficiency as a sax and clarinet player, and for his stints with Duke Ellington and Sun Ra’s…

MacMillan Jubilee Singers, 1950
Norman B. Wooding, Jr. (b. 1923, d. 2014), interviewed at his home in Mason City, Birmingham by Bob Friedman. In 2012, NB Wooding, Jr. celebrated 80 years singing gospel quartet in Jefferson County and over 60 years involved in gospel broadcasting.…

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Interviewed on the air at WJLD. Author, “Radio and the Struggle for Civil Rights in the South” (University Press of Florida, 2004).

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Evelyn Hardy, piano player and founding member of the Gospel Harmonettes, a famous female gospel group based in Birmingham, Alabama. Evelyn shares her recollections of the group’s beginning in the 1940’s.

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Billy Cliff Evans (b. Dec 12, 1924, d. Apr 5, 2004), announcer at WJLD in the mid 1940’s. Billy shares recollections of early broadcasting from Bessemer radio stations. Became treasurer of the Bessemer History Center.
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