Browse Items (15 total)

  • Tags: 1940s

1948-Ben Franklin inside WJLD Bess Sup Hwy .jpg
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…

Dr. Frank Adams0001.jpg
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.…

Bob and Brian 3-30-13.JPG
Brian Ward, author of “Radio and the Struggle for Civil Rights in the South.”

Evelyn Hardy.jpg
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.

Billy Evans.jpg
Billy Cliff Evans, 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.

Bob Umbach, WJLD Spelling Bee, 1950
Nancy Hodges, daughter of Bob Umbach, famous Bessemer and Birmingham radio pioneer; her very early recollections of her dad before he and his wife were divorced.

Bob Umbach, 1946-1953, WJLD, Bessemer/Birmingham Announcer, originator Atomic Boogie…

W. A. Clark, Taft Epstein, and Deacon Richmond Davis
Alex Epstein shares memories of his brother Taft Epstein, clothing store owner and sponsor for Black gospel radio programming and other events. Taft is seen here with early gospel radio ministers W.A. Clark (left) and Deacon Richmond Davis (right).

John Leslie Doss, Jr.
J. Leslie Doss, Jr. (b.8-9-1929; d.11-14-2011), son of John Leslie Doss, Sr., founder of WJLD Radio in Birmingham, Alabama, reflecting on his early days with his dad and radio. Pictured is John Leslie Doss Sr.
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