Browse Items (13 total)

  • Tags: Bessemer

2010 - Lee Bell Johnson.jpg
Lee Bell Johnson (LBJ) – gospel singer, story teller, performer, born December 7, 1934 in Demopolis, Alabama, Marengo County – recounts her early childhood and introduction to singing at the age of four while living on a plantation. Lee Bell is…

1952-Andrew Dawkins - WBCO.jpg
Rev. Andrew “Sugar Daddy” Dawkins (b. Feb 24, 1930, d. Dec 9, 2014), radio announcer with two seminal radio stations, the first at WBCO AM 1450 in Bessemer in 1950 and the second at WEUP AM 1600, Huntsville, the latter Alabama’s first Black owner…

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.

Honey Brown WBCO 1952-cropped.jpg
Honey Brown (Willa Lee Davis) 3/8/94 a broadcaster with early WBCO (1951-1952), a Birmingham native sharing her memories of being on the air and working at the station and meeting others in other local stations, including Bob Umbach. She’s…

1954-Tiger Thompson - WJLD -.jpg
Perry “Tiger” Thompson – Part two of three interviews - the second interview about Mr. Thompson from the recollections of family friend Peacolia Barge from Bessemer. She recalls his working with the youth and encouraging them to join the armed…

Ed Johnny Jive McClure.pdf
Edward McClure (b. Jun 23, 1923, d. Sep 17, 2009), known on the air as “Johnny Jive,” music jock and school teacher, beginning his career at WBCO, Bessemer in 1952, at WENN for a short time in the late 50’s and then, WJLD until 1969. A master of…

Bruce Payne at WBCO, 1953
Bruce Payne, Birmingham broadcaster from the early 1950's. Born in Jackson, Mississippi and began his broadcasting career at WBCO in Bessemer. He made the transition to early WENN Radio in Birmingham in 1958 before returning to Mississippi to finish…

Billy Evans.jpg
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.

W. A. Clark, Taft Epstein, and Deacon Richmond Davis
Alex Epstein (b. Jan 22, 2015, d. Apr 23, 2012), shares memories of his brother Taft Epstein (b. June 1, 1912, d. Nov 17, 1979), clothing store owner and sponsor for Black gospel radio programming and other events. Taft is seen here with early gospel…

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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