David Shears, Oral History

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David Shears, Oral History


David Shears


David Shears discussing the staff of WBCO and their programming in the 1950s.


Bob Friedman
David Shears


September 23, 1998

Oral History Item Type Metadata


Bob Friedman


David Shears


BF- Ok. And you, when you got WBCO, um in what you said around 1950 you say.

DS- ’51.

BF- ’51?

DS- Yes.

BF- what brought you there? How come you went there?

DS- Well first of all I had a been involved with band called the Original Jazz Kings.


DS- And, um, Bob Umbach was at WJLD.

BF- Right.

DS- Uh he was the only station in the vicinity that played black music other than Hoss Allen out of Nashville, Tennessee. And, you know anytime you got some music, you had to get it out of Nashville or WJLD. You know WJLD was on the Bessemer Super Highway at that time and Bob Umbach was the disc jockey that was playing, um, black music.

BF- Right.

DS- So I went to WBCO and taken a course in radio in radio under Bruce Payne

BF- So Bruce was there already?

DS- Yeah Bruce Payne was already there when I got there, but we had uh, see Larry McKinley and Bill Williams was the first two who came there, then we had Fletcher Cobb? And uh Erskine Faush And William Faush. Erskine did a religious program. And William Faush did a night religious program.

BF- Do you remember Gar Grace?

DS- Garfield Grace?

BF- Yeah.

Ds- Yeah I remember him. He was a young boy at that time, bout a maybe 15 or 16 year old .

BF- He had his own show though?

DS- Yeah he did, about fifteen minutes every afternoon.

BF- Unhuh.

DS- He played just, He played.. what kind of music did he play?

DS- Well back at that time wasn’t anything he could play, but rock n roll and blues you know, wasn’t any rap like there is now.

BF- Of course not. But um, would he play the Five Keys and the Dominos?

DS- Well he played um, Hank Ballard and the Midnighters and Annie…

BF- .. The Royals?

DS- Yeah, um, um played um, a variety of music.

BF- Diana Washington, but it was all black?

DS- Well yes yes.

BF- It was Jazz and RnB?

DS- And Yeah well lets go back un….and The Tympany Five, I played that kind of music


David Shears 2 min.mp3


Bob Friedman and David Shears, “David Shears, Oral History,” The Birmingham Black Radio Museum, accessed January 19, 2018, http://thebbrm.org/document/50.

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