Manuel Fitch, Oral History


Fitch at tape automation, WBUL0001.jpg
Fitch 2 min.mp3
Manuel Fitch.pdf


Manuel Fitch, Oral History


Manuel Fitch, long time gospel announcer currently on WJLD Radio AM 1400 and 94.1 FM, on Saturday mornings from 6-8AM. Manuel began working in Birmingham radio in the 1970’s and shared his recollections and stories from his scrapbook pictures. His early nickname was “The Mellow Man.”


Manuel Fitch
Bob Friedman


Birmingham Black Radio Museum


February 05, 2011


Leciel Hubbard
Gary Richardson
Mark Usry
Emily Bibb






Bob Friedman


Manuel Fitch


<b>Transcript from audio snippet:</b>

Bob Friedman: Um, so did this machine do?

Manuel Fitch: That machine would ...just play music. Somethin’ like...what we got now… the...satellite.

BF: Mhm

MF: It played music would come in and...maybe talk like you...maybe a minute or so to present the music.

BF: Mhm

MF: And rest of it, you didn't have to worry about bringin’ no music. It was… everything was programmed. Pre-programmed.

BF: But you had to put music on that tape didn't you?

MF: Oh yeah those tapes...they already had them made up

BF: Who made ‘em?

MF: A guy named Tony. Big, large guy. He was ‘bout four, five hundered pounds...

BF: He worked at JLD?

MF: Worked at JLD. Matter of fact, he worked at the company in Florida where the machine was originated from.

BF: and he brought the tapes already made?

MF: He made ‘em up

BF: Here at JLD?

MF: Yeah he made some of ‘em up before he got here. Cause he was, ya know, makin’ old music up...

BF: Mhm

MF: And sent ‘em out to other...Black radio stations. And he came in and he then he just program everything.

BF: You gonna say somethin’ Mr. Hubbard?

H: There were a lot of tapes…

MF: Mhm

BF: Mhm

MF: Well what he's talkin’ about, there was a program came on on Friday… A fact, another reason I left because they faded my program out with somethin’ that they had a program like...BB King and different artists was singin’ was just a tape that was used, made with our program. It might have been somethin’ like...Rhythm and Blues program on Saturday mornin’.

BF: Uh huh

MF: And those tapes was pre...made and...they came in through the maill. I don’t think..and all ya had to do is listen at ‘em when they end and put in your commercial. Matter of fact, like I said I did it for a while and I got tired of doin’ that and I so I told Tony that I was tired of that.

BF: Mhm

MF: So he told me. He said, “well if the program don’t do no good, we gonna give it to someone else." And he did I left


Full interview: 31 minutes
Audio snippet: 2 minutes


Manuel Fitch and Bob Friedman, “Manuel Fitch, Oral History,” The Birmingham Black Radio Museum, accessed September 27, 2022,

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