Joe Lackey, Oral History


Joe Lackey, Oral History


Broadcast History


Joe Lackey (b. Aug 3, 1922, d.May 29, 2009), General Manager at WENN 1958-76. Part owner, WATV Birmingham. Joe reflects on his early career and on the 1963 Civil Rights Movement.


Bob Friedman
Joe Lackey


Birmingham Black Radio Museum


December 13, 1993


Emily Bibb
Alissa Matheny
Carlena McClain








Bob Friedman


Joe Lackey


Transcript of audio snippet:

Joe Lackey: Course during that month I was riding the streets looking for a place… found that one in 5 Points West

Bob Friedman: Umm great location…

JL: moved in there and did just little bit of remodeling and uh moved in there and uh we moved overnight. We signed off at the hotel …signed on the next morning out there…been there ever since ’76.

Bob: umm

JL: But you know it’s been a lot of fun… a lot of umm… during the 60’s it was kind of rough we were right there in the middle of it and it was a lot of activity and the night that they bombed the hotel umm… the blast shattered our front window because you know we had that fish bowl thing

Bob: umm hmm

JL: all of our

Bob: Was that on facing 5th Avenue?

JL: Yeah

Bob: the fish bowl

JL: the glass went… umm nobody touched the building the only thing we had a flood light on the parking lot in the back and they broke that out so they put it in the dark and they broke in the whiskey store and cleaned the whiskey store out…didn’t touch our building. And I was at home on the telephone, Paul White was in the studio giving me a blow by blow description of what was happening… next thing I knew the phone went dead. Cops had come and jerked him out…
thought he had broke in. It took me ‘til 4o’clock the next afternoon to find out where he was and get him out of jail cause they had just hauled him off

Bob: Umm hmm

JL: and when I finally found out where he was and get someone to talk to him and get him out, it was about 4 oclock Sunday afternoon we got him out. It happened on a Friday night I think, best I remember, and uh but you know Monday morning when I came back …

Bob: That’s when they blew up the Gaston Motel?

JL: When I came back downtown monday morning …I did not
try to come in on the weekend…I came back in the morning… downtown looked like a war zone


Full Interview: 106 minutes
Audio Snippet: 2 minutes


1988 - Joe Lackey head shot.jpg
Joe Lackey.pdf


Bob Friedman and Joe Lackey, “Joe Lackey, Oral History,” The Birmingham Black Radio Museum, accessed July 24, 2024,

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