Zack Allen, Oral History


Zack Allen, Oral History


Zack Allen
King Porter


Zack Allen (b.Jan 16, 1936, d.Nov 2, 2010), radio broadcaster with WJLD, interviewed about music played during his time as a DJ in the 1950s


Bob Friedman
Zack Allen


Birmingham Black Radio Museum


November 07, 1993


Yadira Murguia
Emily Bibb








Bob Friedman


Zack Allen


Transcript of audio snippet:

Zack Allen (ZA): see I got around that you had to think sometimes, so I got in with a record distributor and he would let me use his records, I’d get I’d have the latest one I could carry them and play them then I’d carry them back to him, see that’s how I got around that

Bob: So what kind of stuff did you, what artist did you play ?

ZA: I was playing, I was playing rhythm and blues at the time

Bob: What artist,, could you?

ZA: Oh back um BB King, Ray Charles, all old blues, and uh even as go back some of the oldies, I liked Ivory Joe Hunter

Bob: Did you ever play vocal groups like The Dominoes and The Moonglows ?

ZA: We use to play some but you know, most at that time most of the younger people like those uh those uh like the Moonglows and the Charms, they were they were like, the the younger set, but I was holdin mine to the older group

Bob: Isn’t that interesting so now what year are we did you start at WJLD?

ZA: I started WJLD

Bob: Ok what year was that? Do you remember?

ZA: Uh it was in the uh it was in the fifties I cant think it was at the same time King Porter was there, if you can find what year he was there

Bob: Yeah we’re trying to find a picture of King Porter

ZA: That’s actually how I got started King Porter I was working behind him we use to broadcast at the Madison night spot

Bob: The Madison night spot

ZA: The Madison night spot on Bessemer superhighway

Bob: Bessemer superhighway which isn’t there anymore

ZA: It’s not there anymore but then at that time uh King Porter use to broadcast there he also use to broadcast from Bob’s Savoy downtown Birmingham 4th avenue ,and he use to play the piano

Bob: King Porter played the piano what, what kind of music did king Porter play?

ZA: He played blues, rhythm and blues

Bob: Same thing

ZA: Same thing, same thing and uh, what made it, how I got started I just got interested in going around in radio and listening and King Porter I think he followed, King Porter was there I believe before… I couldn’t think was he there before Roy Wood or after Roy Wood

Original Format



Full interview: 73 minutes
Audio snippet: 2 minutes


Zack Allen.pdf


Bob Friedman and Zack Allen, “Zack Allen, Oral History,” The Birmingham Black Radio Museum, accessed July 13, 2024,

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