Sonrose Rutledge, Oral History


1956-SonRose Rutledge - WBCO -  .jpg
SonRose Rutledge 2 min.mp3


Sonrose Rutledge, Oral History


Sonrose Rutledge (b. Oct 15, 1937), Alabama broadcaster starting his career at WBCO, then WENN, WEDR and ending it at WEUP Huntsville. He then pursued a radio career in Louisiana.


Sonrose Rutledge
Bob Friedman


Birmingham Black Radio Museum


March 28, 1994


Emily Bibb
Thomas Kulovitz








Bob Friedman


Sonrose Rutledge


Transcript of audio snippet:

Bob Friedman: 1953. Where’d you start?
Sonrose Rutledge: WBCO in Bessemer, Alabama.
B: Really? Were you there in 1953?
S: Yeah. Uh huh.
B: Were you doing part time or full time?
S: Well, actually, my first job for pay was in ’55, but I was there as a DJ representing my high school.
B: Oh really?
S: Right.
B: Which high school?
S: Huh? Johnny Jive as a matter of fact started it.
B: Johnny Jive started it?
S: Mmhmm. Johnny McClure. Johnny Jive started it and there was guest DJs from all the schools and I represented my school, Westville high school.
B: Well…Westville?
S: Uh huh. Westville High.
B: Did they change the name?
S: No. As a matter of fact, the school is not there anymore.
B: Oh ok. The reason I’m kind of surprised that you’re the second person of the week who I’ve talked to who’s been a high school representative at BCO. The other person who’s still working here is Al Bell.
S: Al Bell, yeah.
B: Who came from Western Olin as a high school DJ.
S: Right. Right.
B: A little bit later than that, but…
S: That’s when mine kicked off and when I finished high school, I got my first job there in radio at WBCO.
B: Uh huh. In 1955, was it?
S: In 1955, ‘56, somewhere in there.
B: Uh huh, so it was closing in on the time BCO would change to WENN.
S: Say that again.
B: It was closing in on the time that WBCO would change its frequency and its name to WENN.
S: Yeah, as a matter of fact, they changed from WBCO to WENN.
B: While you were there?
S: No, no, this was … When it moved from Bessemer…
B: Mmhmm.
S: And went to Birmingham, that’s when they changed to WENN, and I don’t remember the year.
B: That was about ’58.


Full interview: 29 minutes
Audio snippet: 2 minutes


Sonrose Rutledge and Bob Friedman, “Sonrose Rutledge, Oral History,” The Birmingham Black Radio Museum, accessed July 3, 2022,

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Item: Roy Wood, 1994 Oral History dcterms:relation This Item

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