Andrew Dawkins, 1994 Oral History


Andrew Dawkins, 1994 Oral History


Rev. Andrew “Sugar Daddy” Dawkins (b. Feb 24, 1930, d. Dec 9, 2014), radio announcer with two seminal radio stations, the first at WBCO AM 1450 in Bessemer in 1950 and the second at WEUP AM 1600, Huntsville, the latter Alabama’s first Black owner radio station. Andrew retired from radio to the Ministry in Montgomery, Alabama. (Please see second Dawkins interview from 2012 and interview of Don Solomon on Leroy Garrett)


Andrew Dawkins
Bob Friedman


Birmingham Black Radio Museum


February 15, 1994


Tom Kulowitz
Mark Usry
Emily Bibb






Bob Friedman


Andrew "Sugar Daddy" Dawkins


Transcript of audio snippet:

Andrew Dawkins: In ’50 and I was there…I went there in ’50, I believe. The station started a little bit before that because I came there in ’50 from a station in Tuscaloosa.
Bob Friedman: Which one?
A: Mmhmm.
B: Was it black formatted?
A: No, what happened, I was in college there and I went there one year and I asked them to run a show there. They turned me down and they chose one of my classmates and he went home for the summer and I ran the show for the summer and as I was running the show for the summer, Mr. Woods from WBCO came, who had heard me, and invited me to Birmingham, which is my home.
B: Uh huh.
A: And so naturally I transferred schools and went to Miles and started working for BCO.
B: Well, now, who is Mr. Woods?
A: Mr. Woods was the manager. He was the manager.
B: Do you remember his first name?
A: Try to remember his first name now…Woods, Woods, Woods. I can’t remember his first name right now.
B: Ok.
A: Slim, tall fellow. Well, not tall but he was a slim fellow about 5’9” but he was a very fine fellow. And Lanier owned it then.
B: Right. Was it true…do you remember if J.L. Doss had a piece of it?
A: J.L. Goss?
B: Doss. You know, the fellas…the family that owned WJLD.
A: No, I don’t think they…Big Jess owned that station alone.
B: Uh huh. Ok.
A: As far as I know only Big Jess owned that station. Big Jess Lenier.
B: Right. Became the mayor.
A: Yes, became the mayor. He was the mayor before he became the mayor.
B: Is that right?
A: Yep. Big Jess was the word in Bessemer, Alabama.
B: Uh huh.
A: Mmhmm.
B: And you were on the site on 17th Street and 3rd Avenue?
A: Yeah, I was there.
B: What was it like? What was the studio like?
A: It was a small studio. We only had the ground floor there. We had a reception area. We had a large studio and then the control room on one side, I guess it would have had to be on the north side of the station. And on the south side was the suite of offices.


Full Interview: 57 minutes
Audio snippet: 2 minutes


1952-Andrew Dawkins - WBCO.jpg
Dawkins 2 min 1994 snippet.mp3


Andrew Dawkins and Bob Friedman, “Andrew Dawkins, 1994 Oral History,” The Birmingham Black Radio Museum, accessed July 24, 2024,

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