"Going Black: The Legacy of Philly Soul Radio" Companion Pieces

Series produced by Mighty Writers

Caption: Legenday Philadelphia disc jockey Georgie Woods, Credit: Temple Urban Archives
Image by: Temple Urban Archives 
Legenday Philadelphia disc jockey Georgie Woods 

These short segments are stand-alone companion pieces to the documentary special, "Going Black: The Legacy of Philly Soul Radio" (http://www.prx.org/series/33464-going-black-the-legacy-of-philly-soul-radio). Starting in the 1950s, Black radio stations around the country became the pulse of African-American communities around the country, and their megaphone during the Civil Rights and Black Power movements. These sound-rich, non-narrated pieces profile some of the documentary's main characters and explore the legacy of African-Americans on the radio in Philadelphia.

This is a series of non-narrated pieces to the documentary special, "Going Black: The Legacy of Philly Soul Radio" (http://www.prx.org/series/33464-going-black-the-legacy-of-philly-soul-radio). Starting in the 1950s, Black radio stations around the country became the pulse of African-American communities around the country, and their megaphone during the Civil Rights and Black Power movements. Like with the documentary special, these sound-rich non-narrated pieces explore the legacy of Black radio in Philadelphia - which is actually the story of Civil Rights, the story of Black music, and the story of how media has changed in the last century.

In these short pieces, we hear from former jocks and reporters who ruled the airwaves on Philadelphia's historic black stations WDAS and WHAT, musicians who helped shape the Philadelphia Sound, and others who were influenced by Black radio in Philadelphia. We learn about Philadelphia radio legends Georgie Woods, Jocko Henderson, Louise Williams, Joe "Butterball" Tamburro, and others who used the airwaves not only to play the music white stations wouldn’t, but also to organize civil rights demonstrations and provide listeners with critical news at a time when the mainstream media largely ignored the local African-American communities.

These pieces were produced by Alex Lewis, John Myers, and Yowei Shaw. For more information about the documentary, visit http://mightyradio.org/. Hide full description

This is a series of non-narrated pieces to the documentary special, "Going Black: The Legacy of Philly Soul Radio" (http://www.prx.org/series/33464-going-black-the-legacy-of-philly-soul-radio). Starting in the 1950s, Black radio stations around the country became the pulse of African-American communities around the country, and their megaphone during the Civil Rights and Black Power movements. Like with the documentary special, these sound-rich non-narrated pieces explore the legacy of Black radio in Philadelphia - which is actually the story of Civil Rights, the story of Black music, and the story of how media has changed in the last century.In these short pieces, we hear from former jocks and reporters who ruled the airwaves on Philadelphia's historic black stations WDAS and WHAT,... Show full description


9 Pieces

Order by: Newest First | Oldest First
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Early in his career, Jerry Blavat was a disc jockey at WHAT, one of the two Philadelphia Black AM radio stations at the far right end of the dial. ...

Bought by KUMD, KUER, WABE, KUOW, and PRX Remix


  • Added: Jan 16, 2014
  • Length: 04:29
  • Purchases: 5
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Louise Williams is known as the “Gospel Queen of Philadelphia.” For 49 years, she hosted “The Louise Bishop Program” at WDAS, one of the highest-ra...

Bought by KUMD, PRX Remix, and KUOW


  • Added: Jan 15, 2014
  • Length: 04:02
  • Purchases: 3
Caption: Former WDAS disc jockey Doug Henderson Jr., Credit: Yowei Shaw
Jocko Henderson was one of the most imitated Black personality disc jockeys of all time. He's known as the godfather of rap, the “Ace from Outer Sp...

Bought by KUMD, PRX Remix, Delta College Public Radio, and KUOW


  • Added: Jan 07, 2014
  • Length: 03:21
  • Purchases: 4
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Harvey Holiday was one of the few white disc jockeys who made it big on Black radio in Philadelphia in the 70s. His highly-rated Sunday night “Holi...

Bought by KUOW


  • Added: Jan 07, 2014
  • Length: 05:13
  • Purchases: 1
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Record label executive Joe McEwen was one of the many white kids listening to Black radio in Philadelphia in the 50s and 60s. Here, McEwen talks ab...

Bought by KUOW


  • Added: Jan 07, 2014
  • Length: 04:27
  • Purchases: 1
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In the late 50s and 60s, jazz musician Sam Reed was the house leader at the historic Uptown Theater in North Philadelphia. The Uptown was the Phill...

Bought by KUMD and KUOW


  • Added: Jan 07, 2014
  • Length: 03:26
  • Purchases: 2
Caption: Karen Warrington
Karen Warrington, director of communication for Congressman Robert Brady, has been an independent voice for Black political and social empowerment ...

Bought by KUOW and PRX Remix


  • Added: Jan 07, 2014
  • Length: 06:41
  • Purchases: 2
Caption: Former WHAT disc jockey Sonny Hopson, Credit: Yowei Shaw
For a time in the late ’60s, no one’s microphone in Philadelphia blazed hotter than Sonny Hopson. He was dynamic, exciting and wildly unpredictable...

Bought by KUMD, PRX Remix, and KUOW


  • Added: Jan 07, 2014
  • Length: 04:29
  • Purchases: 3
Caption: Disc jockey Dyana Williams
Dyana Williams started her broadcasting career in 1973 as one of the few African-American women on the air. Her radio handle? Ebony Moonbeams. Sinc...

Bought by WABE and KUOW


  • Added: Jan 07, 2014
  • Length: 04:55
  • Purchases: 2