WJLD History – 1980s

 

Larry Levan and James Freeman with fans at a WJLD remote

Larry Levan and James Freeman
with fans at a WJLD remote

Tall Paul with fans and Harley prize (1980)

Tall Paul with fans and Harley prize (1980)

 

1980 sees WZZK FM sold by the Johnston family after refusing requests by the WJLD staff to make it a Black FM. Paul “Tall Paul” Dudley White, famed for his 60’s civil rights work on the air at WENN Radio, rings the bell and drives ’em home at WJLD. Ron January, Larry Levan, James Freeman, C.C. Scott and Oliver “OB the Master” Brewer are on the air and soon Eric “High Speed” Chase, Gene “Nassau ” Lockett and Al Bell, GM, are there too.

 

Jimmy Lawson

Jimmy Lawson

Jesse Champion

Jesse Champion

Stan Granger

Stan Granger

Gene Lockett

Gene Lockett

Margie Davis

Margie Davis

Oliver Brewer

Oliver Brewer

Al Bell

Al Bell

 

In ’82, Bob Bell purchases WJLD from the Johnston family. Gary Richardson leaves and returns in ’84 as Chief Engineer and part-time DJ and later afternoon drive DJ. Stan “The Man” Granger arrives after making his rounds at WENN, WBUL and WATV. Margie Davis spins gospel in ’84. In 1985, it’s one more time for Jimmy Lawson doing morning drive along with Kim Moore doing news.

State Senator Earl Hilliard buys WJLD in ‘85. Erik White, the son of Lewis White, is doing mornings after Jim Lawson is fired for commenting about a local bank that refuses to close on MLK day and was later robbed. The on air staff consists of Freddie Lewis 1AM-5AM playing gospel, Erik White 5AM-9AM, Oliver “OB The Master” Brewer, Gene Wyze, formerly of WENN, WBUL, and WATV, Margie Davis, Gene “Nassau” Lockett, Dick Lumpkin, and Harold Boggarty.

 

Dick Lumpkin

Dick Lumpkin

Gene Wyze

Gene Wyze

Erik White

Erik White

Kim Moore

Kim Moore

Freddie Lewis

Freddie Lewis

 

In 1986, Gary Richardson becomes Station Manager while still serving as Chief Engineer. He gives away a Yugo to a lucky (?) listener!! Richardson, ever the innovator, develops a project to deliver WJLD’s AM format on FM with Cable FM 102.1. Approximately 1,000 homes were wired for the daily simulcast with jazz from 6pm to Midnight. Taking turns on the turntable are Kelley Jarrett, Jesse Champion, Jr., Harold Boggarty and Darryl Johnson. The effort lasted about a year.

 

Gary Richardson presents a listener the keys to a Yugo.

Gary Richardson presents to a listener
the keys to a Yugo.

wjldblksign-jld

 

1987 sees 30 year old Gary Richardson buy WJLD from Earl Hilliard. Curtis Bell begins his WJLD career after premiering as a 14 year old on “the Duane Jones Experience” on WAOK, Atlanta and later, on the Johnny Austin show at WJLD. “Tall Paul” is back for a short stint in ’88 and retires in ’89. WJLD adopts the “Heart and Soul” format delivered by satellite from Satellite Music Network, another first for the station. Bob “Bobby D” Friedman, a new account exec, suggests a talk show for Paul but Paul says no. Bobby tries the Doo-Wop Shop and 1950’s R&B Revue. Ain’t happenin’— Restarts “Sound Off” in June, 1989.

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