WJLD History – 1990s & Beyond
It’s 1990 and Margie Davis plays mid morning oldies. Engineer Leciel Hubbard and Gary work on both transmitters… always upgrading.
Gary and Bobby D begin doing “Sound Off” together. Gary moves the talk segment to the morning drive. 1992 sees WENN’s Tyrone Robinson join the staff and Melvin Drake joins Ennis Bragg and Nassau Lockett on Sunday. Friedman begins Birmingham Black Radio Museum project. Richardson interviews radio pioneers Gatemouth Moore, Roy Wood and Eddie Castleberry.
In 2000, the station becomes the largest market for a new Black-owned satellite-delivered format, “Party Blues and Oldies” transmitted by the American Blues Network (ABN) out of Mississippi. Jimmy “Jimmy T” Underwood from WMGJ, Gadsden joins the Saturday Blues staff. Both Gary and Bobby run for public office. Gary is elected Mayor of Midfield, Alabama in 2004 and Bobby is appointed to the Housing Authority’s Board of Commissioners by Birmingham Mayor Bernard Kincaid in 2002 and begins “Saturday Morning Live (6-8AM).”
Paul Dudley White (1988) – Civil Rights leader, praised by Martin Luther King, Jr, sought after by civil rights biographers internationally, passes away on August 19, 2001
Many changes in 2002. Duane Jones (from “the Experience” mentioned above) joins the on-air staff, with over 30 years experience on the air in Atlanta. WJLD makes history again by becoming the nation’s first high definition AM (HD Radio) digital broadcaster.
2004 sees Manuel Fitch, long time gospel announcer, joins the staff (again) and more than 20 gospel ministries are on the air Saturday morning and all day Sunday.
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