A blog dedicated to the world of broadcast and public relations
Wednesday, February 8, 2012
History of African-American Radio
In another southern city, Baltimorein the 1950s found WBAL as the voice of the city. Station jockey Chuck Richards invited Jocko Henderson to be on his radio show. Within a few months, Jocko was off on his own, hosting radio shows up and down the East Coast, catering to African Americans. He became so popular in the 1970s, that he even hosted his own television show on WNTA and launched the magazine, Philly Talk. Later in his life, he worked to promote his “Get Ready” campaign which aimed to teach children math and history through records.
In 1980, Dewey and Cathy Hughes purchased one of DC’s most popular radio stations, WOL. Cathy Hughes had already proven success in the radio industry after launching “The Quiet Storm” on WHUR, Howard University’s Radio, as well as WYCB, a gospel station. A few years later, Cathy Hughes went on to launch one of the most famed Black radio institutions in the United States – Radio One. Radio One is headquarted in Lanham, MD and is the largest broadcasting company targeting African-Americans. Today, Cathy Hughes is known as the Mother of Urban Radio.
These radio pioneers have help shaped the face of both urban and mainstream radio today which continues the legacy of broadcast quality and service still found across the radio spectrum.