Race and RadioPioneering Black Broadcasters in New Orleans

Race and RadioPioneering Black Broadcasters in New Orleans

Bala James Baptiste

Print publication date: 2020

ISBN: 9781496822062

Publisher: University Press of Mississippi


Race and Radio: Pioneering Black Broadcasters in New Orleans explicates the emergence of blacks in broadcasting in New Orleans. The racial integration of changed the medium making it a channel for African American discourse, the music and interviews of local black musicians, and innovative black rhetoric. O.C.W. Taylor was the city's first black radio announcer. He hosted an unprecedented talk show, the “Negro Forum,” on WNOE beginning in 1946 and continuing for 22 years. Doctors, journalists, owners of funeral homes, directors of non-profits, and other professionals spoke. Clergy from various denominations discussed topics such as practical applications of Biblical stories. The guests inspired linked fate among listeners who had never heard African American voices on radio and believed they could also achieve. In 1949, listeners heard the arrival of Vernon "Dr. Daddy-O" Winslow's smooth, articulate, and disk jockey creative voice. The Fitzgerald Advertising Agency hired him to sell Jax beer to the black market using his show “Jivin’ with Jax” broadcast on WWEZ. He interviewed African American artists and played their music. After arriving from Chicago in 1953, Larry McKinley began informing blacks over WMRY of local activities of the Civil Rights Movement in the city. In 1957, he moved to WYLD which morphed into WMRY. This thick historiography situates Race and Radio within theories of racism, ideological hegemony, and marginalization, concepts explaining of why whites locked blacks out of the production and dissemination of media content.