When AM Black Radio Was King


In the 1960’s, Baltimore MD. was emerging as one of the major cities on the East Coast to take advantage of the new civil rights act. WWIN, Radio 1400, took advantage, and went black in their musical line-up. Riding this musical wave, came  some sweet talking, smooth talking, DJ’s (disk jockeys), thus many will remember, the “pimp” of them all, FAT DADDY. I also made my contribution some time later as a commentator, using a three minute vignette, I called THAT’s LIFE.

So I am sitting in the basement of a Catholic Church in East Baltimore on York Road, and it is a cabaret, straight out from the epoch of the times, with the theme of the evening, “Before The Lights Go Out”.

They came, with wheel chairs, walkers, canes, oxygen. They wanted to relive the times when their kind of music was king. They swayed, screamed, ate, drank, and wore the fashions that made them feel loved. No recorded music, all live performances.

I never knew of the Baltimore group THE BLEU LIGHTS, but it was touching to see of the original four, one is still here, and singing.

This was a night for many to sway away the results of the general election, and not even pay attention to the passing of Fidel Castro, the Cuban E

The original BLEU LIGHTS of Baltimore Maryland. Picture courtesy of the promoters, including Milton A. Dugger, Jr.

l Presidente. Doctor “Doo Wop” who is recovering from a stroke, made an appearance, with his traditional long coat and velvet tips, to compete with the MC. This night’s theme was so appropriate, for who knows how many will return next year, if their lights were to go out, at least they shared in the moment, when AM Black Radio, was King.

Published by Oswald Copeland

Born 1946, Georgetown Guyana, South America. Broadcast journalist since 1968. Been living in the United States, since 1974. Has done extensive work in sales and marketing, and likes to write about culture in and around Baltimore Md. His personal passion is healthy living: www.losebumpsloselumps.com. Creator and Executive Editor of THECULTUREPAGEDOTCOM.

One thought on “When AM Black Radio Was King

  1. Thanks for highlighting my program at St. Mary of the Assumption Hall on Saturday, November 26, 2016. I try to recapture the feel of 1950s and 1960s Baltimore stage show, club, and cabaret scene on the “Thanksgiving Saturday” every year. 2017 November 25th will find me ten days away from my 75th birthday closing out the 1942 babies’ 75th year on this earth.


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