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WERD oral history interviews

Identifier: aarl90-008

Scope and Content Note

In October, 1949, radio station WERD changed ownership and became the nation's first black-owned and operated broadcast station. This collection of Audiocassette tapes documents programmed interviews of individuals who were instrumental in the early development of the radio station.

Radio station WERD operated from 1949 to 1970. It served the Atlanta community for twenty-one years providing information on and about local, regional and national news events.

This historical documentary compiled and produced by Mr. Harold Lamar consists of twenty (20) segments broadcasted from October 3 - 7, 1989 on WVEE-WAOK in Atlanta, Georgia.


  • 1989


Restrictions on Use

There are no restrictions on research use of this collection.

Copyright Restrictions

Prior permission from the Research Library must be obtained in writing before any portion of this collection can be published or reproduced.

Historical Sketch

In 1949, radio station WERD (Atlanta, Ga.) became the first black owned and operated radio station in the United States. The station operated until 1970.


20.0 items




The collection consists of twenty segments compiled and produced by Harold Lamar and broadcast from October 3-7, 1989 on radio station WVEE-WAOK (Atlanta, Ga.). The segments document the history of radio station WERD from 1949 until its demise in 1970. Topics discussed include the purchase of WERD by Jesse B. Blayton, moving the station from downtown Atlanta to Auburn Avenue, Jesse B. Blayton and the Blayton family, the relationship between black and white announcers or staff at the station, why the station did not survive the 1970s, WERD programming, and WERD's impact upon the Atlanta community. Interviewees include Paul Brown, William Boyd, Herb Gershon, Jack Gibson, Ken Knight, Esmond Patterson, and Mack Saddler.
Inventory of the WERD Oral History Interviews aarl90-008 aarl90-008
Finding aid prepared by Finding aid prepared by Auburn Avenue Research Library on African American Culture and History
2004 September 15
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Auburn Avenue Research Library on African-American Culture and History Repository

101 Auburn Avenue NE
Atlanta GA 30303