On this day in 1949, Jesse Blayton Sr. opened the first Black-owned radio station, WERD

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After nearly 20 years of attempts by Black entrepreneurs to purchase a radio station, Jesse Blayton Sr. opened the first Black-owned station, WERD, on October 3, 1949, in Atlanta.

It wasn’t Blayton’s first time making history. In 1928, he became Georgia’s first African-American certified public accountant. A few years earlier, he and a group of Black businessmen founded the Mutual Federal Savings and Loan Association, for which he served as president. He also taught at Atlanta University.

When Blayton bought the 1,000-watt radio station, he hired his son Jesse Jr. as station manager. From sunrise to sunset, it featured a mix of musical genres, from gospel to rhythm and blues, spun by “Jockey Jack” Gibson, one of the nation’s most famous Black radio announcers.


Click play to listen to the AURN News report from Clay Cane. Follow @claycane & @aurnonline for more.

The post On this day in 1949, Jesse Blayton Sr. opened the first Black-owned radio station, WERD appeared first on American Urban Radio Networks.

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