Caption: Legenday Philadelphia disc jockey Georgie Woods, Credit: Temple Urban Archives
Image by: Temple Urban Archives 
Legenday Philadelphia disc jockey Georgie Woods 

Going Black: The Legacy of Philly Soul Radio (One Hour Special)

From: Mighty Writers
Series: Going Black: The Legacy of Philly Soul Radio
Length: 59:00

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Starting in the 1950s, Black radio stations around the country became the pulse of African-American communities, and served as their megaphone during the Civil Rights and Black Power movements. "Going Black" examines the legacy of Black radio, with a special focus on the legendary WDAS in Philadelphia. Hosted by Sound of Philadelphia (TSOP) music producer and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Kenny Gamble, a 1-hour version and 2-hour version of this documentary special are both available.

Georgie_woods_1__small "Going Black: The Legacy of Philly Soul Radio " examines the legacy of Black radio, with a special focus on the legendary WDAS in Philadelphia. The story of Black radio in Philadelphia is actually the story of a music that would have gone undiscovered, of Civil Rights and progress in the African-American community, and of how the radio medium has changed in the last century. The documentary special is hosted by legendary Sound of Philadelphia (TSOP) music producer and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Kenny Gamble . For more about the program, visit our website: www.mightyradio.org .

Today, a lot of people don't know what the term "Black radio" means. But starting in the 1950s,
Black radio stations around the country became the pulse of African-American communities, and served as their megaphone during the Civil Rights and Black Power movements. Stations like WDAS in Philly, WDIA in Memphis, WWRL and WBLS in NYC, WHUR and WOL in DC, WERD in Atlanta, WVON in Chicago, WLAC in Nashville, WMRY in New Orleans and KWBR in San Francisco featured radio personalities with styles all their own who played records you'd never get to hear on mainstream radio. Beyond being hip radio stations, these were pipelines into the Black community where you'd get the latest news on current events and the Civil Rights Movement — at a time when the mainstream media wasn't covering these stories from a Black perspective.

The documentary features conversations with well-known disc jockeys, radio professionals, record company executives, musicians, journalists and scholars. Listeners will hear first-person accounts of Civil Rights events and rare archival audio of Black radio air checks from the 60s and 70s, including a 1964 interview with Malcolm X, just a few months before his assassination. The documentary also includes a soundtrack featuring R&B, jazz, gospel and soul hits from the 50s through the 80s, especially from the Sound of Philadelphia .

A 1-hour version and 2-hour version of this documentary special are both available, along with a series of short companion non-narrated pieces.

Piece Description

"Going Black: The Legacy of Philly Soul Radio " examines the legacy of Black radio, with a special focus on the legendary WDAS in Philadelphia. The story of Black radio in Philadelphia is actually the story of a music that would have gone undiscovered, of Civil Rights and progress in the African-American community, and of how the radio medium has changed in the last century. The documentary special is hosted by legendary Sound of Philadelphia (TSOP) music producer and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Kenny Gamble . For more about the program, visit our website: www.mightyradio.org .

Today, a lot of people don't know what the term "Black radio" means. But starting in the 1950s,
Black radio stations around the country became the pulse of African-American communities, and served as their megaphone during the Civil Rights and Black Power movements. Stations like WDAS in Philly, WDIA in Memphis, WWRL and WBLS in NYC, WHUR and WOL in DC, WERD in Atlanta, WVON in Chicago, WLAC in Nashville, WMRY in New Orleans and KWBR in San Francisco featured radio personalities with styles all their own who played records you'd never get to hear on mainstream radio. Beyond being hip radio stations, these were pipelines into the Black community where you'd get the latest news on current events and the Civil Rights Movement — at a time when the mainstream media wasn't covering these stories from a Black perspective.

The documentary features conversations with well-known disc jockeys, radio professionals, record company executives, musicians, journalists and scholars. Listeners will hear first-person accounts of Civil Rights events and rare archival audio of Black radio air checks from the 60s and 70s, including a 1964 interview with Malcolm X, just a few months before his assassination. The documentary also includes a soundtrack featuring R&B, jazz, gospel and soul hits from the 50s through the 80s, especially from the Sound of Philadelphia .

A 1-hour version and 2-hour version of this documentary special are both available, along with a series of short companion non-narrated pieces.

Timing and Cues

00:00 - 01:00 (0:59 + :01 silence) Billboard; outcue = "First the news."
01:00 - 06:00 (5:00) NPR News hole, Music Bed.
06:00 - 24:30 (18:30) Segment A; outcue = "I'm Kenny Gamble."
24:30 - 25:30 (:59: + :01 silence) Music Bed.
25:30 - 40:00 (14:30) Segment B; outcue = "I'm Kenny Gamble."
40:00 - 41:00 (0:59 + :01 silence) Music Bed.
41:00 - 59:00 (18:00) Segment C; outcue = "Thanks for listening."

Musical Works

Title Artist Album Label Year Length
TSOP (The Sound of Philadelphia) MFSB Disco Gold. Hip-O Records 2005 01:00
Philadelphia Freedom MFSB Philadelphia Freedom. Philadelphia International Records 1978 05:00
Love Train The O'Jays The Ultimate O'Jays. Sony 2001 01:52
Yardbird Suite Charlie Parker Groovin High. Fabulous 2003 :25
Brahms Symphony 2 in D Major OP. 73: IV Allegro Con Spirito The Philadelphia Orchestra/Leopold Stokowski Stokowski: Symphonies Nos. 2 and 4. Archipel 2006 :35
Till I Waltz With You Again Brewer Just Teresa Brewer. 13th Right Records 2013 01:03
Boogie Chillen John Lee Hooker The Great John Lee Hooker. P-Vine Records 1964 01:48
Cupid Boogie Little Esther Little Esther Phillips. Savoy 1950 01:09
Dancing in the Dark Cannonball Adderley Ballads. Blue Note 2002 :42
How I Got Over Clara Ward The History of Black Gospel Vol 2. Smith & Co. 2008 :51
Only the Strong Survive Jerry Buttler The Legendary Philadelphia Hits. Mercury 1984 01:52
Expressway to Your Heart Booker T and the MGs Doin' Our Thing. Stax/Atlantic 1968 01:00
Tutti Frutti Pat Boone Oldies Do Wops Vol 3. Classic Records 2009 :17
Tuttie Frutti Little Richard The Georgia Peach. Specialty 1991 :59
He Don't Really Love You The Delfonics The Best of the Delfonics. M.I.L. Multimedia 1999 01:14
Shout The Isley Brothers The Essential Isley Brothers. Sony 2004 02:24
That's How Heartbreaks Are Made Baby Washington I've Got a Feeling. Stateside Records 2005 :32
I Wish I Knew How It Would Be To Be Free Nina Simone SIlk & Soul. RCA 1967 :58
Take My Precious Hand Lord Mahalia Jackson The Essential Mahalia Jackson. Columia/Legacy 1980 :44
Backstabbers MFSB MFSB. Philadelphia International Records 1963 01:00
Piano Sonata No. 16 in C, K545 "Sonata Facile": 1. Allegro Mitsuko Uchida Mozart: Piano Sonatas No. 8, No. 11 "Alla Turca", No. 16 and No. 18 . Phillips 1995 :39
8 Miles High The Byrds The Byrds' Greatest Hits. Columbia 1967 :47
You Can't Judge a Book By its Cover Bo Diddley Single. Checker 1962 :32
The Love I Lost Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes Black & Blue. Philadelphia International Records 1973 :59
Shining Star Earth, Wind, & Fire That's The Way of the World. Columbia 1975 :44
Ain't No Stopping Us Now McFadden & Whitehead McFadden & Whitehead. Philadelphia International Records 1979 01:08
Compared to What Eddie Harris & Les McCann Atlantic Jazz: Soul. Atlantic R ecords 2005 :27
I Miss You Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes All Their Greatest Hits!. Sony Music Entertainment 1976 01:13
SAY IT LOUD (I’M BLACK AND I’M PROUD) [IN THE STYLE OF JAMES BROWN (OFFICIAL INSTRUMENTAL BACKING TRACK) Original Backing Tracks Karoake Hits: Soul Hits Vol. 2. KHM Entertainment 2013 :18
For the Love of Money The O'Jays Ship Ahoy. Philadelphia International Records 1973 01:31
Keep on Pushing The Impressions Keep on Pushing. ABC-Paramount 1964 02:14
TSOP (The Sound of Philadelphia) MFSB Disco Gold. Hip-O Records 2005 02:10

Additional Credits

Going Black was presented in collaboration with WXPN and produced under the auspices of Mighty Writers, a Philadelphia nonprofit that teaches city kids how to write.

Related Website

www.mightyradio.org