Rotary Club Members Celebrate Chattanooga's Broadcasting History

Friday, April 11, 2014

Nearing the 89th anniversary of Chattanooga’s first radio station, Chattanooga Downtown Rotary Club members celebrated the city’s broadcasting history with two special guests at their weekly meeting.  WRCB news anchor David Carroll and WDEF radio and TV personality Luther Masingill shared stories of broadcasters past and present.

The club is observing its centennial year by spotlighting various aspects of the city’s history. Mr. Carroll, author of “Chattanooga Radio and Television,” began his presentation with a salute to Norman Thomas and Earl Winger, co-owners of the Chattanooga Radio Company. 

On April 13, 1925, Mr. Thomas and Mr. Winger put WDOD-AM on the air.  For the first four years, WDOD ran a very limited broadcast schedule of 90 minutes a day, three nights a week.  The station later hired entertainers like George Gobel, Archie Campbell and John Totten to provide music and comedy on its “Noonday Frolic” show. 

In the 1930s, Mr. Carroll said WDOD hired its first morning disc jockey, Chuck Simpson, whose cheery chatter was a daily “must-listen” for thousands of Chattanooogans, including a young man named Luther Masingill.  “Luther” began his radio career while he was a senior at Central High School in December 1940, and still works at WDEF today. Mr. Carroll introduced him to the club as the city’s only member of the National Radio Hall of Fame, and he received a rousing ovation. Luther shared stories of working with the late Buddy Houts, who often played practical jokes on the radio host.

Mr. Carroll also saluted local media personalities including Marcia Kling, Bob Johnson, Cindy Sexton and Earl Freudenberg, as well as the late MaryEllen Locher, Mort Lloyd, John Gray and Harry Thornton.  He noted that April 25 will be the 60thanniversary of Chattanooga’s first TV station (WDEF), and described how Jim Nabors got his show business start while working at Channel 3 in the late 1950s.

Mr. Carroll’s book is available at ChattanoogaRadioTV.com.


Marine Corps Birthday And Veterans' Day Celebration Set For Nov. 8

The Marine Corps Birthday and Veterans' Day Celebration will be held on Saturday, Nov. 8, from 6-8 p.m.  It will be a celebration of all all veterans, all branches and will include BBQ sandwiches and chips.  The event will take place during the WarVet Village Camping Weekend, Nov. 7-9, at War Vet Village, 1079 Stanley Creek, Oneida, Tenn.  Registration is available ... (click for more)

Ringgold Haunted Depot Opens Again

The Ringgold Haunted Depot held its opening weekend.  The Ringgold Haunted Depot is a haunted house designed and run by Ringgold City staff and volunteers, along with a hayride, bonfire, and a ghost tour that travels through downtown.   "We've been getting a lot of great comments about the improvements we've made this year," explained City Manager Dan Wright. "Everyone ... (click for more)

Attorneys For Life Care Centers Of America Seek Direct Appeal On Key Issue In Federal Lawsuit

Attorneys for Life Care Centers of America are seeking a direct appeal to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals on a key issue in the case in which the federal government is seeking millions of dollars in reimbursements, plus treble damages, against the Cleveland, Tn.,-based firm. The attorneys want to appeal a decision by Federal Judge Sandy Mattice that would allow the testimony ... (click for more)

Couple Die In Wreck In Marion County After Vehicle Goes Off Highway In A Curve

Two people died in a wreck in Marion County late Saturday night. The victims were identified as Glenda White, 33, of Palmer, Tn., and Jeremy Braden, 28, of Gruetli Laager, Tn. Both were ejected from their vehicle. They ran off the left side of Highway 108 at a curve while going north. The vehicle went through a fence into a field, before striking a tree and then coming ... (click for more)

Frances Pope Is The Only Answer For East Ridge Mayor

The time is upon us to stand together for a change, a changing of the guard for the better.  A time to elect officials that will actually listen to all the citizens that have concerns. A time to come together to watch East Ridge grow with new development. A time to elect the people in charge of the direction the city goes. A time when community involvement is essential. ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: UT Ain’t Heard Nothing Yet!

Just moments before Florida would seal a football 10-9 victory over Tennessee in early October, the student section in Neyland Stadium stooped to a new low when it vociferously chanted, “F*** you, Florida! F*** you, Florida!” It was shocking, a loud and vulgar display of all that sportsmanship isn’t, and served as a great embarrassment to Knoxville and the university. Jimmy Cheek, ... (click for more)