From the earliest known recorded Chattanooga radio show to modern-day TV news bloopers, David Carroll is accumulating a massive collection of local broadcasting history, and is putting it online for everyone to see.
Mr. Carroll’s website (www.ChattanoogaRadioTV.com), established in early 2013, features more than 100 articles in its archives, many of which are tributes to local broadcasters, radio and TV stations. In addition, his YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/user/chattanoogaradiotv) now includes more than 150 video and audio clips from Chattanooga’s broadcast history, which dates back to 1925.
“I grew up with local TV and radio,” Mr. Carroll said. “Over the years, I’ve collected all sorts of memorabilia, and until the Internet came along, most of it has been in storage. I got on Facebook five years ago, posting about 600 local radio/TV pictures in my photo albums. The response was great, and that led to my book, ‘Chattanooga Radio and Television.’ It seemed to stir up interest in local broadcast history, and now these websites have given me a chance to share audio and video too.”
Mr. Carroll, a TV news anchor and former radio announcer, says he frequently adds photos and stories to his website, and is always on the lookout for more audio and video for his YouTube channel. “A few months ago, I produced tributes to classic local radio stations, like WFLI, WGOW and KZ-106, and I’ve just added one for WMOC.”
He has also written about local media icons, past and present, like Luther Masingill, Marcia Kling, Don Welch, Bob Johnson and MaryEllen Locher. “Last month marked the 40th anniversary of the death of Mort Lloyd, and the 10th anniversary of the death of David Earl Hughes, so I posted tributes to them, featuring their great voices. Both died far too young, in their 40s, and they had so many fans in the Tennessee Valley and beyond. They played a big role in local broadcasting, and they shouldn’t be forgotten.”
Since establishing the websites, he has received a steady flow of photos, audio and video tapes from fans of Chattanooga broadcast history. “Some are locals who have lived here all their lives, others are broadcasters or their family members, and still others are folks who have moved away, but kept items that are still of interest to us today,” he said. “I’ve managed to salvage some photos and tapes that almost got thrown away, and I’m hoping that if anyone has items from Chattanooga’s broadcasting past, they’ll allow me to share it with everyone,” he said.
Mr. Carroll hasn’t ruled out a second book, but says “Chattanooga Radio and Television” is still selling, and he continues to do programs about it to clubs and church groups. He is hopeful of adding to his local radio/TV collection. “If you have photos or tapes you don’t want to part with, I’d be happy to copy them, and return them to you,” he said. “There’s so much interest in local broadcasting. When I speak to groups about my book, everyone has questions about Bob Brandy, Luther, Miss Marcia, Harry Thornton and the others,” he said. “These are the people we grew up with, and folks seem to enjoy reliving some great memories from their youth.”
Mr. Carroll can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.