Happy Birthday WBT!
With H. A. Thompson, Ty Boyd, Mary June Rose, Vivica Gooding, Mark Garrison, Bo Thompson and a studio full of guests, WBT inducted three into the Hall of Fame including Charlotte's Most Beloved, John Hancock, during his own show Monday.
Rockin' Ray Gooding inducted into the WBT Hall of Fame.
Henry Boggan of "Hello Henry" inducted into the WBT Hall of Fame.
John Hancock inducted into the WBT Hall of Fame.
While celebrating this special day with us take some time to share your WBT memories using the hashtag #WBT95 on social media.
Take a walk through WBT's history with us below:
Late 1920: Station set-up begins
Fred Lazton, Earle Gluck and Fred Bunker met in an amateur radio supply store in Charlotte, and decided to pool their equipment and set up a station in the Laxton home.
December 1920: Amateur station begins broadcasting
An amateur radio station began broadcasting at the home of Fred Laxton, Senior, at the corner of Mecklenburg and Belvedere Avenues-adjoining the Charlotte Country Club. The telephone-microphone and amplifier was on the dining room tableand the transmitter was in another room. The radio receiver was in what had been a chicken house in the Laxton backyard.
1922: The new call letters were WBT
The Department of Commerce issued a license for the first commercial radio station in the Southeast, The new call letters were WBT started April 10, 1922. The station's power was 100 watts. Broadcast hours were from 10-11:45 a.m. and 7:30-9:45 p.m.
1925: "Two Black Crows"
Hal Kemp made debut over WBT. Freeman Gosden and Charlie Correll broadcast over WBT as the "Two Black Crows". They later moved to Chicago to become "Amos and Andy"
1929: CBS purchases WBT
CBS purchased WBT after C.C. Coddington's death. The sation was moved to the Wilder Building on south Tryon Street. Power increased to 25,000 watts.
1930: Grady Cole joins the staff
The 30's began the Grady Cole era. Approximately 400 radios in Mecklenburg County.
1933: The Lone Ranger Show
Charles H. Crutchfield, from Hope, Arkansas joined the staff. "The Lone Ranger Show and "The Romance of Helen Trent were popular programs on the network.
1934: The Briarhoppers
Mr. Crutchfield organized "The Briarhoppers"
1941: The Carters join WBT
The Carter Family joined WBT. They included Sara, Maybelle, and June (now June Carter Cash). The FCC made WBT a "Key Station," the communications center for about 25 other stations in case of a national emergency. This later became the Conelrad system. Andy Griffith applied for a job. Mr. Crutchfield turned him down because he wanted $75 dollars a week.
1943: Arthur Smith and his Crackerjacks joined WBT
Famous later compositions: Guitar boogie (1948) and Dueling Banjoes.
1944: WBT becomes 24-hour operation
The first station in the Southeast to become a 24-hour operation.
1945: Jefferson Standards Life Insurance Company bought WBT
Jefferson Standard Life Insurance Company bought WBT for $1,505,000. Before CBS sold WBT, they switched the frequency from 1080 kHz to the present 1110 kHz.
1954: Charles Kuralt announces for WBT
Charles Kuralt announces for WBT programs called "Men Who Made Music". Bill Ward, sports announcer, joined WBT staff.
1955: WBT and WBTV move locations
WBT and WBTV moved from the Wilder building to the present location, One Jefferson Place. The street was later renamed One Julian Price Place.
1970: Crutchfield elected to the Hall of Fame
Mr. Charles Crutchfield was elected to the North Carolina Broadcasting Hall of Fame. WBT and WBTV's Write Hanoi campaign produced 380,000 letters urging the release of POWs.
1971: WBT switches formats
WBT switched from a middle of the road format to a Top 40/Adult Contemporary format.
1972: Bob Lacey joined WBT
Bob Lacey joined WBT and began hosting a popular night-time talk show, "Lacey Listens"
1973: "Rockin Ray" began hosting
"Rockin Ray" Gooding began hosting "The Original Sunday Night Hall of Fame."
1975: "American Top 40"
Jefferson-Pilot began airborne traffic reports on WBT. Bob Lacey became WBT's newest morning man. Don Russell joined WBT.
1976: WBT wins "Billboard Magazine" award
WBT won "Billboard Magazine's Adult Contemporary Station of the Year award. Andy Bickel was named the Adult Contemporary Program Director of the Year. and Sky Show 76' received the Bicentennial Award of Excellence.
1987: WBT celebrates 65th anniversary
WBT celebrated its 65th anniversary. Among many events, a concert by "The Beach Boys" was held at Memorial Stadium and the CPCC campus was renamed in memory of Grady Cole.
1988: Don Russell and James Flynn team up to run morning show
Don Russell and James K. Flynn teamed up to host the morning show as "Russell and Flynn" WBT was the first radio station in the Carolinas to begin a nightly simulcast of WBTV's Six O'Clock Newscast.
WBT was named the flagship station of the new NBA team, The Charlotte Hornets.
1989: Hurricane Hugo
The day Hurricane Hugo struck the Carolinas. WBT engineer Bob White was at the transmitter site and narrowly escaped being crushed by the falling tower. Another WBT engineer, Ted Bryan, had to leave his car in a flash flood river of water while checking on the FM transmitter near Dallas. WBT provided listeners with information and news of businesses operating that had supplies of flashlights and batteries.
John Hancock joins WBT.
1993: WBT wins first place from AP
WBT Sports won first place from the Associated Press in the Sports Programming category for the second year in a row for the 1992 NBA Draft Show. Midday talk host John Hancock led the drive to raise money for sponsorship of a Habitat for Humanity house in north Charlotte. WBT employees helped build the house along with some other corporate sponsors. Jason Lewis hosted, for a short time, a late-night talkshow.
1994: Carolina Panthers
WBT is named the flagship station of the Carolina Panthers. WBT's history was featured in a new North Carolina magazine called "Southern Cultures", a combined effort of Duke University and UNC.
January 1, 2000:
WBT broadcasted live from uptown Charlotte bringing in the new millennium.
2001: 9/11 attacks
WBT helped the nation more and stay informed in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks.
2003: War in Iraq
WBT informed listeners of the war in Iraq.
2004: Panthers first Super Bowl run
WBT covered the Panthers first Super Bowl run.
2007: Charlotte mourns the deaths of Officer Shelton and Officer Clarke
WBT mourned with the city of Charlotte while covering the news of the deaths of Officer Shelton and Officer Clarke. WBT provided coverage in the days that followed this devastating event and opened its phone lines to Charlotte.
2012: WBT Celebrates 90 years of broadcasting
Video created in 2012 celebrated 90 years at WBT.
Take a look at 90 years of WBT. WBT was started in a chicken coop behind the Charlotte Country Club in 1922. It has claimed the 2nd oldest radio station in the country and the 1st commercial radio station to sign on in the southeast.
2016: Charlotte Riots
WBT covered the police shooting of Keith Lamont Scott and the two days and nights of protests, riots and unrest.
2016: Entercom Communications buys WBT
2017: WBT celebrates 95th milestone
We're celebrating 95 years of news, information, entertainment and service to Charlotte and the surrounding communities. We are WBT News 1110.
Share your memories of WBT through the years using the hashtag #WBT95 and some of your memories may be read aloud on-air.