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Arts

Jack Cooper & Al Beson and WDIA, The Goodwill Station

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Broadcast June 13, 2021, at 4:00 p.m.

Part 2, from the series: "Black Radio Telling It Like It Was".

Jack Cooper's popular program in Chicago debuted in 1929; he helped pioneer the DJ format and was the first to air news and sports coverage for Black audiences. Al Benson came to Chicago from Mississippi in the '30s, and gave voice to the culture of the street. In the second part of the hour, we head to Memphis, Tennessee, where WDIA's earliest announcers included B.B. King. WDIA was the first station to have all-Black on-air talent.

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