WJR 100 | THE FIRST 25 YEARS ~ 1922-1947

WJR 100 | THE FIRST 25 YEARS ~ 1922-1947

760 WJR was born on May 4, 1922. The station, known back then as 580 WCX, originated its very first broadcast from the offices of The Detroit Free Press, with then Michigan Governor Alex Groesbeck offering an optimistic and hopeful message that christened “The Great Voice of The Great Lakes.”

As the medium’s potential began to be realized, the station evolved from the cramped quarters at the Free Press building, adding studios atop the Book-Cadillac Hotel. Programming expanded beyond news and information to offer the sounds of big bands, comedy, and radio drama, much of which was played out in front of live audiences.

In 1927, entrepreneurial automobile dealer George A. Richards purchased the station, and moved operations to the Fisher Building, where the station became the historic structure’s first ever tenant.

From 1927 to 1947, Richards assembled a preeminent team of talent that helped define the Golden Age of Radio, all from High Atop The Golden Tower of The Fisher Building

WJR was born on May 4, 1922. The station, known back then as 580 WCX, originated its very first broadcast from the offices of The Detroit Free Press, with then Michigan Governor Alex Groesbeck offering an optimistic and hopeful message that christened “The Great Voice of The Great Lakes.”

As the medium’s potential began to be realized, the station evolved from the cramped quarters at the Free Press building, adding studios atop the Book-Cadillac Hotel. Programming expanded beyond news and information to offer the sounds of big bands, comedy, and radio drama, much of which was played out in front of live audiences.

In 1927, entrepreneurial automobile dealer George A. Richards purchased the station, and moved operations to the Fisher Building, where the station became the historic structure’s first ever tenant.

From 1927 to 1947, Richards assembled a preeminent team of talent that helped define the Golden Age of Radio, all from High Atop The Golden Tower of The Fisher Building

PUBLICATIONS (CLICK TO FLIP THROUGH):

President and owner G. A. Richards commissioned this periodical back in 1933. The book, which was written by Olive Sherman (host of the station’s pioneering “Woman’s Hour Program,”) offered an overview of 760 WJR’s early programming and personalities.

This 1939 publication shows the quick evolution of the medium. Beyond news, theatrical dramas and live music were an anticipated mainstay for families that would gather around the radio each night. Also featured are some of the first publicized behind-the-scenes photos of the station’s operations.

PODCASTS:

The Hermit’s Cave” was a weekly drama that originated on 760 WJR from 1937 through to the mid-40s. Narrated by The Hermit, each episode started with the ubiquitous chilling preamble: “Ghost stories! Weird stories. And murders, too! The Hermit knows of them all! Turn out your lights. Turn them out, and listen while The Hermit tells you …” The program grew over the years, becoming nationally syndicated. A total of over 800 episodes were produced. Catch full episodes live on Spotify.

In 1924, the station expanded from its founding home in the Detroit Free Press building to the upscale Book-Cadillac Hotel. These posh surroundings lent to lavish productions that offered big band sounds and choral presentations carried live throughout the Midwest and beyond.

760 WJR was a pioneer in sports broadcasting. Initially, play call was handled by beat reporters who covered a variety of topics. Several 760 WJR reporters however excelled at play-by-play announcing. Broadcast icons such as Clem McCarthy, Harry Wismer, and Bob Reynolds were the first to articulate the skills of such sports legends as Charlie Gehringer, Hank Greenberg, Earl Harry “Dutch” Clark, Ernie Caddel, and Joe Louis, among others.

PHOTOS:

WJR 100 | THE FIRST 25 YEARS ~ 1922-1947

CLICK A PHOTO BELOW TO ENLARGE AND SCROLL THROUGH.

PRESENTED BY: