As part of the celebration of Black History Month, NCSU Libraries and the Africana Studies department are co-hosting a program commemorating the history of the Civil Rights-era Raleigh radio station, AM 570 WLLE (also known as “WiLLiE”), in the Hunt Library Auditorium. The event is at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 12.
Following its purchase in 1966, the station became a principal black media source and the second-most popular AM channel in the city. It was known for playing the best of R&B music, informing listeners with the latest news coverage, and featuring lively banter from disc jockeys like Ray “Dr. Jocko” Henderson and Sweet Bob Rogers. The station’s local focus made it popular throughout the Triangle into the late 1990s.
The program, which is free and open to the public, will focus on a panel discussion including Cash Michaels, former program director, producer, and host, and Sheila Smith McKoy, associate professor of English at NC State and director of the Africana Studies program. This “walk through memory lane” hopes to convey the significance of the station’s accomplishments as a voice for the African-American community and its legacy as part of Raleigh’s culture.
— Jenna Calderone