Saturday, June 19, 2010

Swingin Soul Medallion Commercial from John R WLAC

John Richbourg was one of the legendary AM jocks that brought black music to every part of the eastern U.S. over the mighty 1510 WLAC. Along with Gene Nobles, Herman Grizzard, and Hoss Allen, they broke black artists onto the sales charts. Here's a live commercial done by John R himself. Listen to it here.

John left WLAC in 1973, about four years before I worked there. He battled cancer, and in 1985 a benefit was held for him at the Grand Ole Opry house.

There were over 30 acts, and each gave John credit for their careers. I had a program, but it's gone now. The acts I remember appearing were the Isley Brothers, James Brown, the Neville Brothers, Rufus and Carla Thomas, B.B. King, the Coasters, and Charlie Daniels. There were so many acts they had an intermission at 9pm, and the music continued til 1:30am, ending with a giant jam session that featured B.B. King and Charlie Daniels dueling guitars.

John was on the left of the stage from the audience view in a wheelchair. He was too weak to talk, but waved to everyone. He died the next year.

You can get more of the feel of those WLAC days by reading the story here.