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Wed, April 23, 2014

The Golden Age of Birmingham Broadcasting


Vulcan Park's "Birmingham Revealed" Series


February 17, 2011

Today's kids will have no memory of it, but for at least three generations of Birmingham-area residents Bozo, Sgt. Jack, and Cousin Cliff were ubiquitous. These hosts of three afternoon kids' shows, who broadcast live from local television stations atop Red Mountain, were so familiar they were like family members. Some locals may remember cruising into the parking lots of burger joints in the 1950s to see radio DJs spinning new Elvis and Buddy Holly 45s, live. In the 1970s kids gathered around broadcast trucks at the Alabama State Fair for a chance to win prizes from competing DJs Coyote J. Calhoun, and Superfox. Early risers took in Country Boy Eddy's local TV hoedown, and anyone who watched the news in the 1960s and '70s knows Birmingham's most famous "weather girls," Rosemary Lucas and Pat Gray. (Everyone is still trying to forget Tommy Charles and Doug Layton burning Beatles records in 1966.)

Radio personality Duke Rumore spins songs from the 1956 movie <i>The Girl Can’t Help It </i>from the lobby of the Alabama Theatre. (Photo: Birmingham, Ala. Public Library Archives)
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(click for larger version)
That history is the subject at hand when Vulcan Park continues Birmingham Revealed, a series of educational performances, lectures, and multimedia presentations that offer insight into local events and prominent players in the city's past. On March 3, journalist and WBHM radio personality Greg Bass will moderate "The Golden Age of Birmingham Broadcasting." Archival footage and a panel discussion with former radio and television figures will cover the highlights of Birmingham broadcasting during the 1960s and '70s.

Cash bar open at 5:30 p.m., program starts at 6 p.m. Tickets: $10 advance online; $15 at the door; $8 Vulcan members. Includes program, light refreshments, and admission to Vulcan Center Museum and Observation Balcony. Details: 1701 Valley View Drive; 933-1409, www.visitvulcan.com.

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