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The History of Black Radio in Milwaukee With Dr. O.C. White And Jim Frazier, WAWA 1590 | February 10, 1987

Here is one of the most interesting airchecks I’ve heard in a long time. Dr. O.C. White and Jim Frazier talk about the history of Black radio from the days of 1590 WAWA about a year before the station went dark. The old jocks… where are they now and what stations were they heard? How did Black radio start? These questions are answered on this one hour recording.

it’s a MUST LISTEN for anyone who wishes to know about Milwaukee area Black radio!

* Information corrected as of 6/22/09

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63 Comments


  1. “For the sound that’s right, it’s Dr. O.C. White; at this time of day on WAWA; West Allis.”

    “Early in the morning, late at night, what’s his name? O.C. White”

    “WAWA, West Allis, Wisconsin, with studios and transmitter in Elm Grove, now leaves the air to return tomorrow morning at 6:00AM with yours truly O.C. White. WAWA is owned and operated by Suburbanaire, Incorporated and operates on a frequency of 1590 kilocycles with a power of 1000 watts as authorized by the Federal Communications Commission. Portions of our programming have been mechanically reproduced. This is O.C. White wishing you Good Night for the entire staff of WAWA.”

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  2. Great stuff. I remember O.C. White growing up in Milwaukee. He was something.

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  3. I worked with Jim Frazier at WNOV in Milwaukee from 74-75. Was glad to hear Jim and O>C> on this segment…very informative. Hey Jim e-mail when you get a chance.

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  4. I remember the both of them. I started radio at WAWA and WNOV. I was OC White’s DJ at the Eagles Club. It was the after party for the Bud Superfest. I cut my first spot with Jim Frazier at WNOV. It was a :30 sec commercial and I read it at 30 1/2 sec and made me read it all over again. “Jerry it’s still too long” lol…. Damn the was good radio!

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    • hey, Jerry this is Fro, Eric’s sister. Email me or either call me. I have been looking for you.

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    • what ever happened to Doc Jones and Steve Hegwood. I thought they were the same person???

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    • I’ve been lookin for a classic Jerry B mix since that cameo mix – “Just Be Yourself” and the Time Mix “777-9311” All classics from the early to mid 80’s. SuperSoul 16….. Remix mix mix mix mix.

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  5. I grew up in Milwaukee and remember OC White & Jim Fraizer they were the reason I have been working in radio for the past 40 years with out them I would not b in radio GOD bless these great pros they don’t make ’em like this anymore

    C.Erwin Daniels
    KSYB am Shreveport

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  6. THAT’S BOB COLLINS ON THE SPOTS IN THIS BROADCASTING!

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    • I am John Williams former WAWA WLUM Sales Rep and I wrote that commercial for Dr. Fusi and many commercials while there before I went to work for CBS Records.

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      • Fond memories of the Starting of Wawa-am and the eventual acquisition of a full-time better fidelity FM station at 102.1! Oc was clearly a legend with the hiring of the personality plus Jock in Dr. Bop and a young Broadcaster who later blew up Detroit who I interned under when Larry left to go to WWCA in
        Gary Indiana who rep[laced the legendary Ragman! Larry Handled ther Business, but he was not as popular as Jim, however my mentor was Effective; Especially when it came down to cutting commercials! there was actually a period that the big businesses wanted His Voice! Needless to say, Larry is the reason I eventually became a full time Announcer in the Fortwayne Southbend and coming back hometown Gary Indiana!

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  7. Jim frazier did a recording called “Biscuit”. It was done to the music of Cannonball Adderly’s “Country Preacher”. Where can I get a copy of this recording. It done in the late 60s or early 70s.

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  8. Trying to find the original hymn the wonderful Dr. Bop closed his show with every noc, what an inspiration he was to me. Thanks

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  9. Can’t believe that was so long ago!

    Shouts out to Mr. C, James Edwards, Johhny and Jerry B!

    Worked with all of you at various outlets at various times. No longer in the biz..disabled by lupus and fibromyalgia. Last gig in Chicago.

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  10. “we meet again” was the closing song at the end of the dr bop radio show on wawa 1590 milwaukee in the 60’s and 70’s

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    • I believe the closing song on the Dr. Bop show was “Down the Aisle” by Patti Labelle and the Bluebells. I grew up listening to WAWA and late at night we could get a radio station out of Nashville that played all the Memphis sounds and other great R&B singers.

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      • WLAC/Nashville, TN “Way down South in Dixie With “Hoss” Allen! Bought to you by RANDY’S RECORD MART!

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    • …i thought dr bops closing song in the late 60’s early 70’s was ‘open our eyes’ a gospel song by the cleffs

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      • Dr Bop’s closing song was Father, Open our Eyes…..I worked for WNOV at that time as secretary….I had the pleasure of knowing all the DJ’S that jumped started WNOV, from WVON- Chicago. I had the pleasure of working with Jim Fraizer, Bill Taylor,Cecil Hell, then owned by Leonard Chess, of Chess Records, and all the others that worked for WNOV……I had the pleasure of meeting Dr. Bopp…I also attended his funeral….

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  11. HERE’S A LINK TO MY ON LINE RADIO STATION A LISTEN!
    http://streamingpulse.tv/sc10/tunein.php/jamsmith/playlist.pls

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  12. I remember visiting WAWA in the early 1970’s. A friend and I used to hang out by the nearby Menomonie River in Elm Grove (Grave?)

    We met both Mr. White and Dr. Bop. We even were allowed to record a promo “Swing on Milwaukee with Dr. Bop!”

    The early 70’s in Milwaukee were a great time for music and radio.

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  13. Vallery Young
    I worked with Jim at WNOV 1980, 1981. He was my guy who taught me alot. He was very encouraging when I wanted to do news but Jerel Jones wanted to keep me in sales but every chance I got, I was up in that DJ booth & we did ads together or live broadcast. really loved him, good friend. I grew up listening to Dr Bop & OC White. WAWA was the only black radio station on the air at that time. Late at night, you could get wolfman jack but to this day, my music taste were shaped by Milwaukee;s early black radio & those fantastic DJ’s.
    [email protected]

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  14. I’ve been looking fir copy of Jim frazier’s biscuit where can I find it?!!! Searching for years.

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  15. Well alreeeta !!! Here’s another stack of shellac for your record machine !!! Wow, this brings back SOOOO many memories.

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  16. I’m 50 now and remember wawa as a kid. I remember at 14 when dr. bop died people had their headlights on. This is b4 white kids were wiggers for listening to black radio. The black music of the day was great no ganster rap BS. al green. EW& Fire, ohio players, ect. And OC White had a 9 year old son in about ’93 or so my kid used to play with on 50th and burleigh. Small world. I thank the music of wawa that shaped my music knowledge, and somehow led me to Hendrix, floyd, Zeppelin.
    Oh and dr. bop was a stone cold lover and X golden glover. Too cool!

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  17. I was known as Larry O’Jay when O.C. hired me @ WAWA in the 80’s. He was a father to me figure and taught me so much about Radio and Life. I served as a pallbearer at Bop’s funeral and O.C. made me WAWA’S Music Director and Afternoon Drive host,later promoting me to Program Director when I was 21 years old, making me the youngest PD in the country at that time. What a privelege and pleasure to have worked w/TWO Radio Legends/Icons at the same time! RIP O.C.and Bop! Much Love and Respect.

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  18. Its been a ball but the clock on the wall says its time to go now. My mom has been singing that song to my siblings and myself since we were small kids. She says Dr. Bop used to close his show with some song that included that so i’m looking for that song. If anyone knows what song that is or how i can get a copy of it, i’d be appreciative. Thank you in advance!

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    • The song Dr. Bop closed with was Hello, Bye Bye, We’ll meet again! by Frankie Brunson. Hope that helps..

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  20. Dr. Bop would always say, “I am so bright, that mamma calls me sunny” …. and “I should have been twins, no one man should be so smart”. They spun records from a homemade studio (a converted motel room) on bluemound road near the R/R tracks. It was where the cities of elm grove, brookfield, and west allis meet, but technically located in elm grove. I remember visiting one day and noticed he kept 45 RPM records in the bath tub. Good radio!

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  21. I worked at WNOV twice from late ’79 – ’80 and ’82 – ’83. Usta sneak under the fence at Summerfest ’75 and ’76 and watch Jim Frazier and Ernie G spin live on the air. ’77 and ’78 I’d sneak into the Galaxy Disco downtown Milwaukee and check out Larry O’Jay from WAWA. I first spun records and Emceed at The Fonderosa Lounge on 21st & Meinecke. I then got a gig at Topps Circus Room below The Wisconsin Hotel downtown. When WNOV did a live remote broadcast there I hooked up with PD German Womack. And the rest as they say, is history…

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  22. If it wasnt for the great LARRY O JAY-Worthy, I wouldnt have been a jock in this business!! Its a real treat to be exposed to this business and despite the hard knocks and the trials and tribulations, Its a real blast to be exposed and be an enertainer in the Ft wayne, southbend and Lake county markets!!

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  23. I would like a copy of “biscuit” as well. Dr. Bop show will always be one of my fond memories. Also, if anyone knows the artist for the song “we’ll meet again” please respond with the name. I’ve been searching for this song a very long time.
    PB

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    • the name of the song that Dr. Bop would close with was Hello, Bye Bye, we’ll meet again. the artist was Frankie Brunson. hope this helps!

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  24. This is a great thread!

    I have posted a recording of “Biscuit” on YouTube today.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vglosFAzzHU

    I fondly remember listening to Jim Frazier on 1290 WMVP doing mornings in the late 1980s when I moved to Milwaukee for college.

    More Milwaukee airchecks from the 80s/early 90s are available on my page: http://www.mostlyuppermidwestairchecks.com/milwaukee-wi-airchecks.html

    Wish I had some WAWA and WNOV ones from the 1960s – mid-80s.

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  25. Thank you so much for this information. Yesterday our last black radio station WMCS was taken off the air 3/26/13 at 10:00am. I was longing to hear the the old DJ that past on from my childhood and the old station WAWA 1590 and I found this info. Thank you again on this day in black history mouth of feb. for great information.

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  26. WAWA is what made me want to be in radio! My sister briefly did a PSA program called, “Just Girls” produced by Walter G. Beach and I had a chance to visit and see Dr. Bop AND King James in action, on-air. I was just 12 years old and it was THEN that I wanted to be in radio. I recall listening to Larry O’Jay in Milw as well. I’m originally from Detroit and heard Al “the Percolator” Perkins in the morning on WJLB. ENJOYED listening to this entire segment.

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    • Vince! Larry “O’Jay” here! YOU are from Detroit, huh? I worked there as well…being rated #1 in Afternoon Drive for 3 1/2 yrs (a still standing Arbitron Ratings Record!) as Larry “Doc” Elliott. When Hoyt Locke aka “Dr. Bop” passed, I was honored to serve as an Official Pallbearer at his homegoing services. My Mentor, Dr. O.C. White (RIP) then made me MD/PD of WAWA making me the youngest Program Director of any Black/Urban station in the Country! Walter G.Beech was our News Director, KJ The DJ (King James) did 12N-3p followed by my 3p-7p PM Drive slot w/Phil Anderson preceeding Walter from 7p-11p. Of course O.C. handled Mornings 6a-10a, followed by Phil Klingler 10a-12N. I then left Beer City for WAOK and V-103/Atlanta.

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  27. Webmaster! I forgot to check the “Notify Me” button(s) on my previous reply!

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  28. I received the sad news today that Larry “o”‘Jay is currently in Hospice care.

    Larry is a true gentleman and a consummate professional. I first met Larry when he was at WAWA in Milwaukee. The station signed off as an AM at sundown and switched to FM for the evening. The studio was set back off of Blue Mound Rd. in Elm Grove, WI. Dr. Bop gave me directions on how to get there one day. He said drive west on Blue Mound Rd.look for the station tower and drive toward it. When you see The Left Guard Steak House, turn right just past it and go down the road, you’ll go over a bridge, just wide enough for one car to cross at a time, then you’ll see the building. Those were great times to be a record promoter. There was friendship and camaraderie among radio and record people. We thought those days would never end.

    Kirkland Burke aka “Dr.” Burke
    ———————————————————————————————————

    http://www.gofundme.com/47x2hvag

    Message from Doc Elliott’s daughter

    Unfortunately as many of you may know Larry “Doc” Elliott also known as Larry O’Jay to his listeners, but simply as “Dad” to me has endured some severe medical complications this past year and has been under hospice care for the past few months. My father’s voice has been morning alarms, pm drive guides, and mellowing moods for the past 40 years. His bubbly spirit and loving personality has touched many from as far west as San Fransisco, California (KBLX) to as far east as Washington, DC (WHUR) and many cities in between…Milwaukee, WI (WAWA), Detroit, MI (WJZZ) (WJLB), Atlanta, GA (WVEE). To assist the family in planning memorial services, final resting arrangements, and to alleviate some of the medical financial responsibilities this fund has been created. If anyone may have any questions or concerns please feel free to contact me. Thanks in advance. Each and every contribution would be greatly appreciated.

    Shelarri

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  29. would love to hear some tapes of Melvie Soul..put some on here..

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  30. I now own the Gates BC1T that was originally on 1590 AM WAWA. It is being restored and will be put back on the air on the Amateur 80 meter band.

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  31. God I been listening to this recording every night… Hearing my Grand Dad just takes me to good place… Rip Dad ❤mandy

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  32. I was so moved by hearing my fathers voice Bob Collins in the commercial spots.

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    • Hello Amanda, I wrote that commercial for your Father. He does have a very distinctive voice. And these were the great days of radio and community involvement.

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      • Hello John, Yes , he does. My mother still tells me stories about the great days of radio.

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