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Making Waves: Louisiana's Radio Story (2005)



Genre: Documentary

Place Covered: Louisiana

Copyright Holder: Louisiana Educational Television Authority

Date Issued: 2005-08-8

Duration: 00:54:53

Subjects: NEWS | Long, Huey Pierce, 1893-1935 | Louisiana hayride (Radio program) | Presley, Elvis, 1935-1977 | Radio | History | Music


  • Larroquette, John Narrator
  • Laudun, Tika Producer
  • Gautreaux, Kevin Producer
  • LaBauve, Randy Producer
  • Kent, Joey Interviewee
  • Fontenot, Kevin Interviewee
  • Fitzmorris, Jimmy Interviewee
  • Matassa, Cosimo Interviewee
  • Sims, Ralph Interviewee
  • Jones, George Interviewee
  • Walker, Bob Interviewee
  • O'Dair, Margie Interviewee
  • Page, Frank Interviewee
  • Neville, Art Interviewee
  • Stephens, Tex Interviewee
  • Logan, Don Interviewee
  • McGill, Maury Interviewee
  • Spitzer, Nick Interviewee
  • Davis, Claude "B.B." Interviewee
  • McKinley, Larry Interviewee
  • Bernard, Rod Interviewee
  • DeRouen, Karl Interviewee
  • Ancelet, Barry Jean Interviewee
  • French, Bob Interviewee
  • Marx, Paul Interviewee
  • Thibodeaux, Goldman Interviewee
  • McKinnis, Robert Interviewee
  • Dyson, Ado Interviewee


This documentary from August 8, 2005, focuses on the history of radio in Louisiana. It covers: radio pioneer W. K. Henderson, the owner of KWKH in Shreveport; Henderson granting Huey P. Long unlimited air time; WWL in New Orleans broadcasting the first public radio program in the Gulf South, a piano recital; “The Dawn Busters,” a variety show on WWL; the impact of World War II on radio; the “Louisiana Hayride” on KWKH; Vernon Winslow, aka “Dr. Daddy-O,” the first black radio DJ in New Orleans; Elvis Presley’s performances on the “Louisiana Hayride”; WWL’s broadcast of Leon Kellner and his Orchestra’s Big Band performances from the Blue Room of the Roosevelt Hotel in New Orleans; Larry McKinley of WMRY reporting on the Civil Rights Movement; the broadcast of local music styles, including Cajun music, Zydeco, and Swamp Pop; KEUN’s weekly broadcast of Cajun music performances from Fred’s Lounge in Mamou; black gospel radio; WTIX in New Orleans playing local hits; KRVS in Lafayette’s live weekly broadcast of the “Rendez-Vous Des Cajuns” show at the Liberty Theater in Eunice; the Payola scandal; WWOM, the underground radio station in New Orleans in the 1960s; the homogenization of radio; the radio stations that continue to play local music, including WWOZ in New Orleans and KBON in Eunice; the Zion Travelers Spiritual Singers’ weekly radio show on WIBR in Baton Rouge; and Nick Spitzer’s show “American Routes” on WWNO in New Orleans. This documentary includes interviews with: Joey Kent, KWKH historian; Kevin Fontenot, history instructor at Tulane University; former Lieutenant Governor Jimmy Fitzmorris; Cosimo Matassa, recording engineer; Ralph Sims, former WJBO reporter; George Jones, Louisiana resident; Bob Walker, New Orleans radio historian; Margie O’Dair of “The Dawn Busters”; Frank Page, former “Louisiana Hayride” announcer; Art Neville, recording artist; Tex Stephens, former WJBW – WMRY DJ; Don Logan, former KEEL DJ; Maury McGill, former Blue Room announcer; Nick Spitzer, host of WWNO’s “American Routes”; Claude “B.B.” Davis, former KOKA DJ; Larry McKinley, former WMRY – WYLD DJ; Rod Bernard, recording artist; Karl DeRouen, KEUN station manager; Barry Jean Ancelet, professor at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette; Bob French, WWOZ Jazz DJ; Paul Marx, KBON station manager; Goldman Thibodeaux, recording artist; and Robert McKinnis and Ado Dyson of the Zion Travelers Spiritual Singers. Narrator: John Larroquette