1. legendary radio station broadcasting from the then lazy hamlet of Atlanta (in Georgia, southern part of U.S.) during the mid-1950's up to 1965. 2. A website about radio and social culture in Dixie, primarily 1940's through 1970's.
1. WAKE studios were located in the basement of The Georgian Terrace Hotel at the corner of Peachtree Street and Ponce de Leon Avenue, N.E. in Atlanta, Georgia. Its frequency was 1340. Power output was a mere 250 watts (later boosted to 1kw during daytime), but whatever WAKE lacked in that department was more than compensated for in its programming: music, jingles, news presentations, production elements, and personality were always put together in a way which created a great listening experience--never dull, never disappointing. And WAKE was always blessed with exceptional on-air talent--many "greats" sat behind that mic at one time or another and delivered true personality radio. WAKE was "The Atlanta Leader", and its original owners, the Bartell family, are widely recognized among radio historians as true innovators in the new top-40 format of the '50's.
Though this website is not solely about WAKE, it seemed very appropriate for me to honor its namesake in this endeavor. I feel fortunate to have been in Atlanta during those days and to have experienced this great station with my own ears. There was a shout-style "liner" used frequently between music and elements which resounded:
"WAKEATLANTAWAKEATLANTAWAKEATLANTAWAKEATLANTA". And there you have it!
2. Wakeatlanta is dedicated to the memory of great radio of a bygone time--and to those who built and nurtured it--particularly in the Southern United States, an area we affectionately will always call "Dixie". Included are tributes to some of the stations I grew up with--top 40, underground/progressive/early album-oriented rock, and full-service/"heritage".
Radio didn't just happen in a vacuum......
In addition to the station tributes, I've included cultural remembrances of places I've lived in or visited often during the past 50-plus years and an autobiography of sorts.
There's also a section of more topics, commentaries, and perspectives. Each of the sections is designed to stand alone. That is, one can access and read the station tributes without accessing and reading the autobiography or other topics, and so on. Taken as a whole, however, I see the site as an integrated "oleo of vintage culture".
I endeavor to capture a feel for time and place in these pages. Hopefully, at least some of that will be successful.
Especially, readers who did not live those times should be mindful of L.P. Hartley's famous quote:
"The past is a foreign country--they do things differently there."
They just do. Culture didn't just happen in a vacuum, either.
In meeting and corresponding with countless individuals in the past few years, I have, of course, heard many "insider" stories, especially in the arena of radio. Some of these stories are fairly well-known, others not. However, it isn't my intention to delve deeply into "office politics", personality conflicts, and the more personal aspects of any individual's life within these pages. Most times, such details cannot serve any real purpose to the overall story. That having been said, you still will find here quite a bit of editorializing (by me and others) on any number of subjects, and that is on purpose. But I've endeavored to make fairly obvious the difference between the objective and the subjective throughout.
I am grateful to the numerous and very generous contributors who share their own memories, reflections, opinions, and mementos for inclusion at Wakeatlanta. This is their story, too. If you have something to share, please contact me. All appropriate contributions and comments are welcomed and will be acknowledged herein if used. Upon request, anonymity will be respected.
Wakeatlanta is still in the early stages of construction more than three years after its inception. 2003, however, promises many, many much-needed new additions and modifications. This site will never truly be complete--hopefully, there will always be new things to share.
WAKE microphone photo
page created 11 March 2000
modified 19 March 2000
25 March 2000
25 April 2000
03 July 2000
23 July 2000
28 August 2000
12 July 2002
21 December 2002
07 March 2003
03 April 2003