WPLO 590 ATLANTA

(A Broadcast Service of Plough, Incorporated)
--window sign, WPLO studios on Peachtree Street in Midtown Atlanta, 1962
-courtesy of Paul Allen
I had a steady diet of WPLO during my Emory-at-Oxford days, school years 1962 thru 1964--it was the only "local" top-40 we could pull in at night, and it also gave us the best signal during the day.  The transmitter and tower was located on North Druid Hills Road near I-85 in DeKalb County, some 40 or so miles as the crow flies from Oxford. 
Plough is often credited with being an early developer of the top-40 format, right along with the Bartells (WAKE), Gordon McLendon (KLIF, KILT), and Todd Storz (WTIX, WQAM).  Atlanta was fortunate, indeed, to have both a Plough and a Bartell station.  And I was fortunate to be able to experience them!

Plough took over the 590 frequency in the second half of 1959; 5kw of power. Prior to that, the spot had been occupied by WAGA, a Storer station.  An FM was included in the deal--WPLO-fm simulcast with 590 during the early 60's at 103.3 but has a separate later history all its own.

Other Plough stations included WMPS (Memphis--flagship station), WCOP (Boston), WJJD (Chicago), and WCAO (Baltimore).  WPLO "went country" in 1966, WCOP even sooner.  WMPS remained a strong top-40 into the late 70's or early 80's.  Plough had a penchant for the country format, so whether they changed the programming of their stations in response to competition or because of hopes of higher profits remains to be seen--probably a combination of these factors. 

WPLO's tenure of greatness lasted only a short time:  1962 thru 1963 were the golden years.  My own opinion is that WPLO could have stood firm against WQXI if Plough had kept its heart in top-40 programming in Atlanta.  After all, that's what they did do in Memphis--competing neck in neck with WHBQ for many years.  So, it's a mystery to me why the format was changed so soon in Atlanta.  Perhaps they just didn't quite know what to make of the British Invasion--or how to stand against the competition in the Atlanta market.  But while it lasted, the station was , to the ear, professional in every way----GREAT talent, great jingles, slickness.  And it seemed to fill a gap in the market by targeting a slightly older audience, say from 18 to "housewife". 
The original management team, as published in the 1960 edition of Broadcasting Yearbook, is as follows:  Harold R. Krelstein, president; Herbert Golombeck, vice-president and general manager; Walter E. Moore, commercial manager; Jim Stevenson, program manager; Jim King, news director; James Ellzey, chief engineer; Gene Blaine, program director.  (Gene Blaine defected from WAKE but later returned there).

--WPLO music survey, November 1965
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stay tuned for more WPLO in Fall 2002...in the meantime, please enjoy some WPLO jingles!
WPLO JINGLES

REMEMBERING ATLANTA RADIO

WAKE

WQXI

WFOM

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--created 30 October 2000
SF
--modified 21 April 2002