Motor City Radio Flashbacks

Memories From the Soundtrack of Your Life

DETROIT ‘CHB-AM 1440: NEWSPAPER 1965 FLASHBACK

October 5th, 2017


Sunday, November 21, 1965

A DETROIT RADIO BACK-PAGE

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DETROIT FREE PRESS: WCHB-AM ‘Bill Crane: WCHB’s Brainy “Butterball” ’ 

(Above WCHB related article is courtesy freep.com newspaper archive. Copyright 2017. Newspapers.com).


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PRESS IMAGES FROM DETROIT RADIO’S PAST: ‘JLB 1967

August 18th, 2017

WJLB-AM 1400 MARTHA JEAN ‘The Queen’ 1967 (Press Photo)


WJLB-AM 1400 MARTHA JEAN ‘The Queen’ 1967 (Press Photo)


Martha Jean the Queen

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In the early 1950s, Martha Jean, would become one of but a few female broadcasters in the country working radio “on-the-air.” She landed her first DJ stint in broadcast radio when she was hired at Memphis’ WDIA in 1954.

In 1963, Bell Broadcasting in Detroit, WCHB, hired Martha Jean from Memphis’ WDIA. After three years on the radio there, she left WCHB for Detroit’s WJLB on October 24, 1966.

Fifty years ago, during the Detroit riot in July 1967, in her personal attempt to quell the widespread civil disturbance and “calm the citizenry” — Martha Jean convinced WJLB management to cancel all scheduled programming — thus allowing her to remain on the air for an unprecedented 48 consecutive hours.

The legendary soul radio personality Martha Jean, known as “The Queen,” remained a broadcasting staple for over four decades while in the Motor City. During her decades’ reign on the radio airways here she became a formidable voice for Detroit and its inner-city core. In 1982, she purchased her own radio station, thus, becoming its sole manager thereby having divested all prior control of operations for WQBH (formerly Detroit’s WMZK).

She remained there on the air until the day she passed away, January 29, 2000.


WDIA MARTHA JEAN Memphis circa 1950s.



DETROIT ‘CHB-AM 1440: NEWSPAPER 1966 FLASHBACK

August 18th, 2017


Sunday, October 23, 1966

A DETROIT RADIO BACK-PAGE

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DETROIT FREE PRESS: WCHB-AM ‘That Queen Of ‘Soul,’ Martha Jean’ 

(Above WCHB related article is courtesy freep.com newspaper archive. Copyright 2017. Newspapers.com).


A MCRFB viewing tip: On your PC? You can read the entire 1965 article! For a larger detailed view click above image 2x and open to second window. Click image anytime to return to NORMAL image size.

Click your server’s back button to return to MCRFB.COM home page.


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Missed any of our previous ‘Detroit Radio Back-Pages‘ features? GO HERE.



CAROLYN CRAWFORD: A ’64 MOTOWN STAR MEMORY

July 31st, 2017


CAROLYN CRAWFORD (age 13) won a 1963 talent contest staged by radio station WCHB in Detroit, the prize being a contract with the city’s biggest label, Motown Records. Her debut single, which she wrote,Forget About Me,” proved unsuccessful at the time (1963). But she had a minor US hit in 1964 (R&B; #39) with Smokey Robinson’sMy Smile Is Just A Frown (Turned Upside Down).” Her third release,When Someone’s Good To You,” flopped in the USA, but became a cult record among British soul fans. I’ll Come Running,” written by her as well, would be Carolyn Crawford’s last single she would record for the Detroit label. Crawford would depart from Motown Records sometime before the end of 1964. (Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin)


DETROIT FREE PRESS Wednesday, July 8, 1964. In this newspaper ad, Carolyn Crawford is denoted having been the named winner, previous year, of the WCHB Talent Contest in 1963.



DECEMBER ’67: DETROIT ‘CHB 1440 SUPER SOUL RADIO!

December 20th, 2016
WCHB-AM December 4, 1967

WCHB-AM December 4, 1967 (click on chart 2x for largest view)

WCHB-AM December 4, 1967

WCHB-AM December 4, 1967 (click on chart 2x for largest view)

WCHB-AM December 4, 1967

WCHB-AM December 4, 1967 (click on chart 2x for largest view)


Above WCHB music chart courtesy of Mrs. Patty Griggs and the George L. Griggs estate.

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PRESS IMAGE FROM DETROIT RADIO’S PAST! WCHB, ’66

October 20th, 2016
BILL WILLIAMS, WCHB 1968

WCHB BILL WILLIAMS 1966 (press photo)


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A 1966 DETROIT WCHB RADIO NEWSPAPER FLASHBACK

October 20th, 2016

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Sunday, December 11, 1966

A DETROIT RADIO BACK-PAGE

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DETROIT FREE PRESS: WCHB-AM ‘Bill Williams, In Radio By Accident’

(Above WCHB related article is courtesy freep.com newspaper archive. Copyright 2016. Newspapers.com).


A MCRFB Viewing Tip: On your PC? You can read the entire 1966 WCHB article! For a larger detailed view click above image 2x and open to second window. Click image anytime to return to NORMAL image size.

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WCHB: DETROIT SUPER ‘SOUL RADIO’ TOP 15! 10/02/67

October 19th, 2016
WCHB October 2, 1967

WCHB October 2, 1967 (click image 2x for largest view)


WCHB October 2, 1967

WCHB October 2, 1967 (click image 2x for largest view)


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PRESS IMAGE FROM DETROIT RADIO’S PAST! WCHB, ’67

October 19th, 2016
JAY BUTLER WCHB 1967 (press photo)

WCHB JAY BUTLER 1967 (Press Photo)


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THE 40 HOTTEST BILLBOARD ’65 R&B SINGLES LAST WEEK

August 3rd, 2016
BILLBOARD HOT 40 R&B SINGLES SPECIAL SURVEY: July 31, 1965

BILLBOARD HOT 40 R&B SINGLES SPECIAL SURVEY July 31, 1965 (click on chart 2x for largest view)


THE NO. 1 HOTTEST R&B SINGLE IN AMERICA ’65 * FOUR TOPS
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THE NO. 2 HOTTEST R&B SINGLE IN AMERICA ’65 * WILSON PICKETT
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THE NO. 3 HOTTEST R&B SINGLE IN AMERICA ’65 * SOLOMON BURKE
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THE NO. 4 HOTTEST R&B SINGLE IN AMERICA ’65 * BILLY STEWART
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THE NO. 5 HOTTEST R&B SINGLE IN AMERICA ’65 * BARBARA MASON
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WCHB / WJLB ‘TOP 5’ DETROIT

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The ‘Top 5’ soul records also were the most popular radio plays heard on Detroit’s two R&B stations 1440 WCHB and 1400 WJLB on the AM dial at the time, as well as other record selections off this chart, as tabulated nationally, week-ending 07/24/65.


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Motor City Radio Flashbacks

Memories From the Soundtrack of Your Life