Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Clean up in aisle 4!

The holidays are still rolling, but the high tide of cookies appears to have crested. I've been doing more research on the sometimes humble beginnings of radio staitons. The one in Beaufort, NC was amusing at the very least. It began as a grocery store then became a restaurant and now of courseit's a radio staiton.

The original Clawson's grocery store was owned by Charles and Mary Clawson who were immigrants from Sweden and Ireland, respectively. It's first location was on the south side of Front St. in Beaufort.

This was the "wet side" of town where all the retails shops were set up to customers that arrived by boat from Harker’s Island to the east. The building in question is thought to be the oldest building in Beaufort built completely of brick. The Clawsons family used the original store from 1905 until it's destruction in 1910 by a hurricane. On the same site, possibly using some salvage from the original structure it was rebuilt. In this building, Mr. Clawson sold canned goods, fresh produce from local farmers and fresh baked goods from "The Bakery" which dates back to at least to 1870.

It was bought and renovated into a restaurant in 1977 by Candy and Bill Rogers. The Rogers chose to use the namesake of it's original owners as the restaurant name. They operated the Clawson restaurant for 7 years and the Hill family operated it thereafter. Notice how this isn't about radio yet.

In 1985 Fred and Joyce McCune purchased 1400 WBMA-AM a country music radio station. They moved it into the then vacant old brick structure. Following that they built rock station Z-103 . Today it's known as WMGV 103 radio.

In the 60's they broadcast from high atop Dom-el's with Cary John Kirk "C.J. the D.J." doing his Nighttrain Show from a booth on the roof of the drive-in.

WBMA-AM like many calls actually is an acronym. Supposedly WBMA stands for: Welcome Beaufort Morehead Area. The calls were deleted sometimes before 1989. the calls have a second life today as WBMA-LP a television station in central Alabama.