Friday, October 17, 2008

Grace Memorial Hour

Here is a program on the verge of falling into total obscurity. The Grace Memorial Hour was hosted by Dr. Joseph Brown. He is was the pastor and host of the Grace Memorial Hour, in Baltimore, Maryland. Today if you attempt to Google any of those key words you will find bupkis. Just a reference to an internet radio station from 2006.

Here's the full extent of what I know: The program celebrated it's 55th anniversary in January of 2004. In 1975 The Manager of the Program was Stephen Allen Brown. Then as part of the Christian Life LP Series some programs were recorded.

That's right, recorded. I have one LP with an ID number of "RI3433". It came with a post card. The minimalist packaging may indicate this was meant for broadcast, or maybe not. The LP is microgroove, vinyl, so it's clearly post 1950. They abbreviate FM as "f.m." intimating it was perhaps new to them so I'd guess late 1960s or early 1970s.

Using the stations that carry the program we can further narrow thsi down. KDRY-AM first went on air 1963. So that's the bottom end. 1490kc KPAS-AM in Banning California was dark in 1963 due to the death of it's owner but returned and maintained those calls until they were deleted in 1973. History is somewhat compliced by the prior use of the KPAS callsign on 1110 in Los Angles around 1942.

I have no other indications of date. The address given is a P.O. Box currently used by The Manna Bible Baptist Church. Some of the stations listed as carrying the program still exist, others do not. The Book "The WPA History of the Negro in Pittsburgh" makes multiple references to a Grace Memorial Church. There is a Pittsburg station on that list but the link is tenuous.

The recording lacks any references to time, date, station, staff... it dosen't even have an introduction. I only include a sample for reference.