Friday, May 11, 2012
One of those jive-talking pioneers was Maurice "Hot Rod" Hulbert. In 1949 he began his radio career at the age of 33, a late-starter who got ahead quickly. He started out at WDIA-AM, the famously all-black radio station in Memphis. It was there he began calling himself "Commander Hot Rod" and talking jive on the mic including the exclamation "Good googamooga!" which inexplicably has entered the cannon of common usage. his afternoon show was called the Sepia Swing Club. He did so well he added two morning shows as well. He outgrew WDIA in just over a year. More here.
In 1951 he became the only black announcer on WITH-AM in Baltimore. WITH was Baltimore's first independent station, and had been founded only 10 years earlier. The move was somewhat contrived. Station owner Thomas Garland Tinsley was savvy enough to make a play for the large black demographic in Baltimore. He wasn't discriminating, he also owned a Muzak franchise in the same market. The WITH morning man Buddy Deane gave Hulbert a recommendation —and he was in.More here.
Hulbert retired in 1974 at the age of 59 but continued on in sales at a few Baltimore area stations. He later managed gospel-formatted WBGR-AM from 1984 until his real retirement in 1991. He was inducted into the Black Radio Hall of Fame in 1991. He died oin1996 at the age of 80.