Wednesday, January 18, 2017

The Sacred 5 on WLBJ

1410 WLBJ-AM was the first commercial radio station in Bowling Green, Kentucky, signing-on in June, 1940. In its early days, the station's studios were located in downtown Bowling Green and would later relocate both the studios and transmitter to its final location of 689 Scott Lane, now known as Indian Ridge Subdivision, adjacent to the Indian Hills Country Club. WLBJ-AM permanently signed off the air in 1993.

The Sacred 5 were a Bowling Green, KY based singing group in the 1930s and 1940s. I identified one member because his family listed his membership in his obituary:  Rev David Carroll Akins, Sr. (He also helped to set up WEEN-AM Radio Station in Lafayette TN.) The above song book named C.E. DeWeese as a publisher... but he was also a member. The line up of the group changed over time but included: Ed White, Duncan Houchin,  Stanley Sexton on bass and Albert Hunt on piano. Auburn Roller Mills sponsored their program on WLBJ.

An early incarnation included a totally different line up: Clarence Kirby, Harold West, Ernest Marion and Mildred Walthall. It was unusual to have a mixed-gender singing group. The book Singing The Glory Down noted only four such groups in that era: The Thompson Quartet, the Crusaders, the Farris Family of Science Hill and the Sacred 5. At the time Margaret Davis was their pianist. Willard Cockrill replaced Kirby in 1938 and buy 1941 it was an all-male troupe.

As the post card above shows, they also sang on 930 WKCT-AM, also in Bowling Green, KY. They signed on October 1st, 1947 as Bowling Green's second commercial radio station. They were initially an ABC affiliate.  The Scared 5 crossed the street that first year and won a new sponsorship with National Farm Stores. They broadcast daily at 6:00 AM on weekdays and 9:00 on Sundays. In 1949 the group broke up. DeWeese took a job teaching music. Sexton joined the Kentucky Harmoneers, and White and Houchins later founded the Southern Harmony Boys.

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