WSB, the South’s first radio station, went on the air on March 15, 1922. Its call letters later provided for the popular slogan “Welcome South, Brother.”
WSB, the South’s first radio station, went on the air on March 15, 1922. Its call letters later provided for the popular slogan “Welcome South, Brother.” Originally owned by the Atlanta Journal, WSB initially broadcast from the Journal’s building on Forsyth Street. In 1925, the station moved to the top floor of the Biltmore Hotel, where it remained for thirty years.
With the slogan, “Voice of the South,” early broadcasts included music, church services, and educational programs. Many celebrities made their first radio broadcasts over WSB microphones, including Rudolph Valentino, who appeared in 1923. WSB became affiliated with the National Broadcasting Company (NBC) in 1927. In 1939, Ohio Governor James M. Cox bought WSB and it remains part of Cox Broadcasting Company. WSB also established a television station in 1948 and in 1955 both operations moved to a facility known as White Columns on Peachtree Street.
Local celebrity Aubrey Morris joined WSB in 1957 from the Atlanta Journal to be Atlanta’s first radio newscaster. In 1998, WSB Radio moved into new facilities incorporating four columns from their long-time headquarters into the rear garden of the new building.
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Between the end of the Civil War and the turn of the century, Atlanta became home to several of the nation’s most important historically black colleges and universities, including Atlanta University, Clark University, Spelman College, and Morehouse College.