Approximately 400 radios in Mecklenburg County. Grady Cole joined staff full-time in April 1930.
One out of every seven families in North Carolina has a radio. In South Carolina, one out of every nine families had a radio.
increased to 50,000 watts. Charles H. Crutchfield, from Hope, Arkansas,
joined staff. "The Crazy Water Crystals Show" was popular. WBT also
produced the "Dixie Mammoth Minstrels Show", with Clair Shadwell as
script writer and interlocutor. Show was fed to the Dixie Network.
Lansing Hatfield, from Hickory, made debut over WBT. He later became a
Metropolitan Opera Star. "The Lone Ranger Show" and "The Romance of Helen Trent" were popular programs. And New York columnist, Walter Winchell, began his radio program on the network.
Mr. Crutchfield organized "The Briarhoppers".
Crutchfield interviews Mr. Alexander and seven other Civil War
veterans, (70 years after the war ended). And broadcast the "Rebel
Yell" over WBT. The first ever radio broadcast of the yell the Rebels
used to chase the Yankees in the Civil War.
Crutchfield broadcast the wedding of two former slaves. The man was 97
and the woman was 92. Lee Kirby, the Rangers Quartet, and Sandy
Becker-who later became Young Dr. Malone for CBS, was hired. During a
Charleston tornado, WBT had the only lines of communication out of the
city of Charleston and broadcast news on the safety of school and
college students to worried parents. Mr. Crutchfield ad-libs for 55
minutes (while feeding CBS), as President Rosevelt's arrival in
Charlotte for the "Green Pastures" speech was delayed. Mr. Crutchfield
announced the country's first broadcast of a Junior American Legion
baseball game. He also received permission to be first to broadcast
Southern Conference Football on radio...from Wallce Wade.
Cole received a plaque from F.D.R. for raising $44,000 for Louisville,
Kentucky flood victims. The Golden Gate Quartet started on WBT.
J.S. Nathaniel Tross went on air each Sunday morning at 9:15 a.m. to
promote better racial understanding. Dr. Tross was later given much
credit for Charlotte's transition to integration. Russ Hodges hired for
WBT Sports. He left in two years to become personal baseball announcer
to the New York Giants, moving to California when the Giants moved.
Jack Knell joined WBT. He became famous for covering the Squalous
Submarine disaster off Boston. He later went to CBS News.