KWBR 1310, Oakland
Bouncin' Bill Doubleday
Sunday, July 1, 1956
the rarest recordings that have survived over the years is this 1956
artifact from KWBR/1310 from the collection of fine art photographer
The original reel-to-reel tape, which had numerous edits
to begin with, was so brittle that it broke repeatedly while being
dubbed to digital format by Bay Area Radio Museum sound engineer
What was salvaged, however, is a rare and remarkable
hour-and-a-half of John William "Bouncin' Bill" Doubleday on KWBR,
spinning the latest rhythm and blues records — with some early Elvis
mixed in, plus commercial spots for local barbecue joints and R&B clubs.
KWBR evolved from KLS, a small Oakland radio station
founded by brothers Eugene and Stafford Warner in 1922. The station
moved into the
Brothers Radio Village near Lake Merritt in 1937, from which this
broadcast originated nearly two decades later. Programming on the
station began targeting the local African-American community in the
1940s, with music, news and public-interest shows.
Bouncin' Bill was one of the longtime mainstays of KWBR, which became
KDIA in 1959. Doubleday became the station's general manager in
September 1969, a position he held until September 1974.
A longtime resident of Lafayette, Mr. Doubleday retired
to Lincoln (Placer County) following his career in broadcasting, where,
as of May 2007, he continued to reside.
left, Bouncin' Bill introduces an act at the Club Mondre in
1956. Above, a view of the KWBR studio in the original Radio
Village near Lake Merritt in Oakland. (For an enlarged view
of this photograph,
please click here.)
— Exhibit includes audio.
— Edited (scoped) aircheck. MG — Courtesy of Mary
All photographs included on this page were generously
to the Bay Area Radio Museum by
daughter of the legendary Bouncin' Bill.
1957 Bouncin' Bill postcard from the personal
collection of Bonnie ("Birdie") Reichenberg.