KWBR 1310, Oakland
Bouncin’ Bill Doubleday
Sunday, July 1, 1956
Among the rarest recordings that have survived over the years is this 1956 artifact from Oakland’s KWBR/1310 from the collection of fine art photographer Mary Goodrich.
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 Steve Hilson.
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 Warner 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.
Along with Don Barksdale, 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. He was elected to the Bay Area Radio Hall of Fame as a member of its Class of 2011.
FOR YOUR LISTENING PLEASURE…
Bouncin’ Bill on KWBR, July 1, 1955 (95 minutes):
Photographs included on this page were generously provided
to the Bay Area Radio Museum by Paula Doubleday,
daughter of the legendary Bouncin’ Bill.
1957 Bouncin’ Bill postcard from the personal
collection of Bonnie (“Birdie”) Reichenberg.