The collection documents the creative, technical and political aspects of managing WANN Radio Station in Annapolis, Maryland during the mid-Twentieth Century. Key areas of research include black radio stations; Annapolis African American communities; marketing to Black communities; political activism through media; Black-Jewish community relationships; church, community and media activism.
Scope and Contents:
The collection primarily documents the highly-segregated era of radio broadcasting and WANN's position within this historical context. It contains an extensive photographic history documenting the rise of the radio station. Other materials include programming timetables, forum broadcasts, and advertisement segments aired during the station's prime. Documents chronicling the station's business and regulatory history, including correspondence with fans, publicity materials, advertising, certificates and awards and sales reports are also included among these materials. There are newspaper clippings documenting political events and church programs covered by the radio station. Land survey maps for the placement of new station and broadcasting towers are also found among these materials. Morris Blum was involved with the Federal Communications Commission and there is a significant amount of material relating to the Emergency Broadcasting System including tutorials and regulations. Materials relating to Blum's personal life include local Jewish community and organization activities, naval history and a few family papers. Photographs and programming for WANN's sister radio station WXTC can also be found among these materials. In the early 1990s, WANN radio station became Bay Country 1190 in a move to be more profitable. There is a small amount of material relating to this new programming format.
WANN radio is significant because the radio station became a place to discuss controversial topics concerning the African American community. Segregation, racial discrimination, and challenging political misrepresentation were all a part of WANN's programming. Blum and his staff did not avoid confronting what were at the time radical issues of racial justice and equality. Members of Congress, politicians and community organizers all appeared periodically on WANN radio. In addition to its talk radio format, WANN radio also played Rhythm and Blues, Gospel music, and hosted numerous dance parties and concerts at Carr's Beach. Blum hired a racially diverse staff, creating pathways to professional careers. Charles "Hoppy" Adams, who eventually became WANN's first executive vice president, began his career as a highly popular radio personality. Adams hosted the Carr's Beach dance parties and concerts featuring many young artists, including James Brown and Sarah Vaughn. The success of the radio station's hiring practices, relevant programming, social activities and political awareness makes it a valuable resource of information for both the Washington DC metropolitan area and the nation as a whole.
The collection is arranged into twelve series.
Series 1: Photographic Materials, 1947-1996, undated
Series 2: Correspondence, 1947-1999
Series 3: Programming, 1947-1989
Series 4: Publicity, 1946-1999, undated
Series 5: Advertising and Marketing, 1947-1999, undated
Series 6: Engineering and Construction, 1947-1999, undated
Series 7: Office Files, 1953-1999, undated
Series 8: Communications and Emergency Management, 1946-1999, undated
Series 9: Awards and Recognition, 1940s-1999, undated
Series 10: WXTC Radio Station, 1959-1979, undated
Series 11: Morris Blum Papers, 1954-1997, undated
Series 12: Audiovisual Materials, 1953-1998
"Several artifacts were donated to the Museum's Division of Cultural History (now Division of Cultural and Community Life) in 2000. The associated accession numbers for the WANN Radio Station artifacts are as follows:
2000.0165-7,775 include sound recordings, two turntable pads, a microphone, and a studio wall clock, all used at the radio station from 1948-1995.
2002.0319-22 include eight name tags worn by on-air personalities at personal appearances, five pieces of equipment, three banners, two gold records, two public service award plaques, a pith helmet, and two T-shirts also from 1948-1995.
The collection was donated by Morris Blum in July 2002.
Collection is open for research. Researchers must use reference copies of audiovisual materials. When no reference copy exists, the Archives Center staff will produce reference copies on an "as needed" basis, as resources allow.
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.