WANN: An African American Radio Station In Annapolis | WYPR

WANN: An African American Radio Station In Annapolis

Oct 30, 2015


DJ Hoppy Adams hosted weekly events at Carr’s Beach, a private, segregated beach just south of Annapolis.
Credit WANN Radio Station Records, Archives Center, NMAH

Now, we’re going to look back at an Annapolis radio station that broadcast music primarily catered to an African American audience for 50 years from 1947 to 1997.  Ephemera and objects from the station, called WANN, are on display at the Smithsonian Museum of American history, which has a permanent exhibit that opened in July called “American Enterprise” part of the museum’s new “innovation wing.” The exhibit traces the country’s development from a small, agriculturally-dependent country to a global economic powerhouse. It’s an eclectic collection:  things like an early Monopoly board game and the name tag of a shoe clerk who worked at the department store, Woodward Lothrup.

To highlight the African American experience from the consumer era, what the Smithsonian is calling the 1940s through the 1970s, they selected artifacts from WANN.

Larry Blum is the son of the founder and owner of WANN, Morris Blum.  He joins me on the phone from Glen Burnie, Maryland.    And joining us from Willamsburg, Virginia is Dr. Charlie McGovern, Program Director & Director of Undergraduate Studies and Associate Professor of American Studies and History at the College of William and Mary. 

Audio for this segment available by noon.