Lost & Found Sound

WHER — 1000 Beautiful Watts, Part 1

Lost and Found Sound: The First All-Girl Radio Station

Listen: Listen to Part 2

Listen: Listen to Becky Phillips Recreate Her Radio Show

Five of the girls from WHER, circa 1955

The girls from WHER, circa 1955 Courtesy of Becky Phillips hide caption

toggle caption Courtesy of Becky Phillips
Sam & Becky Phillips,

Sam & Becky Phillips, 1966 hide caption

toggle caption

They went on-air October 29, 1955, in Memphis, Tennessee, and stayed there for 17 more years — WHER: The First All-Girl Radio Station in The World.

Legendary record producer Sam Phillips had always wanted a radio station. When the FCC finally gave him a frequency, 1430 on the AM dial, Sam came up with a one-of-a-kind idea — an all girl format — women announcers, sales staff, management, record librarians, copy writers ...

At the time, stations had at most one girl announcer. Each woman who interviewed for a job at WHER thought she would be that girl. It wasn't until the day before the station went on the air that the girls themselves found out the station would be all female.

Sam Phillips and the girls of WHER recently had a reunion in Memphis. In this special segment of Lost & Found Sound Online, we bring you their story — a unique chapter in the history of broadcasting

Produced by The Kitchen Sisters (Nikki Silva and Davia Nelson) with Valerie Velardi.



Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and Terms of Use. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

NPR thanks our sponsors

Become an NPR sponsor

Support comes from