WHER Reunion

The Women Get Together 44 Years Later

Listen: Listen to words of wisdom from the women of WHER (1999)

A gathering of women staffers in Memphis in 1955

Memphis, 1955 Courtesy of Becky Phillips hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of Becky Phillips
The women of WHER at their reunion, along with Sam Phillips, in 1999

Sam and the women of WHER, 1999. Sandra Wong Geroux hide caption

itoggle caption Sandra Wong Geroux

Memphis, Tennessee, Sept. 1999

They came from Florida, Alabama and the 4 corners of Memphis, Tennessee — 14 of the lady disc jockeys who were pioneers in broadcasting during the '50s and '60s on the nation's first all-girl radio station, WHER. Many of the women hadn't seen each other since they worked at the station that record producer Sam Phillips founded in the 1950s.

Over the course of producing the radio story, one WHER gal led us to the next. Women dug through their attics for old air-checks, and the entire WHER record library was unearthed. The women and Sam Phillips came together in September of 1999 at the Peabody Hotel in Memphis for the PRPD(Public Radio Program Directors) conference, where they were feted and photographed by the public radio system and the press. Seventeen years of on-air broadcasting was commemorated at the conference with a recreation of the WHER studio, complete with microphones, console, photos of the "girls" — and scores of records featuring the beautiful music of WHER.

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. 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.