Listen: Listen to words of wisdom from the women of WHER (1999)
Courtesy of Becky Phillips
Sandra Wong Geroux
Sam and the women of WHER, 1999.
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.