Roy Wood, 1994 Oral History


Roy Wood, 1994 Oral History


Roy Wood (b. Sep 8, 1915, d.Oct 9, 1995), Radio Announcer 1947 – 1994. Pioneer in Black radio, founder National Black Network, Master of Arts in Communications from Columbia University. Roy shares in great detail his own development in the field of radio.


Roy Wood
Bob Friedman


Birmingham Black Radio Museum


February 23, 1994


Hannah Moore
Emily Bibb








Bob Friedman


Roy Wood


WAGG AM radio studio


Transcript of audio snippet:

Roy Wood: ...He says uhh how much money you making now, and I said, ohh Im making 50 dollars a week, which is too little money, but it was big money then. So uhh he says, how would you like to make more money. I said I would be interested in that. He says, when is your of duty over. I said at 9 o’clock in the morning? He says well when you get through, come to the Mishawaka Hotel and ask for Bill Dean, I’m in room 423. I said, well ok. I though it was Ronny Householder cause always playing tricks on me, you know. So Householder, comes in about 8:30 and I said I guess you had a big laugh this morning telling me that you are Bill Dean from WIBC Indianapolis a Mutual Broadcasting System, and offering me a better job. He says, he is in town! We were out last night until about 2 o’clock in the morning. What time did he call you. And I told him. And he says well yeah, he is here making arrangements for us to carry the Indianapolis speedway race which comes up on labor..on Memorial day. And so I said well he invited me to the Mishawaka Hotel to talk. And he said well go ahead and get you a free breakfast. You know, that is what he said. So I went, and uhh when I knocked on the door he says come in the door is open. So I opened the door and stepped into the door and Mr. Dean must have changed colors of red quicker than you can say “Hello, Mr. Dean,” you know. And then he, regained his composure, And he says, “I’m sorry I had no idea that you were a negro.” I said well Mr. Dean, negro or not you and I had a breakfast engagement and I’m hungry. So he says, So we do, do you want to go downstairs to the dining room or shall we dine up here where we an talk. I said well maybe if we went to Indianapolis, we could go downstairs to the dining room, but we can’t do that in Mishawaka. I said the White House hamburger joint, that is sitting right next to this hotel, do you know I have to go to the side window to get a hamburger? He says what? He says they passed a law last year prohibiting discrimination in places, in public places. He says the state legislation. I said well they haven’t gotten the word here, yet.


Full interview: 25 minutes
Audio snippet: 2 minutes




Roy Wood and Bob Friedman, “Roy Wood, 1994 Oral History,” The Birmingham Black Radio Museum, accessed July 13, 2024,

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