Tommy Jackson, Oral History


Tommy Jackson, Oral History


Tommy Jackson (b. Nov 18, 1946) - During his part time radio announcer stint at WJLD 1400 AM in the 1970's. Tommy also taught at Ullman High School and at Miles College. Here, he reflects briefly on various colleagues at WJLD radio, in particular, Jimmy Lawson and Willie McKinstry.


Tommy Jackson
Bob Friedman


Birmingham Black Radio Museum


December 29, 2005


Jeff Hirschy
Emily Bibb






Bob Friedman


Tommy Jackson


Transcript of audio snippet:

Bob Friedman: Hmmmm, of course this is the best picture of Jimmy……

Tommy Jackson: Oh yeah...Jimmy Lawson

Bob: Eh hmmm, he looks like a little stinker...

Tommy: He was a hell of a disc jockey. Yeah, and I remember when they had that Sound Off... He was the first one with that talk radio.

Bob: Eh hmmm. Do you remember what year that was?

Tommy: Ahh, Sound Off, it should have been in the early 70’s.

Bob: It was.

Tommy: uh huh.

Bob: Well back then, there was nobody Black on the city council, Arrington had not gotten elected yet, what did he talk about as a talk show host?

Tommy: Well, he would talk about the issues that were going on in Birmingham. And and…

Bob: He talk about the Vietnam War?

Tommy: Well, he talked about the Vietnam War plus he had been in the military too.

Bob: hmm

Tommy: Jimmy was a First Lieutenant when he came back here……

Bob: hmm

Tommy: And he would talk about the situation with Birmingham because Birmingham wasn't the best city to be in back in those days because we had Blacks getting killed by policemen every week and all of it was justificable homicide.

Bob: hmm

Tommy: And basically and mainly we didn’t have nothing you know like voter registration, ah, we talked about integration and all this kind of stuff you know and equal opportunity for peoples. That was mainly his conversation and he didn’t hold anything back….

Bob: Did he ever get in any trouble with the authorities?

Tommy: No, I don’t think Jimmy ever got into any trouble with the authorities because Jimmy was a little arrogant himself. He really didn’t hold nothing back.

Bob: hmm

Tommy: He didn’t hold back nothing on management, or anything. Jimmy Lawson was just Jimmy Lawson but he’s a real good friend of mine. We came through high school together. I think he got out of high school ah in 62 and I got out in 64.


Full Interview: 24 minutes
Audio snippet: 2 minutes


b6f15a - Tommy Jackson and Wm Mickinstry - WJLD 1972.jpg
Tommy Jackson 2 min.mp3


Tommy Jackson and Bob Friedman, “Tommy Jackson, Oral History,” The Birmingham Black Radio Museum, accessed February 24, 2024,

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