Bruce Payne, Oral History


Bruce Payne, Oral History


Bruce Payne (b. 1930, d. October 6, 2005) Birmingham Broadcaster from the early 1950's. Born in Jackson, MS and began his broadcasting career briefly at WVIM Vicksburg and then moved to Bessemer at WBCO. He made the transition to early WENN Radio in Birmingham in 1958 before returning to Jackson, Mississippi to finish his career at WOKJ, Jackson. He shares his rich memories of early WBCO and WENN broadcasters.


Bruce Payne
Bob Friedman


Birmingham Black Radio Museum


February 15, 1994


Thomas Kulovitz
Ashley Wilson
Emily Bibb








Bob Friedman


Bruce Payne


Bob Friedman: What do you remember of Bob Umbach?
Bruce Payne: He was White, of course, and he was a very popular Rhythm and Blues jock.
BF: Mm-hm.
BP: He was and I would imagine, in fact, I haven’t heard that name in years… Seems like Bob Umbach was the top Rhythm and Blues or what we call oldies now…
BF: Mm-hm
BP: …DJ, before the Black stations really evolved…
BF: That’s right!
BP: …into their own thing. you know what I mean?
BF: The Atomic Boogie Hour
BP: Bob Umbach. That was the station where the Black people got their music.
BF: Right.
BP: Blues and rhythm and this kind of thing.
BF: He’s passed
BP: He was on JLD too wasn’t he?
BF: Yeah, that’s where he was. That’s where he was until he left town.
BP: I remember hearing him. But like I said, when I got there he was already on the air. He was a personality.
BF: Right.
BP: But the Black stations started evolving and the people started swinging towards the Black stations and Black DJs
BF: What do you remember of Walter Anglin? Did you know Walter?
BP: Yeah.
BF: Was he ever at BCO?
BP: I don’t recall him being at B… When I met him, he was at JLD.
BF: He was at EDR.
BP: No, EDR. He eventually wound up at JLD.
BF: Right.
BP: In fact, Walter Anglin was one of the originals at EDR.
BF: That’s right.
BP: Along with Eddie Castleberry, I believe
BF: Right.
BP: He was a little guy. Another thing I remember about him, I went to school with his son at Miles College. Walter Anglin, Jr.
BF: Uh-huh.
BP: I knew him almost as well as his father, because we had classes together at Miles.
BF: Uh-huh. Right. It’s interesting to speak to people who are way up in their 70s and talk about Walter as being their high school teacher. [laughter]
BP: He was a teacher too, in addition to radio work.
BF: Right. He taught music and…
BP: Who we talking about. We talking about some years back. Cause I’ve been back in Jackson for thirty years.
BF: Right.


Full interview: 30 minutes
Audio snippet: 2 minutes


Bruce Payne at WBCO, 1953
Bruce Payne 2 min.mp3
Bruce Payne.pdf


Bruce Payne and Bob Friedman, “Bruce Payne, Oral History,” The Birmingham Black Radio Museum, accessed July 13, 2024,

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Charita Payne Bass

Thank you so much for this recording. In trying to teach my own children about their grandfather this was the only video I could find. I am forever grateful.

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