Shelley Stewart, Oral History


Shelley Stewart, Oral History


Shelley Stewart, pioneer Birmingham disc jockey and announcer, reflects on his career in Birmingham radio beginning with WBCO and WEDR in 1952, then WENN, then WJLD, then WENN, then part owner of WATV. Retired from radio in 1999.


Shelley Stewart
Bob Friedman


Birmingham Black Radio Museum


February 25, 1994


Joe Wright
Emily Bibb








Bob Friedman


Shelley Stewart


Transcription of audio snippet:

Shelley Stewart: Miss. Johnston heard the screaming and howling and came down and she opened the door and there Otis was on the desk and I’m standing up the chair. And she said, “Otis what’s wrong?” “Mr Johnston, I’m trying to get him straightened out. He won’t call respect to the white folk around here.” “Otis he calls me Mrs. Johnston.” Otis said “Yeah but he don’t call Judy Mrs. Judy.” She said, “Well I don’t see anything wrong. Judy is a young girl. And George Jr. was running around as a young boy around the station at tat time. She said, “I don’t see anything wrong with that. Otis why don’t you get down off that desk. And Shelley you get down out of that chair. She said, “ Shelley aren’t you supposed to be on the air?“ And I said yes, I’m supposed to be on the air. “Otis there’s nothing wrong. Shelley you’re doing a great job for us. I’m very proud of you.” And that day changed the course of thinking. Otis Dodge could not turn that down Bob Delander quit as a result of that. Whites, Judy Howell just love me she said, “I’d never wanted you to call me Miss. Patty Wheeler which is now, Patty and the Doc…

Bob Friedman: Who’s Judy Howell?

SS: Judy Howell. See her husband’s a engineer at one of these television station in Birmingham. She’s still living. Nice person. They didn’t want that.. they didn’t want me to call.. they wasn’t demanding it. It was the white male Otis Dodge. That transaction changed the course of WJLD’s thinking.


Full interview: 70 minutes
Audio snippet: 2 minutes


1960-Shelley Stewart-WENN.jpg
Shelley Stewart 2 min.mp3
Shelley Stewart.pdf


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

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