Reflections on Perry "Tiger" Thompson from his daughter, Lydia Thompson


Reflections on Perry "Tiger" Thompson from his daughter, Lydia Thompson


Lydia Thompson (b. Feb 3, 1940, d. Sep 20, 1996), eldest daughter of Perry “Tiger” Thompson (b. 1908, d. Apr 26, 1973), interviewed by telephone over two days regarding Tiger’s history. Ms. Thompson was at home in Bessemer during the call. Tiger Thompson was a radio announcer at WAPI, WBCO, WJLD and WEDR, a boxer, a record producer, a union president and a candidate for Lieutenant Governor of Alabama – all in the 1950’s


Lydia Thompson
Bob Friedman


Birmingham Black Radio Museum


November 5, 1993


Mark Usry
Emily Bibb






Bob Friedman


Lydia Thompson


Transcript of audio snippet:

Lydia Thompson: I guess I could have been nine, so it would've been about '40...'40....about '48, '49, somewhere along there.

Bob Friedman: Mhm

LT: Late '40s, early ‘50s.

BF: Right

LT: And then he left then and went and did WJLD and he stayed there for a long time.

BF: Oh really?

LT: Uh huh, and we were back in the woods up in there.

BF: Up in Homewood?

LT: Yeah, uh huh, cuz the only thing up there was just, drove up and nothing but trees.

BF: (chuckles) Right

LT: And cuz we were little kids and we'd go, you know, we'd go. We had, they'd bring us too. And so we just hung around till he got off. But on Sunday, he had a, um, CIO program. You know, he was vice president of CIO and finally became the first black president and when he did, um, I think they had a show, you know or a religious show, where they sung, the CIO singers.

BF: Really? see..

LT: Uh huh

BF: And did he...

LT: And I don't have a record of that either cuz they burned up in the house too.

BF: Yeah

LT: Cuz see, the records had on with the theme song, and it mentioned WJLD on it.

BF: No kidding


Full interview: 17 minutes
Audio snippet: 2 minutes


Perry "Tiger" Thompson with the Sterling Jubiliees, also known as the CIO Singers, 1954
Tiger 1 snippet.mp3
Tiger 1 - Lydia Thompson.pdf


Lydia Thompson and Bob Friedman, “Reflections on Perry "Tiger" Thompson from his daughter, Lydia Thompson,” The Birmingham Black Radio Museum, accessed July 13, 2024,

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