Arts and Entertainment

Radio Shows

Who were the pioneers in black radio?

From the 1920s through the 1950s, Jack Cooper, once a vaudeville performer, was a successful pioneer and entrepreneur in black radio. He hosted The All Negro Hour, which originated on WSBC in Chicago in 1929, and featured music and comedy routines by blacks. He also produced gospel and news programs such as the Defender Newsreel and Search for Missing Persons. He was the first black sportscaster, newscaster, and radio executive. Cooper was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame in 2012. The 1930s brought such hosts as Eddie Honesty, who broadcast Rockin-In-Rhythm from Hammond, Indiana; Bass Harris, who brought swing band music from Seattle; and Hal Jackson, who started the first regular black-hosted radio program in Washington, D.C., which showcased black men and women luminaries.


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