WHBQ (AM)

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For the FM radio station in Germantown, Tennessee, United States, see WHBQ-FM.
For the TV station in Memphis, Tennessee, United States, see WHBQ-TV.
WHBQ
City of license Memphis, Tennessee
Broadcast area Memphis, Tennessee
Branding Sports 56 WHBQ
Slogan The Voice of the Fan
Frequency 560 kHz
Format Sports
Audience share 1.0 (Wi'08, R&R[1])
Power 5,000 watts day
1,000 watts night
Class B
Facility ID 21727
Transmitter coordinates 35°15′12.00″N 90°2′51.00″W / 35.2533333°N 90.0475000°W / 35.2533333; -90.0475000
Callsign meaning We Have Better Quartets[2]
Owner Flinn Broadcasting Corporation
Webcast Listen Live
Website sports56whbq.com

WHBQ is an AM radio station in Memphis, Tennessee, in the United States of America. Its frequency is 560 kHz. Although today it broadcasts sports news exclusively, the station became famous in the 1950s for playing rhythm and blues. Owned by Flinn Broadcasting, the station's studios are located in Southeast Memphis, and the transmitter site is in North Memphis.

WHBQ was once owned by RKO General. Its legend was made by Dewey Phillips, a disc jockey (DJ) who played rhythm and blues music on his night-time show, Red, Hot and Blue. In 1954, Phillips played a recording of "That's Alright Mama" by a young truck driver by the name of Elvis Presley, marking the first time an Elvis recording was played on air.[3]

For many years, WHBQ was considered a "farm club" for RKO. Young, aspiring DJs, such as Rick Dees and game show host Wink Martindale would work there with hopes of being moved up to RKO's bigger markets, like Boston, New York, San Francisco, or the holy grail, KHJ in Los Angeles.[citation needed] In the 1960s, under the guidance of Bill Drake, WHBQ became Boss Radio. By the late 70s, the once-mighty music station could no longer compete with the increasing popularity of FM-band musical stations. They tried an oldies oriented format from 1981 to 1983 before switching to News/Talk. In 1988, RKO sold WHBQ to Flinn Broadcasting who tried oldies again, country and even heavy metal late at night, Today its focus has shifted from music to sports.

Today, WHBQ carries play-by-play of the University of Mississippi's football and basketball teams, and the Memphis Redbirds of baseball's Pacific Coast League. It supplements its national coverage with Yahoo! Sports Radio.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Memphis Market Ratings". Radio & Records. 
  2. ^ "Call Letter Origins". Radio History on the Web. 
  3. ^ Fisher, Marc. Something in the Air. Random House. p. 47. ISBN 978-0-375-50907-0. 

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