97.5 FM signed on the air in 1968 as a small market 3000 watt FM station serving South Boston, Virginia. In 1987, Radio entrepreneur Tom Joyner purchased the station and moved the transmitter tower closer to Raleigh and upgraded its licensed power from 3000 watts to 100,000 watts, though keeping the city of license in South Boston. The new tower and coverage area would maintain a "city grade" signal over South Boston as required by the FCC, but also put a strong signal to the Triangle as well. Closing down the original South Boston facilities, the station later signed on from brand new studios in Raleigh under its current calls, and by Winter 1991 claimed the number one spot in the ratings.
Joyner later sold the station to Ragan Henry Broadcasting, who was eventually purchased by Clear Channel. In 2000, as a result of the Clear Channel/AMFM merger, WQOK was sold to current owner Radio One.
In September 2009, WQOK moved its city of license to Carrboro, decreased from Class C1 to C2, and built a new tower near Durham. This eliminated all coverage of Virginia, though it will reduce a short-spacing issue with Charlottesville's WWWV. The station's new tower is shared with WFXC.