|Branding||580 Music of Your Life|
|First air date||May 15, 1941|
|Power||770 watts day
95 watts night
|Callsign meaning||W Tup E L O, MS|
|Former callsigns||WWPR (1987-?)|
WELO began broadcasting on May 15, 1941, on South Spring Street, Tupelo, above the Black and White dry goods store. Frank Kyle Spain and Jim Green, Tupelo High School students, became station engineers to complete building the station after Green's older brother became ill and unable to finish his engineering contract responsibilities. The station originally broadcast with 250 watts on 1490 kHz. In 1959, it switched to 580 kHz with a power of 1,000 watts directional. Studio and transmitter were located on Highway 45 North.
Some local talents were involved in starting up the station, among them the announcer Charlie Boren and the bandleader and radio technician Archie Mackey. The hillbilly star of the station in 1946 was a 23-year-old native of Smithville, Mississippi, Carvel Lee Ausborn, who went by the name of Mississippi Slim.
Ernest Bowen, who had tangential musical connections with Elvis Presley, became a longtime general manager at WELO. Presley occasionally performed on Mississippi Slim's radio program "Singin' and Pickin' Hillbilly." Jack Cristal was a long-time employee, and was well known for his sports broadcasts.
At one time, WTUP and WELO were sister stations.
- Query the FCC's AM station database for WELO
- Radio-Locator Information on WELO
- Query Nielsen Audio's AM station database for WELO
- FCC History Cards for WELO
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