WAPE and WVOK: In the Top 40 of Top 40

Below is a link to an article in the on-line National Examiner.  Two of the Brennan stations make the Top 40 list of the best Top 40 stations of the era.  Good reading on some of America’s great Top 40 stations.




A work in progress

 One of the reasons for posting this work on line instead of publishing on paper is that this will be a work in progress for a time to come.  There are still interviews to be conducted, facts to be checked, photos to be uncovered and stories to be written.

As you go through the site, some stories may seem incomplete – like a highway project where a road just ends or there is a bridge with no connecting roads.  In this history, those are placeholders or foundations for facts to come.  The Brennan/Benns story in its original form would make a book, and has been formatted in that way.  To provide access on this site, some re-writing and re-editing is required.  There is much more to come.

With the help of Louise, Donnie and Diane Brennan, many family facts have been brought to light.  The input of Cyril and Dan Brennan has given a rare firsthand look into the early days of the Brennan/Benns enterprises.   Thank you for sharing your stories for this site.  Don Woollard, Leroy Cumbie and Taze Tisdale are others whose words you will be seeing soon who were also there in the beginning of WAPE.  In time there will be much more here too.

You may observe that at this stage, the site may seem a bit centered on WAPE.  The reason for that is that this all began as a history of The Big APE.  However, the story of all of these legendary stations is woven together like the relationship of all of those involved.  The history of all of the stations and people make for a much richer story in the end.

Why we are here.

You are here because you are curious.  Curious about a history, a radio station, a relative, a co-worker or a part of your own past.  This historical blog started out as a timeline on an Excel worksheet; nothing more.  It was going to be a timeline of the legendary WAPE in Jacksonville.  That would be me in search of a part of my own past.  In search of the origin of the music coming out of the little black Jade brand transistor radio given to me by my grandmother.  A radio which spent many summers on the white sands of Myrtle Beach parked in front of the Jade Tree and Sandpiper motels.  That radio which was always tuning between WTGR in Myrtle Beach and WAPE Jacksonville. 

The simple timeline has become is a journal of stories with an album of cherished family photographs.  Not my family, but that of the Brennan family of Alabama.  But not just the Brennan’s, you see the folks that worked at their stations were more than just employees, they considered themselves family too. 

What it has also become is more than a history of one radio station.  You see, each radio station was somehow linked to the other.  It became impossible to talk about one without knowing a little something about another.  I guess these radio stations were family too.

While this work has grown in scope and depth more than I could have ever imagined, it is, and will be by no means complete.  Everyday there is a new photo, an undiscovered piece of audio or a new story shared.  The one thing that I hope to achieve is to record first-hand accounts of those who were there, and leave that record for all who visit.