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Ramblin' Frank Cunningham
WTBC Tuscaloosa, AL

If you were in Tuscaloosa, Alabama in 1949, chances are you heard Ramblin' Frank Cunningham when you were tuning in your radio to WTBC every day from 11:30 til 12 o'clock, Monday through Saturday. He was a disc jockey, but an entertainer also. He'd play all the hit records of the day on his show and on Saturdays, he'd do the show at his sponsor's store, at Sokol's, literally in the storefront window so everyone could see him. He'd even sing some of the songs on that show such as "Talkin' Blues", "The Coupon Song", "Kilroy Was Here" and "THe Martins and the Coys".

His show would include some of the local talent, too. His two sons, Tony and Mike, would join him on the Saturday shows. His daughter, Violet's role was mainly as the secretary and scriptwriter, but would herself sing a beautiful tune. His wife would also do duets with him and when they did their duets, they'd sing mostly sacred tunes.

He also did a regular Wednesday night show called "What Do You Know About Tuscaloosa?"

They said the "Tuscaloosa County Barn Dance" on Saturday afternoon is the show that no once should miss. Frank's announcements on the show were one of the highlights, for they had 'punching appeal' and got the listeners to "investigate". They quoted Frank as saying his motto was "To sell'em, you gotta tell'em. And as folks in Tuscaloosa found, Frank could 'tell'em'.

Credits & Sources

  • National Jamboree; October 1949; Words to Songs, Inc.; 1 East 42nd Street, New York 17, NY

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