A Nostalgic WETB Radio and Newspaper Glance Back to Christmas 1957

Without question, my mother's oft-listened to radio program in the late 1950s was the “Joe and Mo Show,” broadcast each weekday morning over WETB-AM 790 on the dial. Her favorite personalities were Joe Goodpasture (Joe) and Merrill Moore (Mo). The smallish cinder-block station was located just outside of Johnson City on the Erwin Highway. Mum was the word at our house when the creative zany pair were “doing their thing” over the airways. In recent years, Joe and Mo became good friends of mine. Mom would be proud.

Today's column offers a wistful glimpse of what it was like during Christmas Day 1957 by examining 21 holiday-themed WETB radio listings. See how many you recognize. Note the sponsors, where the businesses were located and the people who owned or managed them. You older readers will likely recognize many of the names. The schedule signed on at 6:00 a.m., which also included news on the half-hour and signed off at 5:15 p.m. I bet Joe and Mo can relate to some of these offerings.

6:00 a.m. “Christmas Clockwatcher,” Johnson City Tobacco Board of Trade.

7:05 a.m. “The Little Match Girl,” National Farm Loan Association (New Jonesboro Highway).

7:15 a.m. “The Small One,” Cecil's Texaco Service Station (201 W. Main, Cecil E. Rhines).

8:05 a.m. “Ames Brothers,” Taylor Electric Co. (803 W. Walnut, Earl L. Taylor). 

8:35 a.m. “Christmas Favorites,” Orange Crush Bottling Co. (112 W. Jobe, John W. Moulton, Herbert W. Cox).

9:15 a.m. “The Juggler Of Our Lady,” Lodge Service Station (111 Lamont, Smith A. Mast).

9:30 a.m. “Christmas Bells,” S.B. White Co. (331 W. Walnut, J.B. McKinney).

9:45 a.m. “Three Suns' Christmas,” Campbell's TV and Radio Center (151 W. Market, W. Howard Campbell. The trio played a guitar, accordion and organ. Their first big hit was “Twilight Time.”)

10:35 a.m. “That Glorious Night,” Greene's Texaco Service Station (1212 E Unaka, W. Norman Greene).

11:00 a.m. “Return to Christmas Island,” Volunteer Oil Co. (2200 E Fairview, Rex E. DeBord).

11:35 a.m. “God's Blessings on One and All,” Peerless Steak House (Kingsport-Bristol Blvd., Jim Kalogeros).

12:15 p.m. “The Happy Prince,” Grady's Dry Cleaners (1023-27 W. Market, Grady B. Caughron).

12:35 p.m. “Angel with the Cold Nose,” Klopman Mills (2500 W. Walnut, Frank H. Kelly).

1:30 p.m. “Christmas Miracle,” Wallace's Shoe Store (215 E. Main, Mrs. Gertrude Wallace).

2:00 p.m. “Christmas for Eve,” Gulf Distributor (930 W. Walnut, J.B. Thomas, Jr.).

2:35 p.m. “Song of Christmas,” East Tennessee and Western North Carolina Railroad (142 Legion, William W. Whisman, Denver B. Marion).

3:30 p.m. “A Christmas Carol,” Empire Furniture Co. (B.C. Vaughn, L.H. Shumate, W. F. Shumate, Mrs. Nancy Shumate, H.B. Mohler).

4:00 p.m. “Happy Holiday,” Williams Grocery (1101 E. Unaka, R. Lee Williams, Myrtle Williams, Mrs. Rosalie Walker).

4:15 p.m. “Christmas Melodies,” Walker Furniture Co. (312-14 E. Main, David H. Walker).

4:35 p.m. “World's Happy Face,” Morris Funeral Home (305 N Roan, Forrest K. Morris).

5:00 p.m. “Christmas Day News,” City Auto Parts (New Jonesboro Highway, William L. Bates).

I hope you have some reflective enjoyment and memories with today's column. I certainly did.