Shoals radio listeners discovered Presley’s hypnotic first recordings, five defining singles, issues by Sun in 1954 and ’55, on a Saturday morning radio program called ‘ Tommy’s Turntable’. The host of the show was a 16 year old Tommy Van Sandt, whose father owned WJOI, a radio station near the Indian Mound in Florence.
In February, 1957, (Bobby) Denton recorded ‘A Fallen Star’ at radio station WLAY, backed by members of his band, the Treys. While a record was being broadcast on the air, the DJ engineering the session recorded Denton and his band, making sure to finish with enough time to announce the next song.
The station began as WHDF. The station began on October 28, 1957 as WOWL-TV, based in Florence. The station was owned by Richard ‘Dick’ Biddle and broadcast NBC programs to northwestern Alabama and portions of southern middle Tennessee and northeastern Mississippi.
WQLT-FM is owned by Big River Broadcasting Corporation. Operated by the family of Sam Phillips, the station began broadcasting on August 8, 1962. WOWL-FM owned by Radio Muscle Shoals, Inc. was the FM sister of station WOWL, now known as WBCF. On August 15, 1965, the station began broadcasting as WJOI-FM. Owned by WJOI Radio, Inc, it was the sister station now known as WSBM. On May 29, 1967 the station’s call letters were changed again, this time to WQLT.
In 1972, Bob ‘Carl’ Bailey bought the available frequency (for WZZA) and started the radio station from scratch. It was WRCK-AM until licensed for WZZA. WZZA is the only Urban radio station in Northwest Alabama.