Timuel Black, historian and author of "Bridges of Memory." "(It was) very, very, very important, because all of (the hosts) had names that were well known, there was a great listening audience. (Journalist) Lu Palmer would bring in the message as related to race and the struggle. It was meaningful because it gave to the listener the kind of (broadcast) that was inspirational as well as informational. For the listener, it not only was encouraging, but it came closer to giving the truth, the reason for the struggle, the importance of participating in the struggle to bring about change." (Zbigniew Bzdak, Chicago Tribune /March 25, 2013)
April 1, 1963: WVON founded as a 1,000-watt station at 1450 AM by Leonard and Phil Chess; Pervis Spann, the Blues Man, is the first DJ on the air.
1968: Rev. Jesse L. Jackson calls WVON to report news of the assassination of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.
1969: WVON sold to George Gillette and Potter Palmer's Globetrotter Communications
1975: WVON moved to 5,000-watt 1390 AM
1977: Globetrotter sells WVON to Gannett Co.
1977: Pervis Spann, Wesley South and others form Midway Broadcasting Corp. and purchase the 1450 frequency
1979: Spann and South launch WXOL
1984: Gannett drops the WVON call letters; Midway Broadcasting files with the FCC to obtain WVON call letters
1986: WVON co-owner South changes station's format to all talk
2002: State Sen. Barack Obama fills in for vacationing Cliff Kelley
2006: WVON moves up the dial to 1690 AM and goes to 24-hour format
2013: WVON, at 10,000 watts, marks 50th anniversary
-- Howard Reich
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