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WMC 79

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WMC is one of the few surviving radio stations in the U.S. to use its original call letters. The station's first broadcast was January 19, 1923. The transmitter and tower were on the top floor of the old Commercial Appeal building. Although Memphis was segregated, early programs featured late night concerts from blues singers. Bessie Smith performed at WMC in October of 1923. In 1927 WMC gave Memphis and the mid-south its first network programs when the station affiliated with NBC. In the 1930s, WMC was still owned by The Commercial Appeal and carried the NBC Radio Red Network. A transmitter building and tower were constructed on Highway 70. That tower is now gone, but the art-deco building is still there. In 1931, new studios were dedicated at the Hotel Gayoso. Comedian Milton Berle was master of ceremonies. WMC also broadcast a number of country and western artists from the old Goodwyn Institute Building. Weatherman Dave came to WMC in 1977 and stayed for 30 years. In 1973 WMC became the first 24 hour full-time country station in Memphis. By 1989 it switched to News/Talk. Today, it is the city's oldest radio station and presently programs a sports format. WMC spawned the TV station WMCT.