- Written by Tri-State Defender Newsroom
WLOK (1340 AM), the first radio station owned by African Americans in Memphis, will celebrate its 35th anniversary of African-American ownership with an anniversary dinner Friday (May 18) at the Marriott East, 2625 Thousand Oaks Blvd.
The dinner will bring together gospel celebrities, dignitaries, and loyal listeners to pay tribute to the radio station pitched as "Memphis' leading source of gospel music and news."
"When WLOK began in 1977, there were many people who didn't believe that a black-owned radio could succeed in Memphis. But 35 years later and we're still here,'' said Art Gilliam, president of Gilliam Communications, Inc. "We owe our success to our listeners, but we also owe our success to the station's dedication to the community it was founded to serve.''
Scheduled to speak during the dinner celebration are: Memphis Mayor AC Wharton, Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell and Congressman Steve Cohen. Entertainers include the Greater Hope Baptist Church Choir, Victory in Christ Christian Church Praise and Worship Team, The Mighty Men of Brown, The Bell Singers and The Melodic Truth.
WLOK daily features gospel music along with news, information, and community service. WLOK has been designated by the Tennessee Historical Commission as a Tennessee Historical Landmark.