Philadelphia Daily News from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on August 28, 2013 · Page 13
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Philadelphia Daily News from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania · Page 13

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Issue Date:
Wednesday, August 28, 2013
Page 13
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WDAS Continued from Preceding Page said. "I was wearing a light-blue summer suit that really had me stand out." Upon arriving in Washington, Geter said, the first thing he noticed was the all-black military police directing traffic with machinelike precision. He perhaps best summarized the scene in Charles Euchner's book Nobody Turn Me Around: "When you have black people who serve as special units, they take an extra pride," he said. "Those black police were sharp. Boots were spit-shined, helmet liners were chrome-plated. . . . That really made my heart pound, made my eyes well up." Geter made his way to the press tents set up on the National Mall's grassy field. There, reporters had access to phone banks for calling in live reports, he said. "The telephones were quite busy, and whenever one was available, you would grab it to report something," Geter said. Geter, along with tenacious WDAS newsman Jim Klash and radio personality Georgie Woods, called in dispatches throughout the day for the station's more than 650,000 listeners, according to Geter and Alexander, curator of the website Back at the station, Joe Rainey WDAS news director and host of the popular and groundbreaking talk show "The Listening Post," and Louise Williams, known on the airwaves as "The Gospel Queen," would break into news and music programming with, BOB KLEIN ARCHIVE From left: "Bonnie Prince Charlie" Geter , Dottie Scott, Georgie Woods, Jim Klash and Chet Carmichael of WDAS during the 1963 March on Washington. Geter, Woods and Klash called in dispatches throughout the day. "This was an immense effort. We told our listeners, 'If you want to go, we've got a seat for you. Come with us.'" WYNNE ALEXANDER, WDAS historian "And now this special report from the March on Washington ..." Or, "Now we take you to Washington, D.C. live ..." "They would interrupt whatever they were doing to put those feeds on the air," Geter said, his voice, at age 82, still silky and radio-made. In those days, WDAS, like so many other radio stations, did not have the finances or technology to carry a live, continuous feed across three states of the Mall speeches, including the fa mous words spoken by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Still, the coverage embodied the station's bold commitment to civil rights, which was fostered largely by Bob Klein, the station's lanky and socially conscious general manager, Alexander said. Alexander pointed out that WDAS was revered and in some circles, reviled for its groundbreaking interviews with black leaders, including Malcolm X, in an era of segregation, rampant racism and fearmongering by some of the nation's top government officials. "Those times were very different and bad. When you look at the physical dangers, the not friendly government, the unfriendly sociopolitical realities," she said, "the vision and necessary bravery of Bob Klein is something that most people are no longer familiar with." wendyruderman EDITORIAL Page 17 NO CREDIT CHECK! WJ E tZ WASHERS - DRYERS EJ LnLI H LBAm CONDITIONERS FROM ONLY 6900 m m mKmmJ m RANGES - REFRIGERATORS EmPWBHtoW I FOOD FREEZERS I TmTmMmjjn W MICROWAVE ?0$iQQOO H ONLY 1 FROM Wednesday, August 28, 2013 PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS Page 13

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