Southwest Georgia Hometown Radio
1240 AM WQDX > WPAX
WPAX's original 1922 broadcast transmission equipment is on display at their studios.
WPAX's tower, built in the 1930s, still stands on the roof of the studios.
WPAX's tower neon at night in downtown Thomasville
The first WPAX
According to Federal Communications Commission (FCC) records, WPAX was first licensed, as WQDX, in June 1930. However, station histories commonly trace its origin to an earlier short-lived Thomasville radio station, licensed from late 1922 to early 1923, which also held the call letters WPAX.
This first WPAX was initially licensed on December 27, 1922, to the S-W Radio Company, a small local concern run by Robert Shumate and Hoyt Wimpy, which had previously established a "radio school".
WPAX began regular service in late January 1923 as the first broadcasting station located "south of Macon, in Georgia and North Florida", from a studio located in the Wimpy Garage at the corner of Stevens and Jefferson Streets in Thomasville. The broadcast hours were advertised as daily from 5:30 to 6:00 p.m., Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m., Saturday from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m., and Sunday from 11:30 a.m to 12:30 p.m. and 7:30 to 8:30 p.m.
As was common during this era, this first WPAX lasted for only a few months and was deleted in April 1923.
It would be another seven years before the next licensed broadcasting station was established in Thomasville, when the Federal Radio Commission (FRC) granted an application from Stevens Luke to build a 50-watt station operating on 1210 kHz and assigned the call letters of WQDX. A preliminary test broadcast was made on May 4, 1930, consisting of sermons transmitted from the local First Presbyterian Church. Regular broadcasts started later that month, from a studio inside a barn that was located at the Luke family home at 1141 Gordon Avenue. The new station's initial schedule was daily from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. and from 8:00 to 10:00 p.m, with Stevens Luke acting as the primary announcer.
Later that year the main studio was moved to 135 East Jackson Street, and in 1931, the station's transmitter power was increased to 100 watts.
Even after the original WPAX ended operations in 1923, Hoyt Wimpy remained in Thomasville and active in the radio industry, and a 1931 biographical review stated that "in Thomasville, the word 'Wimpy' means 'radio'". He formed a company, Wimpy-Radio, which sold and serviced receivers and transmitters for radio amateurs and the general public.
In December 1934 ownership of WQDX was transferred to Wimpy, who on December 7 changed the station's call letters to WPAX. Two days later the station made its first broadcast under the new, albeit historic, call letters. The station's facilities were also upgraded with a move to new studios on Remington Avenue, and a transmitter tower was built atop the studio building, which still stands today.
In 1941 WPAX moved to 1240 kHz, as part of the reassignments made under the provisions of the North American Regional Broadcasting Agreement.
1450 AM Valdosta
Don't Drink and Drive
Public Service Promotion
Wet Willie visiting WVLD 1978
WVLD Music Director Cathy Moye 1978
1590 AM Albany
WALB > WALG
Licensed as WALB in 1941, the station changed to WALG in 1960.
(Photo courtesy of Chris Hall)
103.9 FM WGLH Hawkinsville
620 AM LaGrange WTRP
610 AM WCEH > WJFN Hawkinsville
1240 AM LaGrange WLAG
580 AM Moultrie WMGA
1240 AM Fitzgerald WBHB
1290 AM/94.7 FM Americus
WDEC-AM /WDEC-FM > WIPE >
Went off the air in 1994 after flooding from Tropical Storm Alberto. NOTE: WDEC-FM at 94.7 survived and is back on the air today.
990 AM / 92.1 FM Dawson
WDWD AM-FM > WHIA FM > WAZE FM
WDWD-FM became WHIA-FM in 1980. Owner W .C. Woodall sold it to John Thacker, and it became WAZE-FM, moving to the Albany market. — John Clark
980 AM / 100.9 FM Perry
WPGA Radio began its life as WBBN. Built by a Chicago native (whose name escapes me), the call sign was intended as a tip of the hat to Chicago's WBBM.
Lowell Register, who later acquired the station and put WPGA FM and TV58 on the air, was a Warner Robins native and began his career at WRPB (1350). He also spent some time at WKMA/Quitman and WCQS/Alma. He was the first manager of WCLA/Claxton (built by WVOP/Vidalia's Howard Gilreath.
Gilreath also built WKIG/Glennville and WMAC/Metter). The Perry station became available in 1960 when manager Al Evans left to build and own WVLD/Valdosta.
Lowell convinced Gilreath to buy it and eventually traded his 20% stake in WCLA for a significant minority interest in WPGA. He acquired 100% of WPGA AM/FM following Gilreath's untimely death in 1972.
Register Data Systems (traffic & billing software, the Phantom digital automation) was birthed at WPGA's Perry studios.