With its proven format and personalities, WSB dominated the radio popularity ratings into the 1970s and ‘80s alongside “Sounds of Love”, the “beautiful music” heard on WSB-FM. It was the WSB helicopter which brought Santa to Lenox Square to begin the holidays. On April 8, 1974, Milo Hamilton and Ernie Jackson called Hank Aaron’s historic record-breaking home #715, with Governor Jimmy Carter, Mayor Maynard Jackson, and other dignitaries attending and Pearl Bailey singing the national anthem. The historic run came in the bottom of the fourth inning and was followed by eleven minutes of ovation, fireworks, and ceremonies. When Carter was elected to the Presidency two years later, WSB reporter Peter Maer accompanied him on the flight to Washington, later recalling the surreal sight of seeing Rosalyn’s dresses being stowed aboard, bound for the White House. Maer was later a CBS News network correspondent. In 1984, WSB’s Bob Mohan interviewed President Reagan. Topics included South Africa and tax reform. CLICK HERE for the transcript.
Longtime GM Elmo Ellis retired around the time of the station’s 60th anniversary in 1982; three-decade News Director Aubrey Morris stepped down in 1987. But arriving during the 1980s were many WSB’ers whose tenures would carry the station’s legacy down the next generation: future “Atlanta’s Morning News” host Scott Slade began as a traffic reporter in 1984; 1985 talk show caller “Dave From Conyers” is now better recognized as mainstay “Home Fix It” host Dave Baker; meteorologist Kirk Mellish began a 35-year stay in 1987—even now, there’s scarcely an Atlantan who doesn’t know how the “Mellish Meter” works; Condace Pressley began as a reporter in 1986 and is now Director of Community and Public Affairs for WSB-TV and radio. And the legendary southern cooking expert (and consumer) Ludlow Porch set up shop with his call-in “wackos” in 1982, hosting his well-loved show for almost a decade.
In 1984, Bob Mohan interviewed President Reagan. Topics included South Africa and tax reform. CLICK HERE for the transcript.
FROM THE ARCHIVES:
LISTEN: The WSB Radio 50th Anniversary Birthday Party (1972):