First Radio Station, WSM 650 AM


In June of 1922, Boy Scout John H. DeWitt, Jr., started Nashville’s first radio station (WDAA) on the Ward-Belmont campus. Assisted by music teacher G.S. deLuca, he broadcast Enrico Caruso records to the opening of the River and Rail Terminal on the river at Broad Street. WSM first radio signal was broadcast on Oct. 5, 1925, and two weeks later featured a live show soon to be known as the Grand Ole Opry. John H. DeWitt Jr. served as WSM radio station’s chief engineer from 1932 to 1942, and later as president (1947-1968). The station is still in operation, listeners can tuned it to hear live performances including the Grand Ole Opry and other signature programming such as the bluegrass “Station Inn Sessions.”

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