Legendary broadcasters to discuss Birmingham’s golden age of radio

Doug Layton started his Birmingham radio career at WSGN, Birmingham’s first rock-and-roll station. From there he moved on to WYDE where he teamed up with Tommy Charles for Birmingham’s first “two-man” radio team. However, Layton may be best remembered for what took place in 1966 at WAQY, in which he was part owner. Layton participated in a Beatles’ boycott to protest John Lennon’s claim that the group was more popular than Jesus. In addition to banning their records, Layton and Charles asked listeners to send in their Beatles records and memorabilia to be included in a bonfire on August 19. The boycott garnered national attention and other stations, particularly in the south, followed suit.

Tomorrow, Thursday, Feb. 21, Layton will participate in a panel discussion on Birmingham’s golden age of radio, along with Shelley Stewart, Bob Friedman and Courtney Haden at Vulcan Park and Museum. Greg Bass will moderate. A cash bar opens at 5:30 p.m. and the panel’s discussion will begin at 6 p.m. Tickets are $10 if purchased in advanced online or $15 at the door.

In a year that’s filled with numerous nods to Birmingham history, Cristina Almanza, director of marketing and public relations at the park, says they want to offer a different perspective. “We are trying to unveil some historical aspect people may not be familiar with.” Tomorrow’s talk is the first of three events in the park’s 2013 “Birmingham Revealed” series. Music historian Bobby Horton headlines “Music, Migration, and Industrial Birmingham on March 21; the series will close on April 18 with “Crossing Lines: Birmingham and the Southern Conference for Human Welfare.” In 1938, the conference drew Eleanor Roosevelt, Hugo Black, Mary McLeod Bethune and Virginia Foster Durr to Birmingham to help bring the New Deal to the south.

See http://www.visitvulcan.com/eventInfo/BirminghamRevealed.html for more information.

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