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“Aimed at Negro listeners, KATZ will employ Negroes as announcers and as entertainers.”

That understated press release marked a big moment—when KATZ went on the air in 1955, it was the city’s first full-time radio station for Black audiences. KATZ offered a little of everything, from Brother Leo Morris’s gospel show, to Gabriel’s “KATZ ‘n’ Jammers” boogie woogie show, to the smooth soul of Donny Brooks, who became KATZ program director in the late 1960s.

KATZ became a cornerstone in the Black community. The station broadcast updates on area job opportunities five times a day, and operated the St. Louis Educational Assistance Fund for local children. By the end of the 1960s, they handed out over $3,000 worth of shoes for school children, and countless more in bus fares, winter clothing, and lunch money.

The station kept its R&B/soul format into the early 1980s, when it flipped that to its FM affiliate. Its AM channel became gospel-focused, which it still is today. #STLSoundBite

: KATZ promotional flyer featuring station disc jockeys, ca. 1960
St. Louis Media History Foundation Collections
    • Phone number(s)(314) 746-4599
    • Information pageThe link of the page
    • Location(s) 5700 Lindell Blvd, St. Louis 63112
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