WVSP were the call letters. Voices Serving the People was its philosophy. For ten years, from 1976-1986 Warrenton, North Carolina’s hometown radio station, WVSP broadcast a community’s voice, its interests, and its concerns.
As Joshua Davis reported on the University of North Carolina’s Media and the Movement website:
The station devoted its programming to progressive reporting on political and social issues and a wide range of musics, most prominently African American genres like jazz and blues, which rarely received airtime on commercial radio in the 1970s and 1980s South. In addition, WVSP embraced a thoroughly democratic approach to programming by giving any local volunteers willing to put in the requisite time and work the chance to host their own programs.”
Listeners tuned to 90.9 FM, to hear local voices delivering news and music of local and national significance. In this episode, Jeriann King Johnson talks about the significance of this independent, community radio station.
Produced by Joseph O’Connell, with Evan Hatch and Joy Salyers. Underwritten by Resourceful Communities and the North Carolina Folklife Institute
Interview with Jereann King Johnson by Mike Taylor (NC Folk, 2009)
WVSP broadcast recordings courtesy of Media and the Movement, a project at UNC-Chapel Hill documenting journalism, civil rights, and black power in the American South.
Photograph of WVSP DJ from North Carolina Humanities Council.
University of North Carolina’s Media and the Movement
NCHC: New Harmonies: Celebrating American Roots Music