In the early 1920s your great-grandparents may have listened to WBT on a rig like this. Radio was still a hobby mainly for the curious and technically adept.

One of a Kind | Stand In


Stand In

For a time in the early '50s Arthur Smith & The Crackerjacks had a WBT Radio show called "The Corner Store." Ralph Smith played himself as well as a fictional character, a black man (named Esau Jabberjaw). Once the cast went out to a real little store on Steele Creek Road to shoot promotion stills. But there was a problem: what about Esau, the non-existent black man? Somebody had a great idea; Lester Staton, the company custodian, was enlisted to play the role. Problem solved.

From left: Lester Staton, Arthur Smith, Clyde McLean, Ralph Smith, Roy Lear and Sonny Smith with guitar.

You can hear four of the group's 15-minute Corner Store programs from 1948 and 1952 at Sounds, Programs of Yesterday.

Photo courtesy Jim Scancarelli.