The BT Memories Sound Vault

Hidden in a secret compartment deep beneath the false bottom of a 100-ft well dug through the heart of a remote, barely-noticed, heavily-wooded mountain about three miles northeast of Ranlo, NC, this massive vault is often compared to the one used to store the Dead Sea Scrolls.

Within these impenetrable walls of tempered titanium we maintain constant vigilance over this priceless collection of cherished, irreplaceable recordings, preserving them for eons to come, for all eternity—or until we run out of storage space, then out they go.

Sound Vault| Way Back Radio

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Birth of WBT

From April, 1957, here's one of J. B. Clark's Profile programs. Here he interviews the lady who, as a little girl in 1922, spoke the first words into a WBT microphone. You'll also hear the voices of Charles H. Crutchfield and broadcast pioneer Earl Gluck, who was head of WBT in the early 1930's. Read the story here.

Play track 1.

Heartaches

This old recording from the '30s was resurrected in 1947 by WBT's Kurt Webster. Its new-found popularity brought bandleader Ted Weems out of retirement. Read the story here.

Play track 2.

Golden Gate Quartet

A featured group on WBT for over two decades was the Golden Gate Quartet. In 1942 they recorded a special show for WBT's 20th anniversary, of which a short clip survives. The announcer is Tony Marvin, who later became Arthur Godfrey's announcer.

Play track 3.

WBT Sign Off

Here's a brief sign off announcement made late one night during World War II by an announcer who identifies himself as Alan Burke. Could this be the same person as the controversial talk show host of the sixties?

Play track 4.

On the subject of sound, some of the great sounds of the seventies hereabouts were created in Jeffersonics, WBT's recording facility run by Jay Howard. He created many award-winning commercials and soundtracks for the Charlotte advertising community.