White-owned radio station WDIA, first went on the air on June 7, 1947. Its original musical format was country and light pop. However, this programming was not successful for station owners John Pepper and Dick Ferguson. Therefore, they decided to change the format and broadcast black music. The change in format made the station a success.
Musicians like B.B. King and Rufus and Carla Thomas were hired to be on-air personalities at WDIA.