Troy and Thomasine are joined by special guests Leroy Mickens and Ducky Birts as they reflect on the life of broadcasting pioneer Georgie Woods.
Georgie Woods was born on 11 May 1927 in Georgia. Georgie Woods began his broadcasting career in 1952 at WWRL in New York, moving to Philadelphia’s WHAT in January 1953 before joining WDAS in 1956.
At WDAS Georgie was a colleague of both Kae Williams and Jocko Henderson, championing early records by Sam Cooke, Jerry Butler (it was Georgie who nicknamed him “The Iceman”) and later The Beatles, probably the first disc jockey to see the potential of those acts, earning his soubriquet “the guy with the goods”.
Georgie became a fixture on Philadelphia radio, alternating between WDAS and WHAT until 1994, and was well-known for hosting star-studded shows at the Uptown Theater, featuring James Brown, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Aretha Franklin and many more. He also hosted a television dance show in the 1960s.
Deeply involved in the civil rights movement, Georgie marched with Dr Martin Luther King in Alabama and organised buses for the famous march on Washington in 1963. He even won a seat on Philadelphia City Council, though subsequently losing on a recount, and was known to support many charities throughout his career.
Georgie was not afraid to raise political issues on the air, campaigning for equal rights in the early 1960s and later speaking out against the Vietnam war on his show.
On a lighter note, Georgie managed to hit the Philadelphia charts himself in the 1960s with Potato Salad, a novelty song inspired by his on-air patter.
Georgie Woods was a popular radio broadcaster for more than forty years, before eventually retiring to Florida in 1996. He died on 18 June 2005, aged 78.