Municipal Archives


​WRR Municipal Radio, 1925-1997

​Collection 1991-024​​​​​​​​

Overview

Repository
Office of the City Secretary
Dallas Municipal Archives
1500 Marilla Street, 5D South
Dallas, Texas 75201
Creator WRR Municipal Radio
Title WRR Municipal Radio
Dates 1930-1970 
Addition 1 1925-1997
Addition 2 1927-1934
Quantity 3.36 linear feet;
Addition 1, 4.09 linear feet
Addition 2, .21 linear feet
Abstract WRR Municipal Radio business papers.
Identification 1991-024
Language Records are in English

Scope and Content

WRR of Dallas is the first broadcast radio station in Texas, the oldest radio station west of the Mississippi, and one of the first licensed in the United States.  Henry "Dad" Garrett set up WRR in Dallas in 1920 and was the first announcer.  Garrett received a license (the second issued in the U.S.) for WRR on August 4, 1921, by the U.S. Department of Commerce.  The origin of the specific call letters for the station (WRR) is unknown.
 
When Garrett was superintendent of the Dallas Police and Fire Signal System, he realized that radio was an effective way for firefighters in the field to communicate.  After persuading city officials to see the safety value of his concept, he installed a 50-watt radio transmitter at the central fire station.  The equipment's principal purpose was to transmit alarms to the other fire stations as well as to the portable radio receiver that Garrett carried in his car.
       
Garrett soon found another use for the city's new equipment.  Between fire alarms, he connected the transmitter to a phonograph and played his collection of classical recordings.  Before long in 1921, the AM station had a regular daily schedule that included broadcasting police bulletins, baseball scores, and a weather forecast at 7:00 in the evening.  This information was followed at about 8:30 in the evening by a classical music concert.  The fire department transferred control of WRR to the City of Dallas in 1931. 
 
The station’s original offices were in the Dallas Fire Department central headquarters, located adjacent to Dallas’ old city hall at 2014 Main Street.  In 1924, leading Dallas businessmen, including John Foldberg Thorwald, took on the task of reconstructing WRR as a city-owned station (the first in the US), and in 1925 the station studios moved to the Adolphus Hotel.  The offices have been located in Fair Park since the late 1930s.
       
WRR has undergone multiple personnel and format changes.  Over the years, formatting has included Public Service, Talk, and Contemporary Oldies. It was the first news/talk station in Dallas, the first station to regularly feature traffic reports, and one of the first to regularly broadcast live sporting events.  WRR was the original flagship station for the Dallas Cowboys, Dallas Rebels, Dallas Texans, and SMU basketball team.
       
When the City of Dallas considered selling WRR in early 1990, both business and cultural leaders joined together to support the station and convince the city to retain ownership.  These leaders formed a board of directors, elected officers, and incorporated as Friends of WRR in August of 1990.  The IRS granted this group tax-exempt status in February 1991, and the Friends of WRR became official in April 1991.  The purpose of the group is to support and further WRR as a city-owned, classical music asset, a goal which appears to have been reached.  In 2002, the Texas Historical Commission designated WRR a Historical Treasure.
       
Collection includes correspondence, memos, reports, budget materials, legal documents, contracts, ascertainment surveys, and Friends of WRR event materials.  WRR publications, such as newsletters, have been transferred to Collection 1991-098 Publications, 1956-Current.
       

Organization

The original collection is arranged chronologically.  The first addition is arranged first by series then chronologically within each series.
 

Access

Permission to publish, reproduce, distribute, or use by any and all other current or future developed methods or procedures must be obtained in writing from the Dallas Municipal Archives. All rights are reserved and retained regardless of current or future development or laws that may apply to fair use standards.
 

Citation

WRR Municipal Radio, 1925-1997 (Box <x>, Folder <y>), Dallas Municipal Archives
 

Related Materials

Collection 2002-006—WRR Audiotape
 

Index Terms

Dallas -- Texas -- History
Radio broadcasting -- Texas -- Dallas
WRR-AM (Radio Station: Dallas, Tex.)
WRR-FM (Radio Station: Dallas, Tex.)

Container List For Original Collection

Box Folder Title, Date
1  Radio Commission Board Minutes-Bound Volumes Book No. 1, May 22, 1931-February 14, 1947
   Radio Commission Board Minutes-Bound Volumes Book No. 2, March 21, 1947-April 24, 1962
2  Radio Commission Board Minutes-Bound Volumes Book No. 3, May 22, 1962-December 22, 1972
   Radio Commission Board Minutes-Bound Volumes Book No. 4, January 24, 1973-November 19, 1974
3 1 Operational Papers, 1930s 
  2 Operational Papers, 1930s
  3 Operational Papers, 1930s
  4 Financial reports, 1930s
  5 Financial reports, 1930s
  6 List of broadcasts of civic, educational, and informative programs that are non-revenue, 1939
  7 List of broadcasts of civic, educational, and informative programs that are non-revenue, 1940
  8 List of broadcasts of civic, educational, and informative programs that are non-revenue, 1941
  9 List of broadcasts of civic, educational, and informative programs that are non-revenue, 1942
  10 List of broadcasts of civic, educational, and informative programs that are non-revenue, 1943
  11 List of broadcasts of civic, educational, and informative programs that are non-revenue, 1944
  12 List of broadcasts of civic, educational, and informative programs that are non-revenue, 1945
4 1 List of broadcasts of civic, educational, and informative programs that are non-revenue, 1946
  2 List of broadcasts of civic, educational, and informative programs that are non-revenue, 1947
  3 List of broadcasts of civic, educational, and informative programs that are non-revenue, 1948
  4 List of broadcasts of civic, educational, and informative programs that are non-revenue, 1949
  5 List of broadcasts of civic, educational, and informative programs that are non-revenue, 1951
  6 List of broadcasts of civic, educational, and informative programs that are non-revenue, 1952
  7 List of broadcasts of civic, educational, and informative programs that are non-revenue, January-April 1953
  8 List of broadcasts of civic, educational, and informative programs that are non-revenue, May-December 1953
  9 List of broadcasts of civic, educational, and informative programs that are non-revenue, January-September 1954
  10 List of broadcasts of civic, educational, and informative programs that are non-revenue, October-December 1954
  11 List of broadcasts of civic, educational, and informative programs that are non-revenue, January-March 1955
5 1 Balance Sheets, 1940
  2 Balance Sheets, 1941
  3 Balance Sheets, 1946
  4 Balance Sheets, 1947
  5 Balance Sheets, 1948
  6 Balance Sheets, 1949
  7 Balance Sheets, 1951
  8 Balance Sheets, 1952
  9 Balance Sheets, 1953
  10 Balance Sheets, 1954
  11 Balance Sheets, 1955
  12 Balance Sheets, 1956
  13 Balance Sheets, 1957
  14 Balance Sheets, 1958
  15 Balance Sheets, 1959
  16 Balance Sheets, 1960
  17 Balance Sheets, 1961
  18 Balance Sheets, 1962
  19 Balance Sheets, 1963
  20 Balance Sheets, 1964
  21 Balance Sheets, 1965
  22 Balance Sheets, 1966
  23 Balance Sheets, 1967
  24 Financial Papers-Statements of Operations, undated
  25 Financial Sheet-Account No. 95, undated
6 1 Monthly Remittance Reports, January 1932-October 1934
2 Monthly Remittance Reports, November 1934-September 1936
  3 Monthly Remittance Reports, October 1936-February 1939
  4 Original folders, undated
  5 Original folders, undated
7 1 Commission agendas and attached supporting documents, 1967
  2 Commission agendas and attached supporting documents, 1968
  3 Commission agendas and attached supporting documents, 1969
4 Handwritten minutes, 1967
5 Miscellaneous minutes
6 Action transcriptions for minutes
7 Progress Report, December 22, 1970
8 1 Correspondence
2 Memoranda
3 Resolutions
4 Cartoon-Bill McClanahan
5 "WRR Radio Expansion Under Study," Dallas Times Herald, September 15, 1959
6 Emergency Radio Communications, 1953
7 Report on City Communications
8 "World of Music"
9 Advertising
10 Contracts
11 WRR reports presented to Radio Commission
12 Smith Detective Agency and Nightwatch Service Inc. Report on Radio Commission Stationary, November 15, 1959
13 WRR-FINA traffic reports, 1962
14 Reports and Broadcasts, undated
15 Blue Prints-Studio, undated
16 Radio Commission, January-June, 1970
17 Radio Commission, July-October, 1970
18 Radio Commission, November-December, 1970


Container List For Addition 1

Box Folder Title, Date
   Administration
11Affirmative Action Plan, 1976-1977
12Announcer Bios, 1995-96, undated
13Annual Employment Reports, 1974-77
14Awards/Recognition, 1966-77, undated
15Balance Sheets, 1974-77
16Cable Television Report & Order, 1972
17City Council Actions, 1974-76
18City of Dallas Charter, 1968
19City of Dallas Code of Ethics, 1976-77, undated
110Communications Report (Analysis), 1966, undated
111Communities Foundation of Texas, 1995
112Computed coverage contours, undated
[Created by Cohen and Dippell Consulting Engineers]
113Demographics, 1983
[Population characteristics]
114Emergency Broadcast System
115FCC Form 301 Technical Chang e Transmission Line, 1979
116FCC License Application, 1965
117FCC License Renewal, 1974, 1977
118FCC Newsletter, 1974-84
119FM Broadcast Station License, 1972
120Gauges of Performance, 1974-78
121Guidelines for Employee Discipline, 1974-75
122Handbook for Appointed Officials, 1975
123HR 12993, 1974
124Hypoing, 1975-76
125Inventory, 1974
126Mediastat Report, 1973-78
127Minority Reports, 1973-74
128New Studios Groundbreaking Ceremony, 1974
129New Studios 1, 1972-74
130New Studios 2, 1972-74
131Newspaper Clippings, 1970-78
132Ordinances, 1922, 1970-75
133Petition Not to Sell WRR, 1992
134Pulse Report, 1968-72
135Recorded Conversations, 1974
136Research, undated
137Roger Mulder, 1976-77
138Southern Broadcasting, 1976, undated
139World AIDS Day - Quilt Project, 1995
140WRR AM-FM License Stats, 1977
141WRR Annual Problems and Needs, 1979
142WRR Annual Problems and Needs, 1980
143WRR Annual Problems and Needs, 1981
144WRR Operations Manual, 1975
   Ascertainment Surveys
21Agriculture, 1976-77
22Business, 1976-77
23Charities, 1976-77
24Consumer Services, 1976-77
25Culture, 1976-77
26Education, 1976-77
27Environment, 1976-77
28Government, 1976-77
29Labor, 1976
210Military, 1976-77
211Minority/Ethnic Groups, 1976-77
212Mixed, 1976-77
213Neighborhood and Fraternal Civic Groups, 1976-77
214Organizations-Elderly, 1976-77
215Organizations-Women, 1976-77
216Organizations-Youth, 1976-77
217Professions, 1976-77
218Public Safety, Health, and Welfare, 1976-77
219Recreation, 1976-77
   Boards and Commissions
220Radio Advisory Board, 1975
221Radio Advisory Board, 1976
222Radio Advisory Commission, 1977
223Radio Advisory Commission, 1978
224Radio Commission Annual Report, 1974 [2 copies]
225Radio Commission Attendance, 1971-78
226Radio Commission Meeting, 1970
227Radio Commission Meeting, 06/27/1972
228Radio Commission Meeting, 07/31/1972
229Radio Commission Meeting, 08/22/1972
230Radio Commission Meeting, 09/26/1972
231Radio Commission Meeting, 10/31/1972
232Radio Commission Meeting, 11/28/1972
233Radio Commission Meeting, 07/27/1973
234Radio Commission Meeting, 01/22/1974
235Radio Commission Meeting, 03/19/1974
236Radio Commission Meeting, 04/30/1974
237Radio Commission Meeting, 05/28/1974
238Radio Commission Meeting, 09/24/1974
239Radio Commission Meeting, 10/29/1974
240Radio Commission Meeting, 11/19/1974
241Radio Commission Meeting, 01/21/1975
242Radio Commission Meeting, 02/18/1975
243Radio Commission Meeting, 04/09/1975
244Radio Commission Meeting, 05/22/1975
245Radio Commission Meeting, 07/29/1975
246Radio Commission Minutes, 1957-59
247Radio Commission Minutes, 1960-64
248Radio Commission Minutes, 1965
249Radio Commission Minutes, 1966
250Radio Commission Minutes, 1967
251Radio Commission Minutes, 1968
252Radio Commission Minutes, 1969
253Radio Commission Minutes, 1971
254Radio Commission Minutes, 1972
255Radio Commission Minutes, 1973
   Contracts
31American Research Bureau, 1966-76
32American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers 1, 1967-74
33American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers 2, 1967-74
34Atwood-Richards, 1973-77
35B. Dalton Booksellers, 1976-77
36Barrett-Gormin, 1976-78
37Best Choice Magazine, 1976
38BMI, 1974-78
39Boardman Aviation, 1976
310Brockway Associates, 1976
311Christian Science Monitor, 1977
312Concert Music Satellite System, 1984-86
313D&K Advertising, 1978
314Dallas Blackhawks, 1973-77
315Dallas Tornado Soccer Club, 1974-75
316Frank Music Corp., 1975-76
317Frontier Airlines, 1973-74
318Gold Rush Program, 1976-77
319Herbert Groskin and Co., 1962-79
320Highland Park Football, 1976-77
321Houston Astros, 1976-78
322Houston Oilers, 1976
323Jack Masla & Co, 1976-77
324Keyes Corporation, 1975-76
325Mesquite Football, 1975-76
326Mutual Broadcasting 1, 1966-77
327Mutual Broadcasting 2, 1966-77
328NBC Information, 1975-76
329Notre Dame Football, 1973-74
330Parrish Associates, 1976
331Pittman, Lovett, Ford, and Hennessy 1, 1974-77
332Pittman, Lovett, Ford, and Hennessy 2, 1974-77
333Riley Representatives, 1977
334Savali/Gates, 1976-77
335Sheraton Corporation, 1960-75
336Spot Advertising 1, 1969
337Spot Advertising 2, 1970
338Spot Advertising 3, 1970
339Spot Advertising 4, 1972
340Spot Advertising 5, 1973-75
341Spot Advertising 6, 1973-75
342Texas International Airlines, 1974-75
343Texas Sports Network, 1976
344Trade Agreement - Faulk Planning, 1974-75
345Trade Agreement - AAA Auto Club, 1976-78
346Trade Agreement - Allman Companies, 1976
347Trade Agreement - BankAmericard, 1975
348Trade Agreement - Benihana Restaurant, 1976
349Trade Agreement - Broadcast Marketing, 1975-77
350Trade Agreement - Budget Rent-A-Car, 1974-75
351Trade Agreement - Caldwell Printing, 1976
352Trade Agreement - Dallas Morning News, 1977
353Trade Agreement - Dallas Times Herald, 1975
354Trade Agreement - Hart Furniture, 1975
355Trade Agreement - Iconoclast, 1975-76
356Trade Agreement - Inter/Media (Phone Mate), 1976
357Trade Agreement - KOAX, 1976
358Trade Agreement - Kwik Kopy, 1975
359Trade Agreement - KXAS TX, 1975
360Trade Agreement - Metroplex Helicopter, 1977
361Trade Agreement - Midland International, 1976
362Trade Agreement - Miracle Ford, 1977
363Trade Agreement - Mitch Lewis Assoc., 1976
364Trade Agreement - Mixed, 1969-77
[Oak Cliff Tribune, Sheldon Communications, Inc., KXTX, The Midlothian Mirror, Mesquite Daily News, Times-Chronicle Newspapers, Arlington Daily News, News-Texan, Inc., Papillion Restaurant, First American Financial, National Singles Register, Winston Network, Inc., Planned Profits of Texas, Forester Radio-Telephone Service, 3M National Advertising Company, Radio Shack, KNUS, Essenfield Wholesale Jewelers, Financial Trend, KOAX, McKenzie Floor Company, Royal Tokyo Restaurant, The Chablis and The Creperie, Granny's Dinner Theater, Nortex Electronic Calculators, Inc., Brentano's, Tropicana Hotel, Littlestone Company, Dominique Restaurant, Adolphus Hotel, Shamrock Hilton, La Quinta Motor Inns, Alexander's Restaurant, Brennan's French Restaurant]
365Trade Agreement - Rains-Albright (Salvage Carpets & Duffy's Furniture), 1974
366Trade Agreement Reports, 1976
367Trade Agreement - Shepherd Printing, 1977
368Trade Agreement - Sheraton Inn, 1975
369Trade Agreement - Texas Monthly, 1974-75
370Trade Agreement - The Allen Co., 1974
371Trade Agreement - The Texas Observer, 1976
372Trade Agreement - Tom Myers and Associates, 1976
373Trade Agreement - Underground Shopper, 1974-75
374Trade Agreement - Universal Weather Service, 1976
375Trade Agreement - World Tennis Magazine, 1977
376UPI, 1873-77
377William B Tanner Co., 1974
378World Championship Tennis, 1976
   Correspondence
41ABC Radio, 1974-77
42Abe Lincoln Awards, 1973-75
43Action Center, 1974-77
44Advertising Agencies 1, 1974-77
45Advertising Agencies 2, 1974-77
46Bonneville Corporation, 1977
47CBS, 1977
48City Hall, 1974-76
49Congressional, 1974-75
410D Magazine, 1974-78
411Dallas Association of Radio Station Managers, 1976-77
412Dallas Chamber of Commerce, 1975
413Editorials, 1975
414Elkins Scholarship, 1974-75
415Favour 1, 1974-78
416Favour 2, 1974-78
417First Presbyterian Church, 1965-67
418Ford Foundation, 1976
419Format Development, 1974-75
420Fraudulent Billing, 1973
421General 1, 1975-78
422General 2, 1975-78
423General 3, 1975-78
424Giveaway, 1975
425Holland and Associates, Inc, 1974
426Houston Astros, 1970-76
427Houston Trip, 1974
428Internship Program, 1976
429KDFW TV, 1975
430Listener Editorials, 1975
431Listener Mail 1, 1975-84
432Listener Mail 2, 1975-84
433Listener Mail 3, 1975-84
51Listener Mail 4, 1975-84
52Listener Mail 5, 1975-84
53Listener Mail 6, 1975-84
54Listener Mail 7, 1975-84
55Lottery, 1975
56MasterCharge, 1974
57National Association of Broadcasters, 1973-74
58National Radio Broadcasting Association, 1976
59NBC, 1975-77
510New York Trip, 1974
511NIS Advisory Council, 1976
512Nixon Resignation Album, 1976
513North American Radio Alliance, 1977
514North Texas State University, 1974
515Offages, 1976
516Proctor Press, 1974
517Public Service, 1971-75
518Pulse Inc., 1962-74
519Radio Advertising Bureau, 1974-75
520Radio Commission 1, 1970-78
521Radio Commission 2, 1970-78
522Richard Martin, 1974
523SESAC, 1964-75
524Southland Corporation, 1975
525Southwest Airlines, 1974
526Texas Association of Broadcasters, 1974-76
527Texas State Fair, 1966-82
528Texas State Network, 1977
529Tracy Locke, 1974-75
   Friends of WRR
530"Airtime" - Music of the Metroplex, 1990-92, undated
531"Airtime" Releases, 1992-93
532Accounting, 1991-93
533Arts Update Spots, 1992, undated
534ATT, 1995
535Board Meeting 1, 1992
536Board Meeting 2, 1992
537Board Members, 1991, undated
61Classical Countdown/School Supply Drive, 1994
62Correspondence, 1992-93
63Executive Committee Meeting, 1993
64Friends of WRR 1, 1990-94
65Friends of WRR 2, 1994-95
66Friends of WRR 3, 1994-95
67Friends of WRR 4, undated
68Friends of WRR 5, undated
[Minutes of first organizational meeting, bylaws, Articles of Incorporation]
69Membership Campaign and Reception, 1993
610Membership Campaign Materials, 1992, undated
611Volunteers, 1993, undated
   Memoranda
612Bill Whitley, 1974-76
613Eddie Hill, 1974-75
614Houston Astros, 1974-78
615Internet, 1997
616Jim Lawrence, 1977
617Joe McChesney, 1977-78
618John Crawford, 1976
619NBC Articles, 1975
620Paul Pryor, 1974-76
621Pittman Lovett, 1975
622Policy, 1975
623Public Service Activities, 1974-76
624Request to Revise Budget, 1974
625Ruth Lafever, 1975
626Staff, 1974-78
627Telephone System, 1974-77
628Tom Tully, 1977-78
629WRR-FM Program Advisory Committee, 1975
   Programming
630Daily Operating Logs, 1972-73
631Daily Program Logs, 1972-73
632Exxon SW Conference Football, 1974
633FCC Political Reports, 1966-68
634Legal, 1959
635Mean Green Network, 1974
636Metropolitan Opera, 1971-74
637Mystery Sound Contest, 1957
638Political Broadcast Agreements 1, 1968-69
639Political Broadcast Agreements 2, 1970
640Political Broadcast Agreements 3, 1972-73
641Political Broadcast Agreements 4, 1980-84
642Political Broadcast Forms, 1973
643Political Inquiry Forms, 1978-82
644Program Changes - AM, 1974-75
645Program Changes - FM, 1974-75
71Standard Rate and Data,  1973-78
72WFAA, 1988-90
73WRR-FM Exhibit 11, undated
74WRR-FM Exhibit 13, 1977
75WRR-FM Exhibit 14 (Logs), 1976
   WRR History
76WRR History 1, 1925-66, undated
77WRR History 2, 1959-1975
Media
78
Morton Myerson Center, 1989
79
Pictures 1, 1970, undated
[Prints and slides]
710
Pictures 2, undated
[Prints]
711
Pictures 3, 1973, undated
[Prints]
712
Pictures 4, 1974, undated
[Prints]
713
Press 1, 1939-19 98
714
Press 2, undated
715
Scrapbook 1, 1983-84
[Photocopy of original magnetic-paged album that contained event photos, news clippings, and invitations.  Photocopy shows original page layout and order of photos.  Album disassembled after copying.]
716
Scrapbook 2, 1983-84
[Original album contents.]
717
Scrapbook 3, 1983-84
[Original album contents.]
718
Scrapbook 4, 1983-84
[Original album contents.]
719Scrapbook 5, 1983-84
[Original album contents.]
720Scrapbook 6, 1983-84
[Original album contents.]
721WRR Promo Map
8​​CD—March of the Day, 2003
8CD—Unknown content, undated
8DVD—Classical WRR 101.1 fm History, undated
81 reel 1/4"-tape.  Al Jones on "Affiliated Grocery/BakeRite Show", ca. 1950
83 reels 1/4"-tape.  Contents unknown, undated
Artifacts
8WRR coffee mug
8WRR T-shirt


Container List For Addition 2

BoxFolder​Description, Date
​7​22​Licensing applications and support documentation, 1927-1934
[Copies.  Original documents reside with the National Archives and Records Administration.]


 

 


 

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