WRR Photographs, Documents, and Artifact Selections
from the WRR Collection, Dallas Municipal Archives
James E. "Jim" Lowe Jr. (1926-2000) was one of WRR's best-loved personalities. The Fort Worth native helped start KXOL-AM in the late 1940s and was an announcer and music director before moving to Dallas in 1950, where he began a 24-year career with WRR-AM. As "The Cool Fool", Lowe introduced white Dallas and North Texas listeners to Rhythm and Blues music and artists with his Kat's Karavan show. Many future DFW-area stars including Jimmie and Stevie Ray Vaughan, Steve Miller, Boz Scaggs, Doyle Bramhall, and Delbert McClinton, were acknowledged listeners and devotees. He brought a number of innovations to the station, including the Library of Laffs, which played cuts from comedy albums throughout the day.
Besides his radio career, for nearly four decades Lowe greeted millions of visitors to the State Fair of Texas through the voice of his alter ego, Big Tex. In a 1982 interview, Lowe recalled that Mayor R. L. Thornton instructed him to make Big Tex talk "like a cross between Gary Cooper and Santa Claus".
A Few of WRR's Voices and Personalities Through the Years…
"Gentleman" Jim Carter
Lee Brumm aka Lee Arthur
"Brother" Dave Gardner
John Ravenscroft aka John Peel
John Henry Faulk
Fulton Lewis Sr.
Fulton Lewis III
Rob Milford aka Rob Williams
Clyde White aka Jim White
"Handyman" Al Carrell
G. Guy Gibson
Nancy Leitstein (Brinker) aka Nancy Goodman
L. B. Henson
Sterling "Mac" McClain
John Robert Parker Ravenscroft, (1939-2004), known professionally as John Peel, was known for his eclectic taste in music and his honest and warm broadcasting style. He was an internationally popular, respected, and influential DJ and broadcaster who introduced hundreds of new artists to the world's airwaves.
In 1961, he got his first radio job in Dallas, albeit unpaid, working for WRR where he presented the second hour of the Monday night program Kat's Karavan. Following this role, the Liverpool-born Peel became an official Beatles expert as Beatlemania hit the U.S. He later worked for KOMA in Oklahoma City until 1965 and KMEN in San Bernardino, California before returning to England in early 1967 to work with the offshore pirate radio station Radio London. He enjoyed a long career with the British Broadcasting Corporation from 1967 until his death in 2004.
Al Jones (1918-1956) was an announcer and DJ at WRR for only eight years, but he was well remembered for his work at the station and around Fair Park, where he emceed acts at the Magnolia Lounge and provided the original voice of Big Tex at the State Fair for Tex's first three years.
Original exhibition date: March 2006