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“W” is for WSPA

South Carolina from A to Z logo

“W” is for WSPA. WSPA in Spartanburg became South Carolina’s first commercial radio station when it signed on the air at 6:45 P.M. on February 13, 1930. It was the beginning of many broadcasting “firsts.” Over the years the station provided diverse programming to its upstate audience. This was reflected from the first night when it broadcast a speech by Governor John G. Richards as well as musical performances by a classical violinist and a local yodeler—all live from its studios atop the Montgomery Building. By 1935 the station had established a commitment to upstate news coverage. Regularly scheduled live music programming became a WSPA staple. In 1947 the station launched South Carolina’s first FM station and, in 1957—combining both its AM and FM signals. WSPA-Television went on the air in 1956.

Dr. Walter Edgar has two programs on South Carolina Public Radio: Walter Edgar's Journal, and South Carolina from A to Z. Dr. Edgar receivedhisA.B.degreefromDavidson College in 1965 and his Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina in 1969. After two years in the army (including a tour of duty in Vietnam), he returned to USC as a post-doctoral fellow of the National Archives, assigned to the Papers of Henry Laurens.