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New Orleans Trivia

Blakeview: WSMB-AM


This week, we turn back the dial 90 years for the inaugural broadcast of one of the city's legendary radio stations ­— WSMB-AM, which signed on the air April 21, 1925. Although WWL was established in 1922, WSMB was the city's first commercial radio station, staffed by professional announcers and engineers working in studios on the 13th floor of the Maison Blanche building, which now houses the Ritz-Carlton Hotel. The station's call letters reflected its co-owners — the Saenger Theater and the Maison Blanche department store. Broadcasting on 1350 AM, in its early years the station featured jazz and big band orchestra performances. In the 1960s, a talk radio format helped revive the station, with morning cutups "Nut and Jeff," daytime talker Keith Rush and night owl Larry Regan. Restaurant critic Tom Fitzmorris' "The Food Show," introduced in 1988, remains a daily presence on the station, which is now owned by WWL-AM's parent company and branded as 3WL.

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