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W. G. “Bill” McBride

W.G. “Bill” McBride

William G. “Bill” McBride (and wife) reminisce about the early years of radio in Orlando, including the working conditions, local shows and other unique experiences. “Bill” McBride arrived in Orlando from Jefferson County, Kentucky in 1920. Before the end of the decade, he had started working at WDBO, Orlando’s oldest radio station. He continued working there until 1959, a few years after it was picked up by CBS. “Bill” McBride was 78 at the time of this interview.

This interview was conducted by Eleanor Fisher on May 1, 1976 for the Friends of the Orlando Public Library’s Oral History Committee.

LISTEN 29:34
Part One



In part one, topics discussed include:

  1. His arrival in Orlando and beginnings at WDBO
  2. Early experiences in radio
  3. First advertisements and people in radio
  4. “Birthday Party”, local show
  5. Broadcasting during hurricane season
  6. 12 O’Clock News
  7. Celebrities on WDBO
  8. Other experiences
  9. Sign-off times


LISTEN 30:39
Part Two


In part two, topics discussed include:

  1. Working early at the Grand Theatre
  2. Early radio technology
  3. Ad-libbing
  4. Commercial work for WDBO
  5. Orson Welles’ “War of the Worlds”
  6. Teaching Sunday School class
  7. Trouble getting a birth certificate
  8. More celebrities on WDBO


We are grateful for the Orange County Regional History Center’s making this recording available for Orlando Memory.


Listen to other oral histories with other Orlando pioneers.

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