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The Langston Legacy: WDKX celebrates 50 years in Rochester

todayFebruary 11, 2024 3

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC)- New York State’s only remaining black-owned commercial radio station celebrates 50 years in Rochester. Andre Langston was just a kid when his parents Andrew and Gloria Langston moved here in the 1960’s. “Content is what’s going to save radio, ” Langston explains, “If you have content people will listen.”

As the host of the popular Memory Lane radio program on Saturday mornings, Andre Marcel says soon he’ll be passing the mic to someone else but he says 103.9 FM is here to stay. WDKX is one of only a handful of black-owned and operated commercial radio stations in the country. Langston says he made a promise to his parents a long time ago. ” My dad said I need you and that’s why I’m still here my dad still needs me.” Langston adds, ” I keep his dream alive and my mom’s too because this station wouldn’t be here without her. They were a great team.”

Langston says his dad moved him and his mom from Brooklyn to Rochester for a new job promised by executives at WROC-TV. “WDKX really started because he was denied being hired which is ironic by the TV station that is interviewing me right now, ” said Langston during an exclusive interview. Langston explained that his dad was hired before the executives knew he was Black. That rejection by WROC which was owned by a different company at the time was just the beginning of a story about a black man who persevered and on April 6, 1974, launched WDKX. “One of the things that motivated me, people used to call this a mom-and-pop business,” Langston explains. “Like it was a little corner store and I’m like well that’s because the ratings weren’t there. Now the ratings are there what are you calling us now?”

More of this one one-on-one interview with Andre Langston is part of our Black History Month Special airing Saturday, February 17, at 7:30 p.m. Also, The Langston Legacy Parts 1 and 2 along with other Black History Month features will run Wednesdays on News 8 First at 4.

​ ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC)- New York State’s only remaining black-owned commercial radio station celebrates 50 years in Rochester. Andre Langston was just a kid when his parents Andrew and Gloria Langston moved here in the 1960’s. “Content is what’s going to save radio, ” Langston explains, “If you have content people will listen.”

As the host of the popular Memory Lane radio program on Saturday mornings, Andre Marcel says soon he’ll be passing the mic to someone else but he says 103.9 FM is here to stay. WDKX is one of only a handful of black-owned and operated commercial radio stations in the country. Langston says he made a promise to his parents a long time ago. ” My dad said I need you and that’s why I’m still here my dad still needs me.” Langston adds, ” I keep his dream alive and my mom’s too because this station wouldn’t be here without her. They were a great team.”

Langston says his dad moved him and his mom from Brooklyn to Rochester for a new job promised by executives at WROC-TV. “WDKX really started because he was denied being hired which is ironic by the TV station that is interviewing me right now, ” said Langston during an exclusive interview. Langston explained that his dad was hired before the executives knew he was Black. That rejection by WROC which was owned by a different company at the time was just the beginning of a story about a black man who persevered and on April 6, 1974, launched WDKX. “One of the things that motivated me, people used to call this a mom-and-pop business,” Langston explains. “Like it was a little corner store and I’m like well that’s because the ratings weren’t there. Now the ratings are there what are you calling us now?”

More of this one one-on-one interview with Andre Langston is part of our Black History Month Special airing Saturday, February 17, at 7:30 p.m. Also, The Langston Legacy Parts 1 and 2 along with other Black History Month features will run Wednesdays on News 8 First at 4. Read More Black History MonthRochesterFirst  

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