American Masters

B.B. King's Start in Memphis: WDIA Radio

Clip: Season 30 Episode 2 | 1m 19s

B.B. King tells the story of how a product jingle got him a gig at WDIA in Memphis, TN, the country's first radio station to program exclusively for African-Americans. King approached the white station owners for an audition, and they asked him for a tune for Peptikon, which King provided on the spot. Peptikon, a so-called medicinal tonic, became the product sponsor for King's own regular show.

Aired: 02/12/16

Rating: NR

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Major support for American Masters is provided by AARP. Additional funding is provided by Rosalind P. Walter, The Philip and Janice Levin Foundation, Judith and Burton Resnick, Ellen and James S. Marcus, Lillian Goldman Programming Endowment, The Blanche & Irving Laurie Foundation, Vital Projects Fund, Cheryl and Philip Milstein Family, The André and Elizabeth Kertész Foundation, Lenore Hecht Foundation, Michael & Helen Schaffer Foundation, and public television viewers.