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Georgia Radio Hall of Fame Recognizes Radio Pioneers

“Alley Pat,” Woodruff represent Georgia radio highlights

James “Alley Pat” Patrick

The Georgia Radio Hall of Fame will award the 2013 Founders and Directors Award to James “Alley Pat” Patrick, disc jockey at WERD(AM) and WAOK(AM) Atlanta. James W. Woodruff Jr. will be the recipient of the 2013 Elmo Ellis Spirit Award.

Both awards will be presented at the Seventh Annual Induction Awards Ceremony at the Atlanta/Marietta Hilton Hotel and Conference Center on Oct. 19.

James “Alley Pat” Patrick began his career as one of Atlanta’s first black DJs under the name “Pat Alley” in 1947. The former Tuskegee Airman and medical student was discovered by the Programming Director for Atlanta’s WERD, Ken Knight, while he was calling a bingo game and entertaining the players.

WERD was the first black-owned radio station in America, and in 1954, Patrick joined another historic station’s staff: Atlanta’s WAOK, the country’s first 24-hour black radio station, co-hosting a show with Zenas Sears (a white DJ). During the 1960s, he took a brief stint away from radio to serve as a bail bondsman in order to help civil rights activists, but in the 1970s he returned, hosting a morning drive show on WXAP(AM), later moving to WYZE(AM) for the afternoon. In the 1990s, his voice could still be heard on WQXI(AM).


James W. Woodruff, Jr. was born in Columbus, Ga., and attended the University of Georgia to study journalism. Woodruff enlisted in the U. S. Army during WWII and was stationed in Karachi, India, where he was program director for the Armed Forces Radio. In his twenties, he had supervising interests in radio stations in Albany, Atlanta and Columbus, Ga. He was president and general manager of Columbus Broadcasting Co., WRBL AM/FM. He made WRBL broadcast facilities available to the service of the people of Phenix City, Ala., Columbus and Fort Benning, Ga.

Woodruff was chairman of the Board of Directors of the First National Bank of Columbus, served as executive vice president of the Three Rivers Development Association and was president of the Chamber of Commerce of Columbus, Ga., from 1948 through 1950. He died in 1976.