Highlights for Fred Fletcher
Collins surrounded by George Geoghegan, Fred Fletcher, A.J. Fletcher, Charles Campbell and Wesley Williams
In recognition of WRAL’s 60th Anniversary, Scott Mason – better known as The Tar Heel Traveler – took viewers back to October 17, 1956 for the groundbreaking ceremonies of the studios on Western Boulevard in Raleigh. WRAL would sign on two months later on December 15, 1956 using a temporary studio in the garage of the transmitter building near Garner.
Scott Mason interviewed Wesley Williams, former President of Greater Raleigh Merchants Association, for his recollection of that rainy day in October. Also interviewed is CEO Jim Goodmon, grandson of founder A.J. Fletcher and nephew of Fred Fletcher.
WRAL-FM carried the dedication ceremonies LIVE with Fred Fletcher, VP of Capitol Broadcasting introducing the guest speakers and providing commentary. George Geoghegan, VP of Wachovia Bank and Trust served as Master of Ceremonies. Other speakers included Charles Campbell, President of the Raleigh Chamber of Commerce and Wesley Williams, at the time Secretary of the Raleigh Merchants Association.
The highlight of the event was Dorothy Collins, star of the NBC television program “Your Hit Parade,” joining CBC Founder and President AJ Fletcher to turn the soil with a gold color shovel. The day was rainy and gray, but everyone beamed with excitement. Dorothy Collins said, “I hope this station goes on forever and ever.”
Feature edited by WRAL Tar Heel Traveler photographer Bob Meikle.
WRAL’s dominance in ratings started right-off-the-bat after The Big 5 signed-on in December, 1956. According to then WRAL General Manager Fred Fletcher in his book Tempus Fugit, “By July, 1958 – a year and a half after sign-on – we
Host Fred Fletcher conducts an interview during live Tempus Fugit program at NC Farmers Market
The case can be made that Andy Griffith owes his start in showbiz to Fred Fletcher. Actually, Fred Fletcher made that claim in his book Tempus Fugit. One thing for sure, Fred knew talent when he heard or saw it.