WSVS celebrates 77 years

Among many places listed on the Virginia Landmarks Register is the house that Southside Virginia’s oldest radio station in continuous operation calls home. And on Saturday, April 6, people from all over the region came to celebrate that station and what it means to the community.

April 6 was chosen as the date because back on April 6, 1947, WSVS officially signed on as 650 AM. And this time around, something of equal importance happened, as officials from the National Registry of Historic Places unveiled a historical marker for the station.

Located near the quiet town of Crewe in Nottoway County, the WSVS complex is home to Southside’s longest operating radio station. The roughly 11-acre property originally served as the transmission center of three off-site broadcast stations of the WSVS radio program. It’s also an award-winning operation, earning the Douglass Southhall Freeman Award in 1955, for work done in covering hurricanes over the years. It was also a popular place for famous country artists to drop in. Johnny Cash and June Carter visited the studio, along with Jim Ed Brown, Mel Tillis and Jerry Clower.

The present WSVS building, constructed in 1953 of parged concrete block, is attached to the original 1947 AM transmitter building. Also located on the property are the 1949 tower and FM transmitter building along with other historically contributing structures. Attendees got to see all that, along with a tour of the station. And, as this is a country station, it only makes sense that they wrapped up with some live country music, provided by Dan Nicholls.