Birmingham, Alabama â€”The Southern Gospel music industry marks its 50th year with a yearlong celebration of one of its most popular radio programs. In August 1968, Wayne Wallace began what is known throughout this genre of music as â€œThe Dixie Gospel Caravan.â€
The Dixie Gospel Caravan has had an impact on listeners not only in Birmingham, but around the country. Itâ€™s hard to find an artist today that is not aware of the program or the impact Wallace had on the industry. Artists dreamed of being featured on the show that Wallace created and their buses always tuned into 93.7 FM while rolling through Birmingham to hopefully hear their song. Another popular part of the program were interviews that featured the likes of J.D. Sumner, George Younce, Bill Gaither and any member of The Happy Goodman Family.
Today, Mickey Bell is the current host of this history-rich show. Bell is a longtime radio show host who has won several awards for his work in radio and television. Not only are fans tuning into their radios, but they are also enjoying Facebook Live events that Bell hosts weekly.
To mark the 50th anniversary, the Dixie Gospel Caravan will feature a year-long emphasis with special moments from the past. â€œI was able to find several CDs that have recorded interviews that Wayne Wallace conducted on his program many years ago,â€ Bell said. â€œThese interviews include artists that are no longer with us, but their impact still reflects upon gospel music today.â€
The Dixie Gospel Caravan can be heard weeknights from 6:00 p.m. to midnight on WXJC-The Truth (92.5), 850 AM or online at www.850wxjc.com.