TexasEscapes.com HOME Welcome to Texas Escapes
A magazine written by Texas
Custom Search
NEW : : TEXAS TOWNS : : GHOST TOWNS : : COUNTIES : : TOPICS : : HISTORY/OPINION : : ARCHITECTURE : : IMAGES : : ARCHIVE : : SITE MAP



Dallas, Texas
National Historical Landmark

FAIR PARK

by Clint Skinner

26. WRR Headquarters

Standing to the right of the aquarium is the headquarters of radio station WRR. Owned by the city, it was the first licensed broadcast station in the South and the second one in the United States to have a commercial license. It is also the only station in North Texas to play classical music around the clock. The whole thing was made possible by a man named Henry Garrett.
Dallas TX Fair park - WRR Headquarters
WRR Headquarters
Photo courtesy Clint Skinner, February 2016

Born in Canada around 1861, Henry and his family moved to California and Nebraska before arriving in Dallas. After he graduated with a degree in electrical engineering, he started the Pan-Electric Telephone Company in 1885. The company failed and Henry tried looking for a new venue. He found one when he was hired to install an electric light system for the first season of the state fair. He then spent time serving Southwestern Bell and the Dallas Street Railway Company. Garrett helped run an electrical supply business during the 1890s before become the city's first car dealer in 1902. However, he decided to pursue a different career by becoming the superintendent of the Dallas Police and Fire Signal System.

While enjoying his free time, Garrett pursued his interest in radios, often experimenting with the equipment. The destruction of telephone lines caused by a fire inspired him to find a way to use radio transmission as a way for the fire department to communicate. He succeeded in his endeavor and convinced the city government get a 50-watt radio transmitter in 1920. The new equipment would send alarms to fire stations and car receivers.

Between the alarms, the transmitter was connected to a phonograph which played Henry Garrett's classical music collection. Anyone owning a radio could listen to the music in addition to the emergency announcements. However, the majority of air time went to talk show programs. Every evening at seven, there were police bulletins, sports news, and weather forecasts. This was followed by a concert of classical music. Broadcaster John Stone soon got involved and became first disc jockey in the Southwest.

The radio station, located on 1310 AM, received its license in 1921. For reasons unknown, it used the call letters WRR. In addition to broadcasting music, WRR provided radio equipment for the city departments until they could acquire their own apparatus and administered dispatching services for private ambulances and the Cockrell Hill police.

WRR transferred to the Jefferson Hotel in 1923, the Adolphus Hotel in 1925, and the tenth floor of the Southland Life Building during the 1930s. The city obtained control of the station from the fire department in 1931. Five years later, WRR moved into the Police and Fire Building at Fair Park in time for the centennial exposition. The station obtained its FM license in 1948 and started broadcasting classical music on its 101.1 position on the radio dial. However, management decided to keep both the AM and FM frequencies. The final headquarters of WRR was entered in 1973. Half a decade later, the AM frequency was sold.

WRR is currently operated by the City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs, which treats the station as a business by relying on advertising and sponsorships instead of tax revenue. In addition to the regular format, the broadcast is available in digital format on the internet. As time marches onward, WRR is the oldest same-owner radio station in the United States.


December 5, 2016
© Clint Skinner


FAIR PARK:
Fair Park - Attractions:
1. Fair Park Station
2. Main Entrance
3. Founders Statue
4. Women's Museum
5. DAR House
6. The Texas Vietnam Veterans Memorial
7. Sydney Smith Memorial Fountain
8. Music Hall
9. Fair Park Esplanade
10. Centennial Building
11. Automobile Building
12. Hall of State
13. Tower Building
14. Big Tex Circle
15. Grand Place
16. Old Mill Inn
17. Magnolia Lounge
18. Hall of Religion
19. African American Museum
20. Leonhardt Lagoon
21. Dallas Museum of Natural History
22. Science Place I
23. Children's Aquarium
24. Fair Park Bandshell
25. Texas Discovery Gardens
26. WRR Headquarters
27. Science Place II
28. The Texas Star
29. Cotton Bowl Stadium
30. The Texas Skyway
31. The Embarcadero
32. The Creative Arts Building
33. Food and Fiber Building
34. Pan American Arena
35. The Woofus
36. The Swine Building
37. Briscoe Carpenter Livestock Center
38. Livestock Pavilion and Arena
39. The Horse Barn
40. Fair Park Coliseum
41. Top of Texas Tower


References:
1.Bigtex.com
2.Dallashistory.org
3.Dallas Morning News Archives
4.Fairpark.org
5.Slate, John H. Historic Dallas Parks. Arcadia Publishing, 2010.
6.Tshaonline.org
7.Watermelon-kid.com
8.Wikipedia.org
8.Winters, Willis Cecil. Fair Park. Arcadia Publishing, 2010.

See Dallas, Texas | Dallas Hotels

Dallas Hotels
Find Hotel Deals in Dallas, Texas
Book Here

 


All Texas Towns :
Gulf Gulf Coast East East Texas North Central North Central Woutn Central South Panhandle Panhandle
South South Texas Hill Hill Country West West Texas Ghost Ghost Towns counties COUNTIES

TEXAS ESCAPES CONTENTS
HOME | TEXAS ESCAPES ONLINE MAGAZINE | SEARCH SITE
TEXAS TOWNS A-Z | TEXAS GHOST TOWNS A-Z | TEXAS COUNTIES

Texas Hill Country | East Texas | Central Texas North | Central Texas South | West Texas | Texas Panhandle | South Texas | Texas Gulf Coast
TRIPS | STATES PARKS | RIVERS | LAKES | DRIVES | FORTS | MAPS

Texas Attractions
TEXAS TOPICS
People | Ghosts | Historic Trees | Cemeteries | Small Town Sagas | WWII | History | Texas Centennial | Black History | Art | Music | Animals | Books | Food
COLUMNS : History, Humor, Topical and Opinion

TEXAS ARCHITECTURE | IMAGES
Courthouses | Jails | Churches | Gas Stations | Schoolhouses | Bridges | Theaters | Monuments/Statues | Depots | Water Towers | Post Offices | Grain Elevators | Lodges | Museums | Rooms with a Past | Gargoyles | Cornerstones | Pitted Dates | Stores | Banks | Drive-by Architecture | Signs | Ghost Signs | Old Neon | Murals | Then & Now
Vintage Photos

USA | MEXICO | HOTELS

Privacy Statement | Disclaimer | Contributors | Staff | Contact TE
Website Content Copyright Texas Escapes LLC. All Rights Reserved