WLDX signed on September 3, 1949, as WWWF. The station was licensed to Bankhead Broadcasting Company, Inc., whose sole owner was Walter Will Bankhead — perhaps explaining all the W’s in the call letters. The station was located near the Sipsey River on Highway 43 South. The studio moved to the old Brown Funeral Home building in downtown Fayette. It remained there until moving to the current location, 733 Columbus Street East, in June of 1966.
The station’s first General Manager Jack Black served until 1985.
In 1986, W. A. Grant Jr. and Eloise Thomley acquired the station as SIS Sound of Fayette, Inc. In June, 1987, the station switched to its current call letters, WLDX.
Thomley served as General Manager from 1986 until May 31, 2005.
In 1996, Thomley, along with husband Wayne, as owners of Thomley Broadcasting Company, Inc., purchased the station. The Thomleys retired in May, 2005.
On June 1, 2005, Dean Broadcasting, Inc., acquired the station. Jill Dean assumed the duties of General Manager of the station and Vice President of the company. Steve Dean is also a vice president of Dean Broadcasting. J Wiley Dean is president of Dean Broadcasting.
The station has served various formats in its 50+ years. There were programs called “Kitchen Kapers,” “Dinner Bell Round Up,” “The Beeper Show,” and “Gus and Ola’s Gospel Music.”
In the 1960s the format was called “Something for Everyone,” starting the day with country, adding 30 minutes of gospel at midday, switching to easy listening until PM-drive, then becoming rock.
In the 1980s, WLDX changed format to country.
Many personalities have contributed to the history of the station. Some of the On-Air personalities included Morgan Gravlee and his dog “Old Blue”, Robert Earl “Bob” Grizzelle, Paul Slatton, Tony Harkey, Eddie Harkey, “Little Orville” Herman, Ed Watkins, Bill Carr, Tom “Scooter” Roberts, Hugh Hughes, Don Estes, Baine Hill, Sue Cooper, Jimmy Davis, Sonny Morgan, Gary Boyles, Don Moore, Tim “Doogan” Gardner, Paul Hammack, Paige Thomley, Shelly Reiker, Carol Rainey, Hank Hodo, Herbie Newell, Billy Walker, Joe Jackson, Mike Duckworth, Jeff Nabors, Glenn Collins, Shannon Davis, Brook Ellison, Jason Norris, Jamie Lucas, John “JC” Creitz.
For many years Douglass Barbor hosted a morning news programs called “Out of the Night” from his grocery store, Kemp and Barbour’s. Zeke Edmondson co-hosted and was also the station engineer.
In the 1980s the morning news show was changed to “Morning Call” and hosted by Carol Rainey and John Gordon. Gordon still hosts the show today with long time radio man, Chris Champion who now also serves as the station’s Program Director. Champion had his first on air radio experience here at WLDX in 1985 and made his comeback to the station in 2009. Champion has become as asset to the station, working hard keeping us informed on Morning Call as well as being the “man on the streets” during election coverage and news events.
Two programs and one personality have been with the station since its first on-air date in 1949: Switch and Swap and At Your Service and Anthony “Big A” Wilson hosted the program until his passing on July 3, 2011. Anthony has been missed greatly by our listeners and staff.
In February 2013, WLDX welcomed Dewayne Guyton as host of At Your Service. Dewayne got his start in local radio in 1988 just down the road at WHKW in Kennedy, AL and has since, worked throughout the south in the cities of Columbus, MS, Tuscaloosa, Birmingham & Mobile, AL as well as Daytona and Orlando, FL. in addition to hosting At Your Service, Dewayne brought a new feel to the morning drive time hours by creating a “Southern Gospel Morning” between the hours of 6am-10m after which the music programming resumed to Country.
On July 1st, 2017, DeWayne Guyton and Jonathan Holmes formed a partnership, Hometown Radio-Fayette and took over Lease Management of WLDX and July 17th, 2017 changed the format to 24 hour Christian Broadcasting, playing Southern Gospel in the mornings and a blend of Contemporary Christian, Praise & Worship and Black Gospel the rest of the day with added influence on preaching and teaching of the Gospel. The station now identifies as “WLDX the River, Fayette County’s Christian Connection”.
WLDX also formed a Ministry Division of hometown Radio Partnership called, “River Ministries” which hosts a local food pantry to feed the hungry and assists those in need in various ways.
WLDX is affiliated with FOX News Network, Yellow Hammer Radio News and Learfield Sports Network with the Alabama Crimson Tide.
WLDX remains today a vital part of the Fayette County Community, committed to the information and entertainment needs of the area as well as spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ!