WSLM OVERCOMES HURDLES TO BECOME SWEETHEART STATION OF THE NATION
WSLM was born when Don H. Martin was a Marine during World War II serving in Guam.
Having helped construct an Armed Services Radio station on the island, he realized he could do the same back home in Salem, IN.
Having grown up in the rural Washington County community, he had once built a razor blade radio, which utilized a blue razor blade and some copper wire.
As a student at Indiana University in Bloomington, Martin was studying broadcasting and drama as well as education when he was drafted into the war.
Upon his return, he finished his degree and served as a debate coach and English teacher at Salem High School in the late 40s while he went through the process to apply for a license with the FCC for WSLM 1220 AM.
He had some challenges from WHAS 840 AM, who didn’t want another radio station in the area – and Martin made several trips to Washington DC to present his case before the FCC.
“We won the right to have a station by engineering,” he said. Martin had employed Clarence Henson of Louisville, KY to handle the engineering work to get WSLM on the air and to prepare studies for the application.
The station was set to air on Christmas Day 1952. However, the night before Christmas, robbers cleaned out the station.
“When we all came in the next morning, the door was busted in and the equipment was damaged and stolen,” Martin said. “At least they made tracks into the station that morning,” he said of the snow on the ground.
The story soon spread on the AP wire that “WSLM had equipment most preferred by thieves.”
Some weeks later, the FCC discovered a pirate station operating near Cincinnati Ohio and they were using some of Martin’s equipment.
“They were set up in a quonset hut,” said Martin. “And using our gear! We managed to get it back and reconditioned and began broadcasting on Feb. 14, 1953.”
Once again, Martin turned lemons into lemonade — releasing the story to the AP, which quickly dubbed the Valentine’s Day broadcast station as the “Sweetheart Station of the Nation.”
On the day of the first broadcast, several thousand gathered in the front lawn of WSLM – some curious, some excited but all eager to find out what Martin was going to do with a radio station in Salem.
OLD WSLM RADIO JINGLES, PROMOS AND SPOTS – ALL AUDIO COPYRIGHT WSLM RADIO and SALEM MEDIA LLC.
Bundy’s IGA – August 1972
Spring Meadow Mobile Homes – August 1972 – Darrell Dixon
CHARLOTTE MARTIN – August 1972 –
EDDIE GILSTRAP MOTORS – August 1972
WSLM TIME JINGLE AND BAIRD MOBILE HOME SPOT – 1972
ADVERTISING PROMO FOR WSLM
BILL VANHOOSE ON WSLM
BILL VANHOOSE SIGN OFF
BILL VANHOOSE SIGN ON
BLAST OFF, FLATOP!
FLAT TOP FOLLIES THEME MUSIC
FLAT TOP FOLLIES INTRO
IN THE HEART OF THE HOOSIER HILLS JINGLE
AWARD WINNING WSLM COMMERCIAL FOR GD ESTES FEATURING NORMA SMEDLEY AND HACK MCKNIGHT
JINGLE BELL VOICE OF WSLM CHRISTMAS JINGLE
MIKE THE MOLE PROMO
WSLM AUTO RACING PROMO
WSLM SINGING JINGLE
WSLM TIME JINGLES