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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Memphis in Shelby County, Tennessee — The American South (East South Central)
 

Nat D. Williams

 
 
Nat D. Williams Marker image. Click for full size.
By R. E. Smith, March 19, 2008
1. Nat D. Williams Marker
Inscription.  In 1948, Nat D. Williams became the first black radio announcer in Memphis when he began broadcasting for WDIA. He was a cofounder of the Cotton Makers Jubilee and is credited with giving the celebration its name. A history teacher in the Memphis City schools, Williams was best known for Amateur Night on Beale Street, which he began in 1935 at the Old Palace Theater. Williams was also a columnist for the Memphis World.
 
Erected by Tennessee Historical Commission. (Marker Number 4E 104.)
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: African AmericansCommunicationsEducationEntertainment. In addition, it is included in the Tennessee Historical Commission series list.
 
Location. 35° 8.367′ N, 90° 3.024′ W. Marker is in Memphis, Tennessee, in Shelby County. Marker is on Beale Street, on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Memphis TN 38103, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Rufus Thomas, Jr. (a few steps from this marker); The Gillis Brothers
Nat D. Williams Marker and Rufus Jr. Marker seen here near Pat O'Briens on Beale Street image. Click for full size.
By R. E. Smith, March 19, 2008
2. Nat D. Williams Marker and Rufus Jr. Marker seen here near Pat O'Briens on Beale Street
(a few steps from this marker); Pee Wee Saloon (within shouting distance of this marker); Chop Suey Café / Chinese Merchants on Beale Street (within shouting distance of this marker); Ida B. Wells (within shouting distance of this marker); Beale Street Historic District (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Memphis Home of W.C. Handy (about 400 feet away); Beale Street Baptist Church (about 500 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Memphis.
 
Also see . . .  Rock Radio Scrapbook: Nat D. Willliams - Radio's Jackie Robinson. (Submitted on November 22, 2008, by R. E. Smith of Nashville, Tennessee.)
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on December 17, 2019. It was originally submitted on November 22, 2008, by R. E. Smith of Nashville, Tennessee. This page has been viewed 1,583 times since then and 24 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on November 22, 2008, by R. E. Smith of Nashville, Tennessee. • Christopher Busta-Peck was the editor who published this page.
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