WHBQ is an AM radio station in Memphis, Tennessee, in the United States of America. Its frequency is 560 kHz. Although today it broadcasts sports news exclusively, the station became famous in the 1950s for playing rhythm and blues. Owned by Flinn Broadcasting, the station's studios are located in Southeast Memphis, and the transmitter site is in North Memphis.
WHBQ was once owned by RKO General. Its reputation was developed by Dewey Phillips, a disc jockey who played rhythm and blues music on his night-time show, Red, Hot and Blue. In 1954, Phillips played a recording of "That's Alright Mama" by Elvis Presley, a young truck driver, marking the first time an Elvis recording was broadcast on the radio.
For many years, WHBQ was considered a "farm club" for RKO. Young, aspiring DJs, such as Rick Dees and game show host Wink Martindale would work there with hopes of being moved up to RKO's bigger markets, like Boston, New York, San Francisco, or the holy grail, KHJ in Los Angeles. In the 1960s, under the guidance of Bill Drake, WHBQ became Boss Radio. By the early eighties, the once-mighty music station could no longer compete with the increasing popularity of FM-band musical stations. They tried an oldies oriented format from 1981 to 1983 before switching to News/Talk. In 1988, RKO sold WHBQ to Flinn Broadcasting, a local media company, who tried oldies again, country and even heavy metal late at night.
Today WHBQ's focus has shifted from music to sports,carrying play-by-play of the University of Mississippi's SEC football and basketball teams, and the Memphis Redbirds of baseball's Pacific Coast League. It supplements its national coverage with Yahoo! Sports Radio.
WHBQ may refer to:
- WHBQ (AM), a radio station (560 AM) licensed to Memphis, Tennessee, United States
- WHBQ-FM, a radio station (107.5 FM) licensed to Germantown, Tennessee, United States
- WHBQ-TV, a television station (channel 13 digital) licensed to Memphis, Tennessee, United States
- WGKX, a radio station (105.9 FM) licensed to Memphis, Tennessee, United States, which used the call sign WHBQ-FM until 1973.