Scope and Content of Collection
The Mark Olds Collection covers the years 1930 to 2009, with the bulk of the collection from 1968 to 1977. The collection documents Olds's work as a program director and general manager of various radio stations, but particularly WWRL in New York. WWRL, a station that catered to an African-American audience despite being managed mostly by whites, was the center of local controversy. Materials in the collection portray multiple points of view through WWRL working documents, letters to the station, and anti-WWRL publications. The collection contains many materials, including clippings from some rare publications, on the subject of black radio in general. The collection also holds many clippings on the topics of payola, the illegal practice of DJs taking favors for playing certain songs, and obscenity. Other notable papers include materials collected at WMAQ about pronunciation and an excerpt from Olds's unpublished memoir. A large quantity of audio tapes contain various productions from stations at which Olds worked.