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Jack Tarver research collection

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Jack Tarver research collection

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Jack Tarver:

A Guide His Research Collection

Georgia State University
Georgia State University Library
Special Collections and Archives
100 Decatur St., SE
Atlanta, GA 30303-3202
Fax: 404-413-2881


Profile Description

Creation: Finding aid created by Mary McMahon Dawson, 2005.
Language: English

Collection Summary

Repository: Georgia State University Library, Special Collections and Archives, Atlanta
Creator: Tarver, Jack (Jackson Williams), 1917-1999
Title: Jack Tarver research collection
Dates: 1955-1969; undated
Quantity: .63 linear 2 boxes
Abstract:Jackson Williams "Jack" Tarver was born March 2, 1917, in Savannah, Georgia, the only son of banker and hotelier Otis M. Tarver and deLuth Williams Tarver. In 1938, he graduated from Mercer University in Macon with a degree in journalism and began his professional career at The Vidalia Advance The Jack Tarver Research Collection includes logs, indices, one transcript and sound copies of WSB, WABE and WAOK radio programs from the 1950s and the 1960s.
Identification: M197

Organization of the Collection

Organized into 2 series:
Series I. Trancript and logs
Series II. Recordings
Preservation Note: The original tracks were recorded on reel to reel tapes and have been re-recorded on compact disc. User copies and transcripts/logs when available, are for use in the Georgia State University Special Collections reading room.

Scope and Content of the Collection

The Jack Tarver Research Collection includes logs, indices, one transcript and sound copies of WSB, WABE and WAOK radio programs from the 1950s and the 1960s. Broadcast topics include: interviews with Ralph McGill in which he speaks of his childhood, communism in Guatemala and the Chattahoochee River; radio commentator Louis Lyons' tribute to Ralph McGill; a salute to Henry W. Grady with a re-enactment of his "New South" speech from 1886; commentary on 1964 current events from the radio program "Cracker Crumble"; and a recording of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr's Nobel Peace Prize Dinner. Tribute is paid to Dr. King by Atlanta clergymen and politicians, followed by Dr. King's address to the audience.

Other subjects and programs included within this collection are: Atlanta radio broadcast programs by Harry Evans and Dan Reynolds; the national radio broadcast team of Huntley and Brinkley reporting on the events of 1963; a Meet the Press program featuring the "Poet of Democracy" Carl Sandburg; a CBS memorial program for Edward R. Murrow; reminiscences of John F. Kennedy and reflections on his assassination; the last speech of Virginia Senator Alben W. Barkley; astronaut Scott Carpenter's second American manned orbital flight on May 24, 1962; speeches, press conferences and interviews by William B. Hartsfield, Ralph McGill, and Marvin Griffin; Jack Tarver's review of the film, Gone With The Wind; radio broadcasted speeches of John F. Kennedy as senator, presidential candidate and president; and a United Press International radio program on Kennedy's trip to Texas in 1963.

The one transcript provided with this collection accompanies Lester Maddox's WSB radio press conference. Governor of Georgia at the time, Maddox proposes to reporters a boycott of Atlanta's two daily newspapers, the Atlanta Journal and the Atlanta Constitution. Maddox accuses local media coverage of being unfair and biased against both him and his administration. He claims that the Atlanta newspapers are socialist propaganda vehicles that have also waged a war against public education, business owners, and the people of Georgia.

Biography of Jack Tarver

Jackson Williams "Jack" Tarver was born March 2, 1917, in Savannah, Georgia, the only son of banker and hotelier Otis M. Tarver and deLuth Williams Tarver. In 1938, he graduated from Mercer University in Macon with a degree in journalism and began his professional career at The Vidalia Advance. His humor columns attracted the attention of Ralph McGill, editor of The Atlanta Constitution, who persuaded Tarver to leave his job as editor of The Macon News and join the Atlanta paper in 1943. Tarver was named assistant to the president of Atlanta Newspapers, Inc. in 1950 when the Journal and Constitution came under the same ownership. During his tenure with Atlanta Newspapers, he held a variety of leadership positions, including vice president from 1956-57, president from 1957-58, and publisher from 1958 to 1976. He served as vice chairman of Atlanta Newspapers' parent company, Cox Enterprises, Inc., from 1976 to 1983. He also served as chairman of the Associated Press from 1977 to 1983. Tarver was a member of the American Society of Newspaper Publishers, serving as chairman of the Bureau of Advertising from 1962-64 and president of the society from 1976-77. Jack Tarver died at his home in Atlanta on March 22, 1999.

Source: Mercer University, Jack Tarver Library webpage at, as of September 7, 2005.

Historical note: WSB Radio

WSB Radio, the first radio station to broadcast in the city of Atlanta, was "born" on March 15, 1922. The station was originally owned by The Atlanta Journal and broadcast from a makeshift studio on the fifth floor of the Journal building on Forsyth Street in downtown Atlanta. In 1925 the station moved to more spacious quarters on the top floor of the Biltmore Hotel, where it remained for the next thirty years. Both The Journal and WSB were purchased by Governor James M. Cox of Ohio in 1939; WSB is still a property of Cox Broadcasting Corporation, which was formed when Cox operations reorganized in 1964.

Source: Georgia State University. WSB Collection webpage at as of September 7, 2005.

Historical Note: WABE Radio

WABE, Georgia's first public radio station, signed on the air September 13, 1948. The Atlanta Board of Education and the Fulton County Board of Education funded the station, which was housed atop Atlanta's old City Hall. The Atlanta Board of Education (ABE) holds the license for the station, hence the station's call letters - WABE. Initially, the radio station was used exclusively for instructional support for Atlanta and Fulton County children and broadcast only during school hours. In 1971, WABE became a charter member of National Public Radio (NPR). By 1982, WABE began broadcasting NPR News and classical music programming twenty-four hours a day.

Source: Public Broadcasting Atlanta at as of August 11, 2005.

Historical Note: WAOK Radio

WAOK is Georgia's fifth oldest continuously licensed AM broadcast station. It went on the air (with brand new call letters) on March 15, 1954, adopting a black rhythm and blues and gospel music format. In 1956, WAOK was acquired by The Atlanta OK Broadcasting Company. In 1991 Infinity Broadcasting acquired WAOK and ten years later, in 2001, WAOK changed formats from gospel to news and talk.

Source: News&Talk 1380 WAOK-The Voice of the Community at as of August 11, 2005.

Index Terms

This collection is indexed under the following headings in the Georgia State University Library online catalog (GIL). Researchers desiring materials about related topics, persons, or places should search the catalog using these headings.

Abernathy, Ralph, 1926-
Allen, Ivan, 1911-
Barkley, Alben William, 1877-1956
Brinkley, David
Carpenter, M. Scott (Malcolm Scott), 1925-
Evans, Harry
Grady, Henry Woodfin, 1850-1889
Griffin, Marvin, 1907-1982
Hallinan, Paul J.
Hartsfield, William Berry
Huntley, Chet, 1911-1974
Kennedy, John F. (John Fitzgerald), 1917-1963
King, Martin Luther, Jr., 1929-1968
Lyons, Louis Martin, 1897-
Maddox, Lester, 1915-
Mays, Benjamin E. (Benjamin Elijah), 1894-1984
McGill, Ralph, 1898-1969
Morris, Aubrey
Murrow, Edward R.
Powers, David F. (David Francis), 1912-1998
Reynolds, Dan
Rothschild, Jacob M., 1911-1973
Sandburg, Carl, 1878-1967
Shields, Paul
Stevenson, Adlai E. (Adlai Ewing), 1900-1965
Tarver, Jackson Williams, 1917-1999
Atlanta constitution
Atlanta journal-constitution


Restrictions on Access

Unrestricted access.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

This collection is for research use only. To quote in print, or otherwise reproduce in whole or in part in any publication, including on the Worldwide Web, any material from this collection, the researcher must obtain permission from (1) the owner of the physical property and (2) the holders of the copyrights; in this case, WSB TV and Radio, a subsidiary of Cox Enterprises; 90.1 FM WABE, member-supported public radio; and News&Talk 1380 WAOK, owned by Infinity Broadcasting. Reproduction of any item must contain the complete citation to the original. All requests subject to limitations noted in departmental policies on reproduction.

Administrative Information


[item], [series title], Jack Tarver research collection, M197, Popular Music Collection. Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University, Atlanta.

Acquisition Information

Donated by Margaret Tarver, March 17, 2004.

Related Material

Related materials in other repositories: Clifford Hodges Brewton Collection of Lester G. Maddox Speech/Press Records, 1964 - 1976. University of Georgia Libraries. Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, Athens, GA.

Related materials in this repository: Lester Maddox oral history interviews, 1988-1989. Georgia Government Documentation Project, Special Collections Department, Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA.

WSB Radio records, M004, Popular Music Collection. Special Collections Department, Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA.

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