The Resource WRVA Radio Collection

WRVA Radio Collection

WRVA Radio Collection, 1925-2000
WRVA Radio Collection
Inclusive dates
  • The WRVA Radio Collection spans seventy-five years and contains applause letters, minutes, anniversary booklets, program scripts, program guides, newsletters, histories, interviews, employee questionnaires, sales manuals, audience and sales promotions, rate cards, listener surveys, posters, newspaper clippings, FCC applications and reports, drawings, photographs, and sound recordings. This material documents the history of WRVA, the role the station played in Virginia and Richmond for over half a century, and the development of radio in Virginia and the United States. The collection is also rich in material on the Larus & Brother Company, including histories, anniversary booklets, photographs of officials, employees, and factories, and promotions
  • The sound recordings date from the 1930's to the 1990's and contain news broadcasts of significant local, state, national, and world events and personalities, programs of local and regional interest, including the Capitol Squirrel, Calling All Cooks, the Radio Scholarship Quiz, and the Quiz of Two Cities, and musical programs, such as the Corn Cob Pipe Club, the Old Dominion Barn Dance, the Sunshine Hour, and the Silver Star Quartet. Selected sound recordings are now available for use on CD. Each CD has been cataloged individually. Search The Library of Virginia Archives and Manuscripts Catalog to find WRVA sound recordings of interest
Member of
  • Accessioned
  • Described
Biographical or historical data
  • WRVA was officially dedicated on 2 November 1925. Owned and operated by Larus & Brother Company, manufacturers of Edgeworth Smoking Tobacco and other tobacco products, the station initially operated as a community station without commercial revenue and broadcast only two evenings a week. The Corn Cob Pipe Club was one of the many regular programs begun in 1925. It proved so popular with listeners throughout the United States and Canada that by July 1935, almost nine hundred clubs were established in the United States and foreign countries. By January 1926, the station increased its schedule to three nights a week, and by 1929, WRVA was broadcasting day and night seven days a week. Also in 1929, the station increased its power from 1,000 watts to 5,000 watts and became affiliated with the National Broadcasting Company (NBC). In May 1933, WRVA opened new broadcasting studios in the Hotel Richmond, on 9th and Grace Streets. In April 1935, the station built and began using the first all-wood self-supporting radio tower in America. On 27 June 1937, WRVA joined Columbia Broadcasting Systems (CBS) as a full time affiliate. On 17 March 1939, the 50,000 watt transmitter, located in eastern Henrico County, was officially dedicated. In March 1940, Sunshine Sue and Her Rangers first broadcast on WRVA. In September 1946, WRVA leased the old Lyric Theater on 9th and Broad Street and the Old Dominion Barn Dance began airing on WRVA. On 28 January 1959, WRVA rejoined NBC. On 29 May 1968, the new WRVA studio, located in historic Church Hill and overlooking Richmond, was dedicated.
  • In 1968, Larus & Brother Company reorganized and became the Larus Investing Company. In July 1968, WRVA-AM and FM became WRVA Radio, Inc. and WRVA-FM Radio, Inc., respectively, subsidiary corporations of the Larus Investing Company. Larus Investing Company sold its entire WRVA stock to Southern Broadcasting Company of Winston-Salem, North Carolina, in November 1969. In August 1977, Harte-Hanks Newspapers, Inc., purchased Southern Broadcasting Company, including WRVA-AM and WRVQ-FM. Harte-Hanks Communications, Inc., sold the radio stations to Edens Broadcasting Company, a company formed by the senior managers of Harte-Hanks Radio, Inc., a subsidiary of Harte-Hanks Communications, Inc., in December 1984. In September 1991, WRVA was sold to Force II Communication, L. P., of San Diego. In the Spring of 1992, Clear Channel Communications bought WRVA and is the current owner.
Cataloging source
Location of other archival material
  • WRVA Radio papers, 1925-1975 (LVA Acc. 50763).
  • Special Collections Department, University of Virginia Library.
WRVA Radio Collection
  • The Library of Virginia
Cumulative index finding aids
  • Inventory
  • Inventory
  • ca. 52.5
  • 637
  • 1,760
Immediate source of acquisition
Clear Channel Communications
Organization method
Organized into the following series: I. Correspondence, 1926-1991; II. Minutes, 1956-1978; III. Administrative Files; IV. Sales; V. WRVA Radio Dialog, 1938-1963; VI. New Building (1968), 1963-1969; VII. Subject Files; VIII. Publications; IX. Photographs, 1925-2000; X. Artifacts; XI. Sound Recordings; XII. Films and Videos; XIII. Tape Morgue; XIV. Special Programs and Airchecks.
Type of unit
  • cu. ft. (95 boxes) and
  • compact discs and
  • cassette tapes.



Member of

Library Locations

    • Library of VirginiaBorrow it
      800 East Broad Street, Richmond, VA, 23219, US
      37.5415632 -77.4360805
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