Remembering Atlanta Radio Legend, Alley Pat, And The Legacy He Left Behind

Feb 1, 2019

“On Second Thought” began celebrating Black History Month by learning about the man who was nicknamed the “Mouth of the South,” James “Alley Pat” Patrick. Atlantans heard the disc jockey in 1949 on the city’s first black-owned radio station, WERD. Patrick was born on Dec. 2, 1919, in Montezuma, Georgia. His radio career began in 1951 at WERD.  

In addition to hosting a radio show, Patrick was instrumental in the Civil Rights movement. He was friends with activists and leaders such as Martin Luther King Jr., Hosea Williams and Andrew Young. Patrick was also known as a bail bondsman, as he bailed out activists from jail during the 1960s.

Patrick died in 2015 at the age of 95. Award-winning filmmaker Tom Roche spoke to “On Second Thought” host Virginia Prescott about his documentary, “Alley Pat: The Music is Recorded.”  Ricci de Forest also joined the conversation. He manages WERD Studio and preserves the work of other pioneers in black history, including the legacy of Madam C.J. Walker.