1,000 Beautiful Watts (forthcoming summer 2022)
Marie-Therese Garvey Director
Inspired by the excellent Kitchen Sisters' podcast this feature documentary will take a creative approach to tell the forgotten story of WHER, America's first 'all-girl' radio station. Founded in 1955 by Sun Records' Sam Phillips (rumour has it that he used the money from his sale of Elvis' contract to RCA), the station ran until the early 1970s. Its first home was in a room at the third-ever Holiday Inn, which they named 'The Doll's Den'. The studio was painted in bright pastel colours and a line of women's undergarments hung in the reception area. But the station became so much more than a novelty. The WHER 'jockettes' became broadcasting pioneers, operating against the backdrop of the civil rights movement, the women's movement, the assassination of Martin Luther King and the Vietnam War.
The story of WHER will be told from the point of view of the station listeners, the women and men who tuned in every day to hear the voices of these forgotten broadcasting pioneers. These memories will be recreated through animation and stop motion. Do you have WHER memories? If so, I'd love to hear from you!
1,000 Beautiful Watts will also be a love letter to radio; its impact and its importance. At a time when we are being overwhelmed by entertainment options, more apps and streaming platforms, radio has remained the 'invisible medium' - a reliable comfort and a trustworthy companion.
Themes: female voices, Americana, radio. Production is the research stage right now with an aim for completion by the end of summer 2022.