DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — The Miami Valley’s first Black-owned radio station is going strong after nearly 60 years.

WDAO’s slogan is, “The real rhythm of the city”, and the radio station has been making musical connection with Miami Valley residents since 1964.

WDAO has developed a long history of Black excellence, through serving, informing and entertaining their community.

Jim Johnson, President of WDAO and the first African American to own and operate a radio station in Dayton, said his journey leading up to this point was not always easy.

“Being an African American, there was not that many opportunities available, where we were given the opportunity to go on air,” Johnson said.

Johnson started his career with a radio station in Xenia. Eight a half years later, he received a call from WDAO about a potential job opening.

Johnson accepted a job offer from WDAO in 1978 to do the early morning air shift and full-time sales, and after that, the rest was history.

“In 1985, the section was sold to Sony Broadcasting. They flew me out their home office and said they wanted to keep me around and head up their station and sales department.”

Johnson said he is grateful for the support of his family, friends and community for allowing him to continue doing what he loves.

“People ask me when I will retire,” Johnson said. “I’m a lifer. I’ll be here until it’s all over.”