WBGZ Radio is celebrating a birthday today. The station began broadcasting on February 3, 1948 as WOKZ from the Hotel Stratford in downtown Alton. The station currently operates 24 hours a day at 1570 AM, providing local news, sports and talk for the River Bend.

The station has had numerous owners over the years, and in 1984 Metroplex Communications purchased the station and changed the call letters to WBGZ. The current news/talk format was adopted in 1990, and in 1993 WBGZ began broadcasting 24 hours a day. The station has previously been located on Godfrey Road in Godfrey, and on the Homer Adams Parkway in Alton. It moved to its current home on Market Street in downtown Alton in the basement of the Hotel Stratford, in April 1997.

NOTE: Top photograph from the late Bob Graul, longtime photographer of The Telegraph, part of a collection hanging a the station. 

The bottom photo is of a promotional item distributed in the early years of the station.

(Copyright WBGZ Radio/ www.AltonDailyNews.com)