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RIP Former WCIN-AM DJ Everett Cork

John Kiesewetter
Everett Cork

Everett Cork, who revived the R&B sound of old WCIN-AM with his Classic Vibes 1480CIN.com online radio station, died Sunday.

The Kennedy Heights resident was the keeper of the flame for WCIN-AM, the city's first station for African-Americans in 1953.

Cork did two stints at WCIN-AM, before and after it switched to classical music on Sept. 1, 1988.

"My favorite memory was when I was called back to sort of babysit the station until the new owners (John Thomas and Carl Shye) were to physically take it over" to switch back to R&B, Cork told me before a program called "WCIN Radio–A Cincinnati Icon" at the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County in February 2016.

"I got the OK to dig into the old catalog of music and start playing the oldies again. During this period, I was allowed to call back my old friends, (DJs) Lincoln Ware, Virgil Nixon and Sid Kennedy, and the interest in the station took off again. It was gratifying to see the appreciation the community had for the return of the old format," Cork said.

For nearly 50 years, WCIN-AM was the voice of Cincinnati's African-American community, until talk host Lincoln Ware left in 2000 for a new rival station, WDBZ-AM. WCIN-AM went into receivership in 2007, and tried a smooth jazz format before adopting to the current rock oldies format in 2009. It's now known as WDJO-AM.

After WDBZ-AM switched from talk to mostly gospel music in December 2015, Cork intensified his effort to launch an online station.

ClassicVibes1480CIN.com, he explained last year, is "a tribute to the iconic radio station WCIN in Cincinnati that served the African-American community specifically, and the Cincinnati community at large… The community is in dire need of an informational and culturally inspiring radio station. With the advent of social media, internet radio should be the perfect solution. The spirit of WCIN is calling out for a rebirth."

Cork was born in Lincoln Heights and attended Woodward High School, according to his Facebook page. When services are set, I'll update this post.