SOURCE AWARD RECIPIENT
Marion Keisker MacInnes
WREC Radio, WHER Radio, Memphis Recording Services, Sun Records, Captain in United States Army
Marion Keisker MacInnes was a native Memphian who made her radio debut at the age of 12, appearing on a weekly WREC children's hour.
he became a popular radio personality in the 1940s, originating a daily talk show, "Kitty Kelly," on
WREC, while writing, producing and directing fourteen other programs. She met Sam Phillips while at WREC, and they began broadcasting big bands from the Peabody Hotel.
When Sam decided to open a recording studio, the Memphis Recording Service in 1950, Marion helped him, and they did all the work themselves from laying the tile, painting the acoustic boards and setting up the equipment. She worked in the studio as office manager. If Sam was the creative force, Marion was the organizer. She kept track of the musicians and contacted them for sessions, kept a log of the sessions, paid the musicians and was the liaison with the pressing plants and distributors. It was Marion who first laid eyes on Elvis Presley when he came in the front door looking to self-record his voice for the first time.
Years later, Elvis told an audience, "She's the one who made it all possible. Without her, I wouldn't even be here." In 1955, Marion helped Sam develop an all-girl radio station, WHER-1000 Beautiful Watts, where all the personnel both on and off-air were women. She joined the Air Force in 1957 and attained the rank of captain. Marion died in 1989.