THE ICON: Walter and Jerry Brock
THE LEGACY: With plenty of optimism and a huge record collection, Walter Brock came to New Orleans from Texas in 1978 to set up a community radio station. He lined up support and made ends meet by washing dishes and delivering the Sunday New York Times, Ned Sublette wrote in “The Year Before the Flood: A Story of New Orleans.” Brock’s brother, Jerry, joined him two years later, got a job at Maple Street Book Shop and worked with his brother to make the dream come true. WWOZ went on the air on Dec. 4, 1980. In the nearly four decades since, the brothers and the station have persevered, surviving uncertain financial times and a battering by 2005’s Hurricane Katrina. Through it all, they’ve kept the lights on and the turntables spinning, to the toe-tapping delight of music connoisseurs at home in New Orleans and, thanks the internet, around the world.
THE ARTIST: Gabriel Flores
THE INSPIRATION: “First, last and always, WWOZ is about the music of New Orleans, the community of New Orleans. We’re dedicated to volunteer culture, the localism and to the music community: To exposing music, help keep it alive and to reflect what it’s always been, today and tomorrow.” — Arthur Cohen, WWOZ’s chief operating officer, in a 2016 interview in The Times-Picayune