"My dear sweet mother and dad tell me that I was born at home in Birmingham on July the 17th, 1920, and that I started making a lot of noise right then."
“In fact, I didn’t stop crying for three months.” This is how Joe Rumore describes his beginnings in “Rumors About The Rumores.” And thus a future radio legend is born. Joe goes on to say that his first interest in music was at the age of three months, when his mother would play the old graphanola. Joe started grammar school at age 6 in Birmingham and attended high school at Ramsey High School, also in Birmingham. “Even though it did take me nearly six years to get out of high school, I finished in 1941.” states Joe in “Rumors.”
Farm, music, and WJOE
Joe lived on a farm in Huffman, Alabama from 1933 to 1938, when the Birmingham School Board made Joe move back into the city if he wanted to stay in public school in Birmingham. It was there on the farm that Joe, “learned all about being a country boy.” While in high school, Joe would take all the speech courses he could crowd into his schedule. Joe would study serious music for 12 years, learning 4 complete opras.
At age 7 Joe made his radio debut on Station WJOE, as Master Rumore. Young Joe rigged up a make-believe microphone by nailing a tea strainer to a cigar box. With an ancient Victrola and a pair of ear muffs doing duty as turntable and earphones, Master Rumore broadcast over Station WJOE for 3 years before he got his first piece of mail. It just so happened that Master Rumore had written the letter, a letter of lavish praise and caustic criticism, to himself. Master Rumore acknowledged the letter on the air at Station WJOE and promised to do better in the future. Joe kept the letter in his mind throughout his school days in Birmingham, with every subject Joe studied had to answer the stern question,”How will this help me in radio?”
It was right after high school that young Joe Rumore started the radio career that would, in the near future, set the standard in Birmingham radio.