Thursday, September 8, 2016

The Whip

Ernie "The Whip" Bringier was a name unfamiliar to me before I found this record at the "fire sale" a few weeks ago.

It lead to me to learning other names like Vernon "Doctor Daddy-O" Winslow, George "Tex" "Mr. Cool" Stephens, "Honey Boy" Hardy, "Okey Dokey" Smith, "Honey Chile" Horne, "Sister Bessie" Griffin. Names that while unfamiliar to most, were integral in bringing a black voice to broadcast radio in the late 1940's and 50's.

When Vernon Winslow approached New Orleans radio station WJMR about broadcasting "race" music over the airwaves, they agreed it was an untapped market and were interested in the idea with one exception: Vernon wouldn't be allowed to speak on the air because he was creole, black enough in the eyes of the station owners.  Instead, the station manager had Vernon write scripts, select music and coach a white DJ on how to sound black, creating the persona "Poppa Stoppa".   In 1948, when the regular DJ failed to show up, Vernon Winslow took up the microphone himself and was fired for violating the studio policy of no blacks on the air.  A year later, he was back on the air at WWEZ as "Doctor Daddy-O", New Orleans' first "black" DJ. That same year (give or take a year, the history is sketchy) , WMRY became one of the first integrated stations in the country.

Ernie "The Whip" was among the first black DJ's at WMRY.

The text is hard to read, but I believe that first picture is Ernie.

At the time, DJ's were responsible for selling their own air time.  This record was a pitch directly from Ernie to Anheuser-Busch to sponsor his 15-minute show.  It demonstrates how he would use his show to promote Budweiser beer.

In the tracks, Ernie not only uses Budweiser bumper spots, rhythmically reading off the AB distributor phone number ("Magnolia 5 641"), but even interrupts the music to insert his own lyrics replacing the originals with references to Bud with "hold my hand" being appended with "hold Budweiser" and "Blueberry Hill" becoming "Budweiser Hill".

Side 1 includes the following tracks:

"Just to Hold My Hand" Paul Perryman
"I've Been Around" Little Willie John
"Steppin' High" Edgar Blanchard (announced as "Eddie" Blanchard)
"I Feel Good" Shirley & Lee
"Blueberry Hill" Fats Domino (beginning)

Side 1 - Click to listen

Side 2 is the conclusion of "Blueberry Hill" and show wrap up.

Side 2 - Click to listen

This 1950 issue of "Sponsor" magazine mentions Ernie in an article titled "The Negro d.j. strikes it rich".

I couldn't find many pictures of Ernie on the internet.  These two were the best I could find.

Ernie is the fourth from the left with the third person hidden behind the second, seen with Cab Calloway to his left.

Ernie in the 1970's.

According to this article in Wavelength magazine, Ernie "The Whip" Bringier passed away in Los Angeles in 1983.  His obiturary mentions that Blatz Beer was a long-time sponsor of his show.  I guess the Anheuser-Busch deal didn't work out.


  1. You got yourself a little treasure there.

    1. Yeah, I thought it was a pretty good find myself.

  2. Wow Tom that is so cool! Truly a great score.

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. this is amazing. a little slice of music history!

  5. Hello Tom, what an incredible find. I'm working on a story about the history of NOLA radio and would love to listen to these, but the links aren't working. Any chance you would email them to me? Would so appreciate it.

  6. Hi Brandi, try this link for side 1: and this one for side 2: If those don't work for you, send me your email and I'll forward the .mp3s.


  7. Hi Tom,

    Thank you for the links! (I thought my email reply to the notification would get directed back to you...not overly familiar with the comments reply, so my apologies for not actually responding earlier!) These work and are incredible. Deep thanks!

  8. Glad you enjoyed. I'd love to read the resulting story.

  9. Hi Tom my name is Ernie branches Junior I'd like to talk to you my phone number is 504-473-5211 thank you

  10. Hi Ernie, good to hear from you. I will give you a call this evening.

  11. Hey I'm his youngest daughter I would love to talk to u (310)920-2511

  12. I remember Ernie The Whip.I know he lived on PrieurSt.His wife has passed and he had 2 daughters and 1son.I use to listen to him on radio in The 60's.

  13. @Anonymous: In the past week, I've been in contact with his son Ernie Jr. and his daughter D'Anza. I was happy to be able to return this record to D'Anza.


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