WUST first signed on in 1947 as WBCC, licensed to the Washington, DC suburb of Bethesda, MD, with 250 watts of power, broadcasting in the daytime only. It had been a rhythm and blues station. Its call letters came from its studio location at 1120 U Street, NW, later moving to 815 V Street NW, site of today’s 9:30 Club.
During the 1950’s, DJs Lord Fauntleroy Bandy and “Terrible” Thomas popularized R&B music with high school students, weaning them from Top 40. Part of the appeal of WUST was its location in the red light district of the time.
During late August 1963, the ballroom of the WUST studio served as the operations headquarters for the August 28th March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom
DC Soul singer Billy Stewart (“Sitting in the Park”, “I Do Love You”) and his younger brothers Johnny, James, and Frank – known as the Four Stewart Brothers – had their own radio show every Sunday for five years at WUST-AM.