Scratch Phillips

Albert "Scratch" Phillips was one of the first black Disc Jockeys in San Antonio … and one of the most influential. Hired by Spanish language station KCOR in May 1951, Scratch hosted a nightly two-hour rhythm and blues show that would have a lasting impact on the San Antonio music scene. Later Scratch hosted a similar show on KMAC Radio.

Many local musicians cite Scratch Phillips for exposing them to the music that would fuel their desire to become musicians and ultimately change their lives. He is recognized for his support of both local African-American and Chicano R&B groups...and is credited with introducing Soul Music to San Antonians in the early '60s.

When the first Black baseball battery in the history of the Texas League arrived in San Antonio in April 1953 to play for the Missions, the city’s mainstream press paid scant attention, running a photo but no story. But Scratch showed his support for the catcher and pitcher by helping to organize special nights for the players throughout that season.

In December 1953, Scratch opened a café in San Antonio where he installed a broadcasting booth from which he originated his nightly radio shows. He also performed regularly at the Keyhole Club, the city’s first integrated night club, where he told jokes and tap-danced in the comedy duo “Patch and Scratch”.

In addition to his radio show, Scratch hosted a weekly music program on KCOR-TV called Ebony Theatre where he adapted his radio show to television for African-American and Latino audiences. In April 1959, Scratch co-emceed a talent contest and dance sponsored by KCOR at the Municipal Auditorium … where door prizes included “free” records and talent winners were to receive special auditions with a major record company.

Scratch Phillips passed away in 2004.