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XERF

XERF, also known as the X, was a Mexican radio station in Ciudad Acuņa, just across the border from Del Rio, Texas. The station was originally founded in the 1920s as XERA by "Doctor" John R. Brinkley[?] to promote his famous goat gland cure[?] for impotence.

Brinkley took advantage of Mexican broadcasting laws to operate his transmitters at anywhere from 250,000 to 1,000,000 watts when American broadcasters were limited to 50,000 watts. Consequently, his stations could be heard all over the Western Hemisphere. As XERF, broadcasts were held to a 250,000 watts (still mighty strong), but it is said on some late nights the engineers cranked it back up to 1,000,000 watts to blow the cobwebs off.

When Brinkley was hounded out of business in the 1940s, the studios were taken over by a mysterious ownership that used the station to broadcast country music and rhythm and blues with advertisements for baby chicks and "Prayer Cloths with River Jordan Holy Water". The station was noted for broadcasting Tex-Mex and Zydeco music at a time when even rhythm and blues stations ignored them.

Internationally famous disc jockey Wolfman Jack broke out nationally when worked there for a legendary time in the 1960s.

ZZ Top celebrated the station in their song, "I heard it on the X".

Quotation

  • "You're listening to XERF, Ciudad Acuņa, Coahuila, Mexico, and Del RIO, Texas!"

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