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Border Radio

Border Radio

In the 1930s, the controversial Dr. Brinkley established a million-watt radio program to hawk his wares, setting the stage for XERF.

On Qualia Drive, not far from the Whitehead Museum, is the house of the late Dr. John R. Brinkley. Brinkley became a most colorful and controversial figure during the 1930s. Not long after moving to Del Rio, Brinkley replaced his infamous goat gland operations with a commercially available injection that was combined with other surgical procedures. He advertised his patent medicines and unique treatments from his Mexican-based, 500,000-watt radio station XERA, which was located just across the border from Del Rio. The antenna of the station increased the broadcasting power to 1,000,000 watts, reportedly sending its signal as far as Canada on clear nights. This station is frequently confused with XERF, which was heard world-wide during the "border-blasting" days.  XERF began broadcasting from Brinkley's old XERA building during the late 1940s, and Wolfman Jack became a household name when he made his DJ debut with XERF several years later.


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