Flippin’ With The Dipper: Inside Wilt Chamberlain’s DJ career
There’s no doubt that the legendary Philly basketball player Wilt Chamberlain had mad skills on the court. But have you ever hear him behind the mic?
When he was in college at the University of Kansas in the mid-fities, in addition to becoming one of the greatest college basketball players of all time, Wilt carved out time to follow a passion he had for music, and had a weekly radio show on the campus radio station, KANU. It was called “Flippin’ with the Dipper,” and was also broadcast on KLWN in Lawrence, KPRS in Kansas City, WREN in Topeka, and several other stations in the area. During his show he’d play the “hit records of the day,” and occasionally would have guests on, many of whom were his teammates. Wilt writes in his autobiography, “Sometimes I’d play my bongos on the air, and have one of my basketball teammates, Monte Johnson, come on and play the spoons. We made a helluva sound.”
Another sound Wilt made was on vinyl. After playing for the Harlem Globetrotters from 1958 to 59, Wilt signed with Philadelphia Warriors. During his first season, when he was 23 years old, he recorded several singles. On February 3, 1960, Wilt appeared on American Bandstand and performed “By the River.” Below, listen to the song along with “That’s Easy To Say.”