Larry Aiken Night jock in
the late '50s. Died February 13, 2010 at the age of 69 after longstanding
health problems. "Lonesome Larry" wrote in 2005:
"I really enjoyed
revisiting lots of memories on your WAKY web site. I was privileged
to do 7:00 PM to Midnights in 1958 - 1959. A few of my colleagues at
WAKY were Jack Sanders, Jim Light(foot), Chuck
Dunaway and Phil Page.
"Following WAKY, I went
to KQV in Pittsburgh for 4 years. At that point I returned to my
hometown (Evansville, IN) to open my business, Aiken Management.
From 1963, until selling my company in 1999, we promoted over 1400
entertainment events all over the country, and in the '80s and '90s
designed and operated several restaurants in the Evansville area .
"Far and away, my best
business project was the purchase in 1987 of WGBF AM and FM. We were
able to turn the fortunes of GBF from bad to good (including
becoming the first station to syndicate The Bob and Tom Show). I
sold the stations in 1996.
"Thank you again for the
excellent work you've done in establishing the WAKY web site."
Larry Aiken (1999)
John Alexander Early '70s
Do you know where he
Johnny "Alligator" Argo Mid
Previously worked at WKLO, as well as WPOP in Hartford and KUDL in Kansas
Ashton WAKY jock in 1979 and 1980.
He replaced Daryl Douglas on the midday shift in late 1979 and
later moved to the Production Director's slot for WVEZ when it moved into
the WAKY building.
Did mornings at WSSX in Charleston, SC in the early '80s. Was morning host at
WVEZ in Louisville for many years through July 21, 2008.
Interview Available] Longtime WAKY morning man
known as "The Duke of Louisville." Bill came to the Derby City
from Winston-Salem, North Carolina in 1965 to do morning drive at WKLO. In
the summer of 1969 he departed for AM drive at WLS in Chicago but quit
after six months. Bill returned to Louisville and joined WAKY in 1970,
where he ruled the
morning roost there through 1981. Bill left WAKY for
country-formatted WCII (the former WKLO) but returned to WAKY for another
stint in 1985 and 1986. After leaving WAKY the second time, Bill did some
airwork for Louisville's WTMT. In 1987, former WAKY PD Bob Moody asked Bill
to join him at WPOC in Baltimore, where Moody was PD. Bob writes:
"When I arrived at WPOC
in Baltimore they had a morning team of Rocky Marlowe and
Laurie DeYoung. When Rocky's contract wasn't renewed we hired
Bill Bailey to be Laurie's new partner. What looked like great
creative conflict on paper -- male/female, young/old,
liberal/conservative -- didn't work out so well on the air. Bill had
his moments; I recall one time when Laurie was arguing with a female
caller and Bill was muttering something about 'ovarian lunacy' in
the background. But it soon became obvious that we needed to make a
change before Bill moved his family to Maryland.
"As it turned out, Laurie didn't really NEED a partner. We made her
the star of the show and she just celebrated 20 years at WPOC.
Meanwhile, Bill has always been gracious about what must have been a
difficult situation for him. Everyone involved had the best of
Bill then retired
from radio -- until being coaxed out in 1989 to do PM drive at
WVLK-AM in Lexington where he remained until April 20, 1994. Bill spent his last
years in a Louisville-area nursing
home recovering from a 2003 stroke. Up until the end, his mind was still sharp and the old
Bill Bailey wit remained. Bill died January 14, 2012 at the age of 81. [Real Name: William Clyde Boahn]
William Clyde, "Bill Bailey" "The Duke of Louisville", a
prominent Louisville radio personality, passed away
peacefully on Saturday, January 14, 2012 at Norton
Brownsboro Hospital at the age of 81.
He was born December 18, 1930 in New Bern, NC, the son of
the late Jesse A. Boahn and Jessie Ketchum Boahn. For nearly
30 plus years Bill ruled the morning airwaves at WAKY radio
and other Louisville radio stations before ending his career
in broadcasting in 1994 at WVLK in Lexington.
Bill was an accomplished artist and found Peace through his
art. At a very young age Bill developed a love for drawing
and painting. You could put anything in front of him and he
could draw it or paint it. During his time in Alaska in the
Air Force he took up portrait painting and was very talented
at outdoor scenery.
He was a loving father and grandfather, with a larger than
life personality and a one of a kind sense of humor that he
kept until the end.
He is preceded in death by a sister, Jessie Faye Skiles.
He is survived by a son, Erick Boahn; his daughters, Shelly
Schultz (Steven) of Boca Raton, Faith Chapman (Shane) and
Jennifer Boahn of Louisville; nine grandchildren, to
include, Ariana Arroyo, Kayla, Kendall and Grant Chapman;
two great-grandchildren and a brother, Charles (Joyce) Boahn
of North Carolina.
The family would like to express their sincere gratitude to
the staff at Friendship Manor for the love and care they
gave for their father.
Funeral Services to honor Bill's life will be held at 6 p.m.
Tuesday, January 17th at Pearson-Ratterman Bros. Funeral
Home, 12900 Shelbyville Road, Middletown. Visitation will be
from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the funeral home.
In lieu of flowers, the family request that contributions be
made to Kentucky/Southern Indiana Stroke Association, 3425
Stony Springs Circle, Suite #102, Louisville, KY 40220.
Bill Bailey Airchecks
Baker News anchor in the late
Do you know where he
Ballard WAKY part-timer between
1966 and 1968. [Real Name: Robert Ballard] Robin writes:
"My WAKY story is fairly
long. When I was in junior high, I called into Tim Tyler and
Jack Daniels a lot. I got to know 'Rudy Ratfink' who
was the all night program. I met Ben Allen who ran the
"I spent most Saturday mornings at the studio and helped to set up
when Tim Tyler had a remote at Stewart's department store on
"Then when I was 15, there was an opening for the 6-8 PM request
line. Bill Crisp called me and hired me on the spot.
"I worked from July 1966 to August 1968. I left to take a job as an
announcer at WSTL in Eminence. I was able to get my FCC 3rd class
RTO license because so many people at WAKY tutored me before I took
"I was close to Bill Crisp, Bob Watson, Byron Crawford
(who I still talk to often), Ron Statzer (who was killed in
Cincinnati working for a TV station there I think), John Randolph,
Weird Beard, as well as several of the sales people and
secretaries. It was a fine group of people who put up with a lot of
my immaturity (after all I was 15 and running around a business
"We were in the old studios in the Kentucky Home Life Building on
5th and Jefferson.
"I became a Christian while in college and then called to full-time
Christian work when in the army.
"Today, I am a pastor at the Faith United Methodist Church in
Bowling Green, Kentucky. I have worked as chaplain in mental hospitals
(working at WAKY was great preparation for that task), jails,
prisons, and hospital emergency rooms. I have also pastored several
churches around the country.
"I also traveled as a missionary to Costa Rica and Siberia Russia."
Outrageous Marty Balou Marty
"For the past
38 years I
have been at the CBS O&O TV station in Baltimore,
WJZ. [He uses his real
name, Marty Bass.] For 23 of those years I have done a three-hour
morning show which was, at the time, the prototype for all the TV
morning shows currently on in the country. For the past 17 years I have
also been a part of the CMA award-winning Laurie DeYoung Show at
Bob Moody's old haunt, WPOC. (The Colonel put me on that show
and it has been heaven ever since.)
"To this day I use the
lessons learned from, and standards set forth by Johnny Randolph.
I also try to keep it fun. That was part of the allure of 'The Big 79.'
(Recently I flew home to visit Bill Bailey, and he stressed to me
that if you don't love your job, you will not love your audience, and you
"My brother was a band
manager, (and a DAMN good one), in the '60s and '70s. That was my ticket
into WAKY. I cut my on-air teeth at WXVW in Jeffersonville, but at that
time I was one of a cadre of Johnny Randolph 'interns.' We did what
needed to be done. 'Sure, I'll go over to Walgreen's and get you a patty
melt and some condoms!'
Griffin needed a break and Johnny made me production director for a
summer. That led to some on air work. I was hooked. I got a job at WVLK
in Lexington, then went with Gary Burbank and Len King to
start (actually refresh) WNOE in New Orleans. They left for Detroit and
I went to college. Herein lays my BEST WAKY story and the reason that I
am where I am now.
"I graduated from Southern
Illinois University in December 1976 with a degree in R/TV. At the same
time I get a call from Johnny Randolph. He had let his primary weekend
jock go, he needed help. He was very honest. AM was on the wane, and
WLRS was becoming the force in Louisville. I told him I could give him 6
months to a year, but I was SERIOUSLY looking for a job in TV news.
"I had so much fun, and
lived out such a fantasy being a 'jock' at WAKY that I turned down at
least 6 TV jobs. The headhunter I was working with finally told me that
I had to take a job soon, or he was moving on. The next job opportunity
was at KENS-TV in San Antonio, which I took. That led to Baltimore.
"Over time I have had a
good run, and run into a lot of old radio people, the legendary Ron
Riley of WLS to name one. Every time, I mean EVERY TIME I mention
WAKY, it becomes the topic of conversation. We all knew at the time it
was special. But to those in the know...it was a legend.
"This will sound so
geek-like, but I am the broadcaster I am because of time spent in that
building. One of the last times I was there the carpet was being
replaced, and I took a small square, about coaster size. Every morning
at 5 a.m. when the theme for the 'Eyewitness News Morning Edition'
rolls, my cup of coffee is on it. 'Put me to work Reed...'"
Baron Mid '60s WAKY midday
Do you know where he
Barr WAKY night jock in 1963.
[Real Name: Jerry Barbier]
Ben Pflederer writes:
"Jerry R. Barbier (Jerry Barr), joined WAKY in the early 1963 from WIRL, Peoria. He went on to KEEL,
Shreveport in late 1963 before returning to Peoria as a
Sales Executive for WXCL-AM in mid-to-late 1965. Jerry passed
away on October 11, 1986. (Thanks to Volney Lamb [V.L.J.]
formerly of WIRL, and Tim Tyler for remembering the time
period.) Jerry and I became close friends for many years in the
1960s, while and after working at WIRL, and before I got to WAKY.
Jerry was a mentor, which I will never forget. Radio lost a talented
1963 WAKY "Personality Information" biography of Jerry Barr
Jerry Barr, WAKY Radio's night host from 7 to midnight, has in
a very short time, truly worked his way up the broadcasting field.
Jerry's first job in radio was delivering "Top Twenty Survey Sheets"
for a station in Peoria, Illinois. His career on the air began when
there was an opening with WIRL Radio in that city; and Jerry, though
only in the tenth grade of high school, joining the staff as a
part-time announcer and newsman. He joined WAKY in January of this
The "Jerry Barr Show" is
highlighted by such features as the "Jerry Barr Gagster Club," news,
weather, time and temperature reports, spiced with Jerry's
Interest in all areas of
broadcasting, the 18-year-old air personality is currently studying
electronics in a home-study course of De Vry Tech in Chicago.
Though relatively young in radio,
Jerry lacks nothing in enthusiasm and interest in the field. He says
he thoroughly enjoys his work and hopes to make broadcasting a
Jerry's proven ability and his
enthusiasm for his work make him and outstanding addition to the
Bastin News Director 1980-1982.
Now works as an executive for the
Order of Kentucky Colonels in Louisville. Glen writes:
|"I was News Director for WHAS Radio
during the 1970s during which time WHAS became the prominent station
in Louisville. Much of the station's reputation was built on the
information product which included news, weather, traffic and
sports. We had a great news staff which produced programming during
the 1974 tornadoes that was absolutely superb. From that base, we
grew into the preeminent broadcast news source in town.
"In 1979 George Francis became
manager of WAKY & WVEZ. George had a vision of challenging WHAS for
the adult audience. If the out-of-town ownership had left him (us)
alone, we would have succeeded. Anyway, George and I talked for a
couple of months and I was impressed with his plan. In early 1980, I
resigned at WHAS and moved to WAKY/WVEZ as News Director. George
committed to increasing the budget commitment and size of the staff
and we set up an operation that was indeed respected and
"I left WAKY at the end of my two-year contract to establish a
syndicated program called 'Pondering Kentucky.' We had a successful
13-year run with this broadcast which aired on 85 stations across
"I semi-retired from broadcasting in
1993. I am delighted (and humbled) that I was later presented the
Kentucky Mike Award by the
Association and inducted into the Kentucky Journalism Hall of
Fame. As you correctly state on your web site, I am now with the
Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels as Senior Ambassador. (The
title is a fancy way of saying I am Chief Operating Officer.)"
Blue Part-time DJ during the Mike
McVay era. Later known professionally as Charlie McGraw.
Charlie was married to fellow WAKY on-air talent Adele Gleaves. Now Station Programmer for the City of Las Vegas' KCLV, Channel 2.
[Real Name: Charles Hosmer]
Boyle Newsman in 1982.
Do you know where he
Jim Brand [Audio
Interview Available] Program
director and jock in
Passed away on November 3, 2012 after over 40 years in the radio
business in Gainesville, Florida. Jim wrote in 2005:
"My tenure at WAKY
started in 1960 and continued until 1967 or 1968. I worked for
Gordon McLendon and was sent to WAKY as Program Director. I had
also been informed that McLendon was planning to sell the station.
The sale to LIN Broadcasting occurred a year or so later.
"In 1961, after WAKY had
been sold by McLendon to LIN I left the station for 3 months. I took
a job with Plough at WMPS in Memphis. Plough was not McLendon and I
longed to return to WAKY, which I did.
"The staff included Bill Ward(law), who did mornings He later
became GM of Gene Autry's Golden West Broadcasters. Bill died
last year. (2004)
"Hal Smith did
middays. Hal joined Bill Ward in California and I believe he was the
PD at KLAC and later in management in Philadelphia. Hal is retired.
did noon-3 and at one time did nights. From WAKY, George went to the
Albany, New York market and subsequently, he became one of the first
programmers for Satellite Music Network. I have lost contact with
"Afternoon drive was
handled by "Jumpin' Jack Sanders." Jack was one of radio's
first mega personalities. When he left radio, he worked briefly for
Audrey Williams (Hank Williams Senior's ex-wife). Jack
died in his early 30s.
"Jay Reynolds did
evenings at WAKY. Jay later did overnights at WABC in New York. When
he left the Big Apple, he returned to his native Indiana and has
held a number of management positions in Indianapolis.
"Our overnight man at
WAKY was Jack Grady (Anderson). Jack is still broadcasting as
the overnight host of ABC's Stardust format out of Dallas.
"Two other 60s era WAKY
deejays were Bill Crisp, who came over to us from WKLO and
Rusty Reynolds, who replaced Jack Sanders. Bill owned stations
in Rhode Island or Delaware and Rusty has owned stations in Texas
and Mississippi. I am not sure whether Bill Crisp is still active in
broadcasting, but I know that Rusty was a few years ago.
"Two names from the WAKY
origin that are missing are Phil Page and Chuck Dunaway.
These were two of Don Keyes' original staff members. Page did
mornings and Dunaway was the midday man.
(Tom Perry) left Louisville to move back to Dallas and worked for
the NBC affiliate at the time John Kennedy was shot. He later was
offered a network position with NBC (as Dan Rather received from
CBS), but turned the offer down.
"Another legendary WAKY
newsman was Bill Gill. In later years, Bill was a TV newsman
"Don Keyes and I were
roommates in college at SMU. Don owned stations in Canton, Ohio and
Tallahassee, Florida. He now resides back in Dallas.
"When Bill Ward departed
WAKY, I moved into mornings and served in the dual role of jock and
PD. I stayed with LIN Broadcasting as Group PD and later as manager
of WIL-FM (the only mono FM station in St. Louis). In 1968, I joined
WLEE in Richmond, Virginia and the following year, I was hired by
Max Richmond to be a co-PD of WMEX in Boston.
"About a year later, a
friend of mine from LIN purchased a station in Gainesville, Florida.
He urged me to join him to switch the station to a country format.
I've been in this market and in one capacity or another associated
with WDVH AM and FM for 35 years."
1963 WAKY "Personality Information" biography of Jim Brand
Jim Brand, who wakes Kentucky on WAKY
Radio each morning, is no stranger to modern radio. He embarked upon
a radio career when in 1953, at the age of 18, he was a half-time
announcer for the Cotton Bowl in Dallas, Texas.
Jim, a native of Fargo, North Dakota,
attended Southern Methodist University and the University of Kansas
City, where he majored in Radio speech. He was a part-time announcer
for KGKO in Dallas, but launched his full-time professional radio
career when he joined the staff of KDOK in Tyler, Texas in June,
1958. From there he went to KOKE, in Austin, Texas where he served
as disc jockey and Production Manager. In search of more experience,
he joined KICN in Denver, Colorado; and in February of 1960, he
became program director of KDOK. He joined the staff of WAKY in
Jim's trained air voice and his
easygoing style make him both an effective air salesman and a
popular air personality. He is an important link in the family flow
programming of WAKY.
Jim Brand Obit
Gainesville Sun from November 6 to November 7, 2012
James Maitland Brand
II passed away quietly in Hospice Care on November 3, 2012. He was
born in Fargo, N. Dakota on July 9, 1934. Jim was educated at
William Chrisman High School in Independence, Missouri, and he
started his radio career when he was in college, at Southern
Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. He served his military
service in the United States Air Force as Staff Sergeant from
1954-1957 and was honorably discharged. Since then, he has been
working at some radio station as Radio Announcer and Program
Director. He got his start in Dallas, Texas working midnight until
six A.M. at KGKO. Then he worked at KDOK in Tyler, Texas; at KOKE in
Austin, Texas, KICN radio in Denver, Colorado, and back to Dallas.
He spent ten years in Louisville, Kentucky, working for WAKY. He was
hired by Gordon McLendon as Program Director and remained with the
station under LIN Broadcasting as group Program Director. He hired
and motivated one of the finest air staffs ever assembled. WAKY was
one of the most successful stations in the country during the
1960's. After being Program director of WLEE in Richmond, VA, from
1969-1970, he worked for WMEX in Boston, MA as Program Director. He
was responsible for the hiring and the motivation of the air staff
in the #5 metro market. He served as a member of the management team
who guided the daily operations of WMEX, one of New England's
legendary stations. Then after New Jersey, Jim came to Florida in
March, 1970. A close friend bought the station that is WDVH in
Gainesville. He orchestrated the change from top 40 to country. As a
result of those changes, the station had billing and rating
increases for thirteen years. He stressed staff involvement in the
community through his own actions, and supervised a staff of six
on-air dee-jays and a news department of seven. He implemented the
change to Big Band/Nostalgia WLUS in 1986 at the direction of
station owner/manager Larry Edwards. He prepared the station for
sale in 1988 and was retained by the new owners as PD/talent. WDVH
Gainesville joined with WDJY Trenton now known as WDVH-FM. Following
ownership and management changes, under Bill Morris, JB, stayed with
WDVH for nearly 42 years. There were two brief stints where he left
Gainesville for Tampa. During his tenure with WDVH owner, Pamal
Broadcasting, Jim commuted between Gainesville and WRZN in Hernando
for three and a half years. He returned to WDVH in 2003. Over the
years, one of his creations, WDVH Swap Shop has grown from a fifteen
minute program to a four hour Saturday show and starting October 3,
2011, a 2 hour a day weekly show under the new owners, Marc Radio.
Once Swap Shop began in 1971, Jim had answered over a half-million
calls. Jim brought a wealth of information of N. Central Florida to
a daily conversation show: news, ideas, views and information. A
bright bouncy sound coming over the air waves of WDVH made listeners
and advertisers alike recognize Jim Brand.
Jimmy's day just began with his regular air shift. It may have ended
over a conference table, in the production room at 2AM, or with the
conclusion of a special WDVH promotion. It's hard to determine Jim's
greatest attribute, but one that's not to be overlooked is the
enthusiasm and drive that radiated from a bubbling personality. He
had his own technique for instilling the same drive into his staff.
Next to the transmitter, Jim Brand was WDVH's most important
property. His humanity, integrity and compassion touched so many
people's lives in such a positive way. Walter Lippmann said "The
final test of a leader is that he leaves behind him in other men the
conviction and will to carry on." He will live in our hearts and
minds forever. When you lived the life he lived, you'll leave a
His awards and community service include Master of Ceremonies at
Police Country Music Shows; Fraternal Order of Police Associates
(Twice President 1984-1985); Eastside High School Advisory Board
(1981-1984): Archer Community School-Master of Ceremonies at every
event held at the school for ten years (1977-1987); Benevolent and
Protective Order of Elks, Exalted Ruler 1983-1984 and 1986-1987; M.C.
Univ. of FL Gator Growl-1980-1981-1982-1983; Moderator at Town
Meetings for Congressman Buddy McKay (1985-1986); M.C. at Newberry
Watermelon Festival (1970's and 1980's); Chief Judge, Florida
Watermelon Assoc. Queen Contest (Clearwater, FL - 1985); Judge-Miss
Alachua County Beauty Pageant-1985; M.C. at Newberry Miss America
Preliminary Pageant (1982-1986); Chamber of Commerce's LEADERSHIP
GAINESVILLE-Guest Speaker on media-1986; M.C.-Alachua County
Sheriff's Small Fry Fishing Tournament (1984-1987); Grand Marshall
Hawthorne, FL Christmas Parade; Alachua Co, School Board Annual
Spelling Bee (pronouncer 13 years); Master of Ceremonies at 12
consecutive Eagle Scout Courts of Honor; Guest Speaker at
Gainesville Boy Scout Council Annual Meeting (1984); Guest speaker
at University of Florida College of Journalism 1982-1984-1986;
Alachua County School Board-Pronouncer at City Wide Spelling Bee;
Heart Assn.-M.C. at Heart Fund Ball-1984; Eloise Henderson Tribute-M.C.
-1988; Farm Home Administration-Narrator for annual Meetings
(1982-1985); Alachua County Adult Education Program-narrator of
slide presentation; Public Television (Channel 5) Established and
then broke all fund raising records for WUFT (1978-1983); Member, UF
Touchdown Club; UF O'Connell Country Music Shows, M.C.: Hank
Williams (2 times), Kenny Rogers, Mel Tillis (2times), Brenda Lee,
Barbara Mandrell, Alabama (3 times), Waylon Jennings, Jerry Clower
(2 times), Conway Twitty, Loretta Lynn; Official Voter
Registrar-Alachua County, Moderator at Candidates Forum in
Micanopy-1986; Moderator at Candidates Forum in Archer - 1986;
Galloneer at Civitan Blood Center; City of Gainesville-Played Santa
calling from the North Pole - (1983-1987); WLUS Dances, M.C.
1986-1987; Elk of the Year Award 2001-2002; Served on the House
Committee and Trustee Committee for the Elks Lodge #990; Auditor to
the District Deputy Grand Exalted Ruler, Fla. N.E. District
2005-2006; Exalted Ruler's Award-Gainesville Elks Lodge #990
2007-2008; State Chairman of the New Lodges Committee for the State
Elks Assn. 2011/12; Coach of the Gainesville Elks Lodge #990 ritual
team; N.E. District ritual contest coach winner (1st place)
2011-2012; State ritual contest coach winner (2nd place) 2012;
Selected candidate for the Elks State Vice-President for the N.E.
District of the Florida State Elks Association 2012. He was unable
to serve because of falling ill.
Jim always said he inherited a work ethic from his father, James
Brand, that spanned 60 years, and his personality from his mother.
He is survived by his Mother, Dorothy Brand of Independence, MO; his
son, James Fratarcangelo; his beloved companion Sally Crews and her
son, Byron Crews.
A Memorial Service will be conducted by the Elks Lodge #990
Wednesday, November 7, 2012 at 2:00 p.m. in the chapel of
WILLIAMS-THOMAS FUNERAL HOME DOWNTOWN, 404 North Main Street. A
reception will follow at the Gainesville Elks Lodge #990. In lieu of
flowers, please make a donation to the Florida Elks Youth Camp, P.O.
Box 49, Umatilla, FL 32784.
Sun, Published Thursday, November 8, 2012
Longtime radio personality, emcee Brand dies at 78
By Anthony Clark, Business Editor
For 40 years, Jim Brand
was the friendly voice of the Swap Shop on WDVH/WLUS AM 980, helping
listeners buy and sell all manner of household items on his Saturday
He would lend his radio voice to serve as master of ceremonies for
Gator Growl in the early 1980s and at concerts for country music
stars, beauty pageants and events for schools and the police. For 13
years, he was pronouncer at the Alachua County Spelling Bee.
Brand died Saturday at 78 after battling cancer, six months after
ending his nearly 60-year radio career.
Daryl Tooley, who worked at WDVH in the 1980s and has an advertising
company in Gainesville, said Brand mentored a lot of University of
Florida journalism students who have gone on to successful careers.
"He touched people inside and outside of broadcasting in quite a
wonderful way," he said.
Current program director Kevin Mangan said Brand taught him a lot in
their five years together.
"He instilled in me commitment and involvement in the community and
how to relate to listeners," he said.
Brand would research other people's interests so he could relate to
them, Mangan said.
"That's why he always had that rapport," he said. "To this day,
people call and want to know how he's doing. We got a plethora of
get-well cards when he got sick."
Brand started his radio career while in college at Southern
Methodist University and continued full-time after leaving the U.S.
Air Force in 1957, serving as announcer and program director at
stations in Texas, Colorado, Kentucky, Virginia, Boston and New
In 1970, he was hired as program director at WDVH by Larry Edwards
and oversaw the station's transition from rock to country. He would
remain through most format and ownership changes, with a couple
stints in Tampa.
Jinx Miller, then Jinx McCall, worked with Brand for nearly 20 years
as copywriter, bookkeeper, controller, host of a bluegrass show and
female voice on commercials and remotes before moving to Boone,
N.C., in 1989.
"JB was my buddy," she said. "We were very close friends as we went
through the ups and downs of that family community radio station."
Back then, radio announcers were "quasi-celebrities," Miller said.
"Everyone who heard him on the air thought of him as a friend."
Tooley said at one time WDVH had 27 percent market share and a
"cracker jack news department."
Brand oversaw six deejays and a news department of seven.
Brand hosted Swap Shop starting in 1971, expanding the show from 15
minutes to four hours on Saturdays as callers traded their wares.
"Anything from goats and chickens to grand pianos, paintings, cars —
all sorts of stuff," said Mangan, who recalled that someone even
tried to sell a traffic light that had fallen during a hurricane.
Following the station's transition from classic country to talk in
October 2011, Brand hosted Swap Shop daily for two hours until his
retirement in May. The show is still on as a four-hour Saturday
program hosted by Ray Starr.
Brand was active in Elks Lodge #990. He is survived by his mother,
Dorothy Brand, of Independence, Mo.; companion Sally Crews and her
son, Byron Crews.
Brown Mid '80s WAKY/WVEZ newsperson.
Also did news at WHAS/WAMZ. Born in Lexington, KY. Graduate of Western
Kentucky University. After her radio career Lauren Brown Roberts became
the Director of Communications at Christian Church Homes of Kentucky.
She also spent over two decades as Public Information Officer at the
Jefferson County Public School System. Died June 28, 2016 at the age of
52 after a short illness.
Buchanan Early '80s WAKY newsperson.
Do you know where she
Interview Available] WAKY afternoon DJ between
1969 and 1973. Came to WAKY from WMPS in Memphis where he was known as
Johnny Apollo. Left WAKY to become PD of WNOE in New Orleans. Later
did mornings at CKLW in Detroit before coming back to Louisville in 1976 to do PM
drive at WHAS. Left WHAS for a station in Tampa, Florida for a short
period of time before going to
WLW in Cincinnati, where he handled
afternoon entertainment duties for over 25 years. Retired from the daily
on-air grind on December 21, 2007, but still voices the nationally
syndicated Earl Pitts
features. Inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame in 2012. [Real Name:
William E. Purser, Jr.]
Gary Burbank Airchecks -
Gary Burbank Ink
Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Gary Burbank (born Billy Purser in
Memphis, Tennessee) is an American radio personality. He currently
appears on WLW-AM in Cincinnati, Ohio, where he has hosted the
station's afternoon drive time programming for more than two
Burbank began his radio career in his hometown at WMPS in the mid
1960s, where he was known on the air as Johnny Apollo. In 1968 he
moved to Louisville, Kentucky, where he became an instant hit on
WAKY-AM. It was at WAKY that Billy Purser officially became Gary
Burbank, a name taken from radio and television legend Gary Owens,
who as a regular on Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In would announce that
he was broadcasting from "beautiful downtown Burbank." (Burbank's
natural voice is remarkably similar to Owens' on-air voice.)
Burbank stayed at WAKY until 1973, when he moved to New Orleans for
a brief stint as program director of WNOE. From New Orleans, Burbank
went on to CKLW in Detroit/Windsor, and then back to Louisville for
a successful, lengthy afternoon gig on WHAS-AM.
Burbank left Louisville again for a brief spell in Tampa, Florida,
but returned to the Ohio Valley in 1986 when he signed with WLW. It
is there that he has enjoyed his greatest success, developing his
best-known characters: Earl Pitts Uhmerikun, Gilbert Gnarley, Eunice
and Bernice, and the Right Rev. Deuteronomy Skaggs (the latter two
carried over from his WHAS days). Burbank regularly satirizes former
Cincinnati mayor Jerry Springer, local newscasters, and the
Cincinnati Bengals, among many others.
Burbank often does his show from a home in north central Florida,
while the rest of his show's cast and crew is in the WLW studios in
Burbank's Earl Pitts daily "commentaries" are syndicated throughout
the country on about 200 stations. Burbank's show is also heard,
along with the rest of WLW's programming, on XM Satellite Radio
Burbank has won several major awards, including back-to-back Marconi
Awards as Large Market Personality of the Year in 1990 and 1991.
On March 7, 2007, Burbank announced that
he would retire on December 31, 2007, at the expiration of his
contract. The last show was broadcast on Friday, December 21, 2007.
Despite Burbank's retirement, Earl Pitts' commentaries will continue
to broadcast on its network of affiliates including WLW.
Interview Available] WAKY DJ between 1973 and
1979. Originally from Oklahoma. Came to WAKY directly from WKGN in Knoxville, Tennessee where was known as
"Jack Diamond." Coyote started his WAKY tour doing nights, and later moved to PM drive.
His first post-WAKY gig was doing nights at Top 40 station KULF in
Houston, Texas. He returned to Louisville in 1980 and became the PD (and
first live announcer) at country-formatted
in Louisville where he remained full-time until 2014. [Birth name: Greg
Coyote Calhoun Page | Coyote
Campbell McLendon-era WAKY
Do you know where he
Gary Clark WAKY jock in
the mid '80s. Worked at WAKY twice: first in PM drive, then 12
noon-3 p.m. Was handling mornings at Louisville's "Country Legends"
WRKA until November 29,
Mark Clark WAKY jock in
the mid '60s.
Do you know where he
Conn WAKY DJ in 1981. Now at the
Public Radio Partnership (WFPL, WFPK and WUOL) in Louisville. Brian
|"I was a full-time WAKY announcer
for a year (1981) after beginning my career at WVLK in Lexington.
Worked for Mike McVay, along with Bill Bailey, Bob
Moody, Jack Petrey, John Ashton, Bill Purdom
and others. I was on briefly from 7pm to midnight before moving to
middays after McVay gave up his daily on-air duties.
"Incidentally, I was the operations manager for Johnny Randolph
and Wayne Perkey at the stations they co-owned in Danville,
KY from '87 to '94. I then programmed stations for Regent
Communications/Jacor in Louisville before joining Public Radio
Partnership in '97, where I'm currently operations director (and
having a great time)."
Stan Cook Newsman
in the mid '80s. Also worked for WKLO in the mid-to-late '70s as well as
stations in Indiana; Elizabethtown, Kentucky; and Lexington, Kentucky.
Most recently did news for Louisville's NPR News Station,
Cook "Weekend Warrior" DJ
1972-1976. He came back to WAKY and worked fulltime middays 1982-1984.
Steve left WAKY to go into radio sales at WHAS (where he also did some
weekend air work.) Also worked at WASE in Elizabethtown, Kentucky in 2005
and 2006 as an Account Executive and weekend jock. Now sells ads for
wrote in 2005:
|"My interest in radio occurred one
night back in 1957 at age 4, when my dad called me to come into our
kitchen. On top of some newspaper he had spread on our kitchen table
was a cigar box, copper wire, a one-piece headphone and something
that looked like a piece of rock, about the size of a baseball. (It
was a piece of crystal.) He said, 'Son we're going to build a
radio!' It didn't matter that it would only pick up one station.
What was of far greater importance was that he had managed to
capture my imagination. A decade would pass before I would take
action on the amazing impression this little 15-minute father and
son experiment had created. When I did...I hit the jackpot!
"I'd just turned 19 and was now walking the halls, attending jock
meetings, and hanging out with Kentuckiana's undisputed 'Golden
Boys' of Top 40 Radio: Bill Bailey, John W. 'Dude' Walker,
Johnny Randolph, Gary Burbank, Jason O'Brian,
Mason Lee Dixon and Michael Louis Griffin. Whenever you attended a rock concert in
the late '60s and early '70s in Louisville, Kentucky, the chances
were 9 out of 10 that before Jim Morrison and the Doors,
Chicago or Three Dog Night stepped out on stage, one of
these guys was going to be on it too, welcoming everyone to the
show. Thrills and excitement? You'd better believe it! Here I was on
the air doing weekends for the proverbial answer to the musical
question: 'What is: the Radio College of Musical Knowledge?'
Friends, this was Harvard, Yale and Oxford all rolled into one. This
was the BIG 79!
"As time moves on, things are
changing; music, formats and yours truly. It was 1984 and I was now
an account executive and doing weekends on the air at the very
station my dad and I had pulled in on that little piece of crystal
out in Shelby County all those Summer nights ago. I was now working
for the Bingham family at 84WHAS, where I remained until the mid
"During this period my musical
interests led me to form a country-rock group just for the fun of it
all. Over the next five years as lead singer, I would perform with
them at Rupp Arena, Cardinal Stadium, Louisville Gardens, county
fairs, street fairs and the Kentucky State Fair, as well as do
personal appearances from New York City to Nashville, including
guest spots with Ralph Emery on his #1 rated Country Music TV
show 'Nashville Now' seen on the Nashville Network. We shared the
stage as the opening act for over 30 national touring artists
including: Jerry Lee Lewis, George Jones, Merle
Haggard, Waylon Jennings, Tanya Tucker, Eddie
Rabbit, Exile, Steve Wariner, Highway 101,
Rodney Crowell, Patty Loveless, Michael Martin
Murphy and Ricky Van Shelton.
"In late 1997 after spending nearly
four months at University Hospital and Frazier Rehab with my
daughter who had been seriously injured in an auto accident, I
needed a break from the business and resigned my position as an
account executive at the Number One Country station in the U.S.,
Byron Crawford WAKY
newsman from October, 1966 through sometime in 1969, when he moved to
Cincinnati to do news at WCKY. He returned to Louisville in 1973 to work
at WHAS, where he remained until 1979...first in radio news, then in TV as
a reporter and weekend anchor. Spent many years as a columnist for the
Courier-Journal, retiring in late 2008. Inducted into the Kentucky
Journalism Hall of Fame in 2009. Byron writes on May 16, 2005:
the heads up on the new Weird Beard aircheck [with a Byron
Crawford newscast]. I was thinking as I was listening to WB and to
one of my newscasts, when I worked with him nights at WAKY, our sons
-- his Scotty and my, oldest, Eric -- were born either
the same day or same week in August of 1968. Scotty drowned as a
toddler in 1971, a tragedy that none of us ever got over. Weird
Beard was very good to me --always a pleasant guy to work with.
"At one time or
another during my three year stint at WAKY during the mid to late
'60s, I think I did news through the window opposite Rusty
Reynolds, Jim Brand, Bill Crisp, Tim Tyler,
Weird Beard, John Locke, Johnny Dark, Al
Risen ('Jack Holiday'), Farrell Smith, Jim
Fletcher, Tom Dooley, Ken Douglas, Steve Baron,
Dude Walker, Mike Smith, Mark Clark, George
Williams, Buddy Kaye, Gary Burbank and Johnny
Randolph -- to name most, but not in that order, of course.
used an old Morse Code key -- actually keyed with our thumb -- to
make the 'rat-a-tat-tat' tone as a breaker between our news stories when I first went
there -- the reverberating tone almost like a cell phone ring of
today. It was a McClendon thing -- just a little bit more
conservative than KBOX in Dallas, which used a McKenzie Repeater to
break up the stories with dramatic music. The station never quite
sounded as good after it moved.
whom I thought was a really good jock, finally took me off the
news-writing chores in the mornings to banter in the studio with him
during morning drive as a straight man and funny voice -- but I
actually delivered the newscasts.
"Tim Tyler, on
whose show I started as a newsman in 1966 at night, had to help me
find my car the first night I was there, because I was from a small
town. I had come there from Richmond, Kentucky, and couldn't find my
car in the parking lot where I parked it. Tim got me in his new
T-Bird and drove me around till we found my Chevy Impala in a
parking lot near the Kentucky Home Life Building. That first
Christmas I was at WAKY, he and Sandy had my wife Jackie
and me to their home, in Jeffersonville or Clarksville as I recall,
and gave us gifts. They were great folks to us, and I will always
have fond memories of them. Tyler was a terrific jock -- always did
his show in his sock feet, ran a tight board and was a complete pro
both in music and in business
booked the Beach Boys into Freedom Hall, some of the band came to
the station and I recall that Brian Wilson took off his sweat
soaked, signature blue and white striped shirt and left it in Tim's
office. A few days later, Tim cut it up and gave pieces to some of
us around the station. I got a pretty good swatch of it and gave it
to my sister-in-law, a huge Beach Boys fan. She still has it.
missed working with Mason Dixon at WAKY, he and I nearly
started in radio together at WRSL in Stanford. He had been in Irvine
at WIRV before that, but WRSL, a new 500-watt daytimer, was my first
job and we both started there together when he was still a teenager.
He was a jock, and I started doing news after school as a high
school junior. Even then, he was immensely talented. He did all
kinds of produced bits, ran an air-tight board, had a fantastic
voice and made afternoon drive on that little 500-watter in the
middle of nowhere sound like 50,000 watts of bright lights in the
middle of everywhere...until sundown. He drove an Austin Healy
Sprite and I drove a turquoise '55 Willys turquoise Jeep.
drive on and on down Memory Lane with the radio set on 790 -- as
everyone could who ever worked at WAKY. Thanks, John Quincy, for
giving us a place to remember."
Interview Available] Morning DJ and PD
in mid '60s. Bill came to WAKY after over a year doing mornings at
WKLO. After leaving WAKY, Bill became PD and morning man at WLAP
in Lexington, Kentucky. He later went to work as News Director and
Anchor at WTVQ-TV in Lexington, plus did a morning slot at WKXO in
Berea, Kentucky. Bill also co-owned radio stations in Delaware.
He retired in 1993 and lived in Millsboro, Delaware until his
death on December 6, 2011. Bill wrote in 2005:
|"I was at WAKY from 1965 through
most of 1968. I was hired by then Program Director Jim Brand,
and the General Manager was Joel Thrope. Like most of the
jocks at WAKY I was brought over from WKLO. Shortly after I joined
the station, Jim Brand was made National PD of LIN Broadcasting and
I was named PD of WAKY.
"During my tenure we added a number
of people and lost a few, most of which I don't remember. Among
those we added during that time were Farrell Smith from KLO,
and had also worked at WABC in New York; John Randolph, who
had been music director at KLO and part-time jock; and Steve
Barron. I don't remember where we got Steve but I do remember he
got drunk one Christmas day and I finished his shift and we never
saw him again. I was accused of being a real Scrooge for firing
somebody on Christmas day, but I didn't -- he just didn't come back.
"We also added Jim Fletcher,
who had been production director and on air personality at KLO, and
was probably the best production man I ever encountered before or
since. Bert Markert a.k.a. Weird Beard came to us from
WINN. We also hired a kid we called Johnny Dark and I don't
remember his real name, but I later heard he was killed in a plane
"Another guy who joined us during my
tenure was Tom Dooley, a real whack job, but one of the best
jocks I ever heard.
"I would like to add one thing: A lot
of people left WKLO to work at WAKY, but to my knowledge, nobody
ever left WAKY to go to WKLO."
Bill Crisp Legacy.com Obit
MILLSBORO — Bill
Crisp passed away Tuesday morning, Dec. 6, 2011, at Atlantic Shores
nursing home in Millsboro. He had been in poor health for the last
He had been a resident of Rehoboth Shores, Long Neck, for the last
10 years. He was a member of the American Legion, Millsboro, having
served as a radio operator, aboard U.S. naval ships, during the
Bill was born in Tennessee, was raised in Lewes, and graduated with
the Class of 1952, at Lewes Special School.
He played trumpet in the band, and during the years, played with
area bands. Mr. Crisp was involved in radio broadcasting most of his
life, working on the air in many large markets around the country.
Mr. Crisp was owner and manager of WSUX AM/FM in Seaford during the
70's and 80's, where he lived with his wife, Sandy, and daughter,
He is survived by a brother, Don Crisp of Bishopville.
A private memorial service is planned.
Liz Curtis 1981-1984 DJ.
Left WAKY to go to WHAS.
She is now a successful
Christian author and motivational speaker.
|"When WWWW-FM in Detroit changed
format from album rock to country in early 1981, I left my afternoon
drive shift there and moved to Louisville to do mornings at WQMF-FM.
For various reasons, that gig never suited me, and so I moved across
town in July 1981 to WAKY-AM to do true personality radio. Jack
Petrey was the program director at the time. I was hired to do
middays. Not long after I arrived, WAKY hired Tim and Ev Kelly,
a major market husband-wife team, to do mornings starting around
August or September 1981.
"At some point Jack left and Bob
Moody, who was doing afternoon drive, became PD and we shifted
to an oldies format. What a fun time that was! Steven Lee Cook
and B.J. Koltee were other buddies who worked on-the-air at
Liz Curtis Higgs
"I left WAKY in Spring 1984 because WHAS-AM had a midday opening and
because WAKY was in the process of being sold. The new owners
assured me they would be happy to keep me on the air-staff, as long
as I could accept a sizeable pay cut! NOT! :>) "I worked at WHAS from April 1984 to
August 1988, when I left radio altogether to concentrate exclusively
on mothering and speaking."
Jack Daniels Night jock
in the mid '60s. Died on February 1, 2009 at the age of 69 after a battle
with cancer. Spent the last several years of his career as editor of TV
Business Confidential writing a daily report for TV station owners
similar to Inside Radio. [Real name: Floyd H. Thackery]
Jack e-mailed us in November 2005:
|"I was hired by Jim Brand,
who was program director and morning jock at the time. In fact it
was Jim who gave me the name 'Jack Daniels.' He was driving
me around town on my first night, giving me a quick tour of the
city. As we drove along the freeway, we'd pass a Jack Daniels
whiskey billboard about every quarter of a mile it seemed. I
remember him asking if I was a teetotaler; after telling him 'no,'
he asked what I thought about using Jack Daniels as an air name. He
reminded me that since the Kentucky bourbon was owned by Early
Times, and Early Times was headquartered in Louisville, the name
would be easily and quickly recognizable for ratings purposes. Done
'I was there in '65 & '66. I remember specifically it was when the
TV series 'Batman' was H-O-T and Our Fearless Leader (Jim Brand) was
a Superfan of the series. It wasn't unusual for someone (sometimes
even Jim) to bring in a portable TV so the jock and news staff could
watch the current episode of the show (pre-DVR days). I deeply
regret that no airchecks or other memorabilia survived the numerous
moves and subsequent divorce caused by moving too much.
"And they didn't call the station
'WAKY' without reason. Other memories include gags we played on the
evening newsman who shall go unnamed just in case he or his wife may
ever read this. We hired a girl to stand on the other side of the
newsroom glass and strip while he was doing a live newscast. We
thought it was so funny that we decided to do it again a few days
later -- only this time, someone let the cat out of the bag and the
newsman was tipped off. Not being one to throw a monkey wrench into
our fun, he didn't let on he knew...but he surreptitiously recorded
the news. After the normal live teaser and intro, we brought in the
girl again and she began to strip -- this time, however, he simply
grinned after his lead story and punched up a cart on which the rest
of the news was recorded. Without saying a word to us, only smiling,
he walked from the newsroom around to the control room, took the
young lady by the hand and escorted her away to an office.
"I had the 9-mid shift, behind Tim Tyler, who was 6-9pm at
that time. Since I had a First Class FCC license and Tim didn't, I
was essentially hired to be the 'licensed operator on duty' to take
the transmitter readings every half-hour, as the regulations then
required. (Sounds so archaic now, doesn't it?) George Williams
was doing middays and he ended up being a close friend during the
time together at WAKY. Jim also told me that he hired me because of
my knowledge of the 'new' 'Drake Format.' I was one of three people
(Bill Drake and Jayne Swain being the other two) who
first laid out the concept of the format...we were at KSTN/Stockton
at the time, and that was before Bill hooked up with Gene Chenault
"Most of my efforts were West Coast and my only gigs East of the
Mississippi River were as a jock at WAKY and GM at WGIV/Charlotte
for Tracy Broadcasting. I was working at their R&B outlet, KGFJ/Los
Angeles, when they bought WGIV and sent me there to oversee the
set-up and operation.
"I eventually found my way to KRUX/Phoenix and sister station
KTKT/Tucson as group program director, where we set ratings records
which still stand. When KRUX was sold to Lotus, I went to Australia
as a consultant for 3 years and oversaw operation of 5 stations
"After returning to the States, Rick Sklar hired me as
program director for ABC's O&O KXYZ/Houston."
Dark Overnight DJ in the late
'60s from the Bowling Green, Kentucky area. Later worked at WKLO in the
using the airname Jonathan Stone, as well as stations like WHK,
CKLW, WQXI and WZGC. (See the
WKLO Tribute Site
for more details.) [Real Name: Harold Hines]
Died of cancer in 2002.
Newsman at WAKY between 1972 and 1978. Left WAKY for WHAS radio where he
worked in the news department there (as well as at WAMZ) until 2003. Still
lives in Louisville where he works for Brantley Security Services.
Interview Available] Overnight DJ who started at
WAKY in March, 1969. Previously worked at other Kentucky stations such as
WEKY in Richmond, WIRV in Irvine, WVLK in Lexington and WDXR in Paducah
under his real name and as Jay Rabbit. Left WAKY in September, 1972 to work at a KXOK in St.
Louis. Along with spinning the Top 40 hits, he had a WAKY call-in talk show
called "The Mason Dixon Line." Later came back to work at WAKY in the late
'70s. Also worked at WKLO, WQMF, WINN and other Louisville stations. Was employed at the Holiday Manor BP on US 42 (Brownsboro Road)
in Louisville for many years though December 7, 2007 when the business
closed. Mike Griffin reports on December 21, 2008: "He is retired
now." Died September 24, 2020. [Real name: David
Bratcher] Mason Lee Dixon
David Bratcher Legacy.com Obit
David A. Bratcher,
born December 25, 1944, passed away on Thursday, September 24,
David was a disc jockey at a number of radio stations across the
country, most famously as Mason Lee Dixon at WAKY, a lecturer on
the American astrological circuit, and a practitioner of Native
American philosophy. He will be remembered for his sense of
humor, love of movies, and voracious appetite for reading.
He is survived by his brothers Terry and Stephen Bratcher, his
son Jason Bratcher, and stepdaughter Melanie Sympson. He was
preceded in death by his partner Marissa Garcia, mother Marian
Bratcher, and father David Bratcher.
In lieu of flowers, expressions of sympathy may be made to the
National Parks Foundation.
Tom Dooley in later years
Interview Available] WAKY afternoon drive jock
twice: 1968 and 1974-1976. Worked at KELI (Tulsa), WQAM (Miami), KNUZ
(Houston) and WSAI (Cincinnati) before coming to WAKY the first time. Left
WAKY to concentrate on his musical career full-time. Lost his voice and
had two operations. When his voice returned, he got back into radio and
worked at WMPS (Memphis, Dooley's hometown), WORD (Spartanburg, SC), KRIZ
(Phoenix), WFIL (Philadelphia), WHBQ (Memphis) and KHJ (Los Angeles)
previous to returning to WAKY. Left WAKY to go to work for the Jimmy
Carter campaign in Atlanta. While in Atlanta, he got a job with WGST,
leaving there to go to FM100 in Memphis. Tom also did time at stations in
Rockford, IL, Cleveland, OH, and Knoxville, TN. Did a nationally syndicated
Contemporary Christian radio show ("The Journey") and more out of
Ministries in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area. Sidelined due to health
issues in the spring of 2010. Tom passed away due to complications from
brain cancer on November 9, 2010. [Real name: George Patrick
Dooley, Jr.] Tom Dooley
Airchecks Tom Dooley's Showtime Revue
Dooley's November 12, 2010
What a journey!
From a neglected childhood spent in bars and strip clubs to a man
with a happy marriage, loving family, and fulfilled Christian walk,
few people fully epitomize a life so completely transformed more
than our husband, Dad, Pappy, brother, uncle, and friend.
"Tom" Dooley was born George Patrick Dooley, Jr. January 18, 1947 in
Chicago, IL to George and Rebecca Dooley, and he had an older
sister, Patricia. Tom's father ran a strip club. It was the
destination for all of the family's social events including Tom's
christening. Tom's father was physically abusive to his wife and
family, and when Tom's mother finally fled to Cairo, IL, with at
least one tooth knocked out, she opened her own strip club. Tom was
frequently sent to live with other families, some related and some
not. But when he was home, he was often left to fend for himself in
the clubs, behind the bar, surrounded by topless women and drunks.
By his early teen years, he had a reputation for being a trouble
maker. At the ripe old age of 12, the FBI was looking for him for
check fraud, and he had been arrested for stealing cars. But, he had
already chosen the perfect career -- radio -- and at 14, he dropped
out of high school, went to radio school, and got his first radio
job in Dyersburg, TN. After all, he would soon have his own family
to care for. Tom married his first wife when they were both 16. At
17, Tom's first daughter, Dana Lynn, was born. Four years later, a
second child, Dione, was stillborn. Tom was divorced shortly after,
but he was soon married and quickly divorced yet again.
During his late teens, Tom was already a top DJ in Louisville, KY.
He was the leader of his own band, Tom Dooley and the Lovelights,
with a regional hit, and he was living the life of a rock star –
sex, drugs, and rock ‘n' roll. And, unknown to him for 25 years, his
second daughter, Lesley, was born when he was 21.
Tom's radio career required him to live in many different cities,
and by 1973 he was at WFIL in Philadelphia. It was there that he met
Melanie, the love of his life, a young and seemingly innocent former
Catholic school girl who worked part-time at promotional events for
the radio station. They had a whirlwind courtship at R&B nightclubs
and rock concerts. And, by the end of the year and much to the
dismay of Melanie's widowed mother, Tom and Melanie were married.
They had their first baby girl, Kristin, later that year. In 1976,
they were back in Louisville where Tom's only son, Joshua, was born.
But by 1978, God quietly directed them back to Philadelphia. This is
where Tom's baby girl, Elizabeth, was born.
It was in Lancaster, PA, outside of Philadelphia, where Tom and
Melanie were invited to Christmas Eve dinner with their friend Wes
Yoder's Mennonite parents. The family was loving, gentle, and
welcoming, and the evening was spent singing and fellowshipping. It
was the first time they had witnessed Christianity in action without
being preached to about the Four Spiritual Laws. During the car ride
home from the Yoders' that evening, Tom and Melanie prayed to
receive Christ into their lives.
But, becoming a Christian did not change Tom overnight. Although he
tried to be the Christian man he wanted to be, he was a product of
his childhood, and it was difficult to balance his new Christian
walk with the only world he'd ever known.
After their conversion, Tom went to a Christian bookstore to buy a
copy of Mere Christianity by C. S. Lewis. The owners of the
bookstore and soon to become lifelong friends, Ron and Cay Evans,
invited Tom and Melanie to church where they became active members.
Tom sought out other men that modeled a Godly life, and he also
searched for ministries with whom he could work and learn from. He
was the voice of several Billy Graham TV crusades and narrated a
couple of Dr. Graham's audio books.
In 1986, Tom's sister, Patricia, needed a kidney donor. Their
relationship was strained, yet she reluctantly asked Melanie to
approach Tom about being a donor. He agreed without hesitation, as
his one of his marked characteristics was his generosity to others.
This was the first of many things that triggered the transformation
of his character. Tom was now faced with his sister's and his own
At home, Tom and Melanie's marriage was on the rocks, and Melanie
threatened to leave if they didn't get help from marriage
counseling. They found a sweet and gentle counselor in Floyd Sharp.
Tom was ready to accept counsel, and he worked harder than he ever
had to acknowledge and correct the mistakes he'd made. Tom learned
to apologize. And more than that, he consciously changed his
behavior. He no longer paid only lip service. He was becoming a new
man. His relationships with his wife and family began to change.
Within a year, the marriage was unrecognizable from the previous
year, and they were on the path to renewal.
In the course of this transformation, he devoured books that would
encourage and guide him to be the man he wanted to be. While Tom and
Melanie would lie in bed at night, he would read passages aloud to
her that he found inspirational. This is where the kernel of an idea
began for a Christian radio show. His entire career until that point
had been in Top 40 radio. As he grew in his walk with Christ, he
grew in his desire to serve God with the talent with which he had
been blessed. In 1989, Tom began the radio show, “The Journey with
Tom Dooley”. It was a ministry of discipleship and encouragement
using Christian literature with Christian music. God gave Tom this
gift to allow him to use his talent to serve the Lord and others,
and as a result, so many other people's lives were also transformed
by the words that he read and the music that was played.
More than anything, Tom loved and was interested in people. He
longed to see the change in others' lives that he had experienced in
his own. Tom was blessed with many close, intimate friends. He cared
about people and invested himself in his family and friends. Tom was
a confidante and counselor to many.
Sadly for his beloved wife, family, and friends, Tom was diagnosed
with aggressive brain cancer in March of this year. On November 9,
2010, Tom passed away peacefully in the presence of his adored wife,
Melanie, and son, Josh. He had just been prepared for bed. Josh was
singing to him while Melanie cuddled with him. Tom drew a final
breath and gently slipped away.
He never once complained about his diagnosis, and throughout several
different treatments he remained positive and peaceful. His faith in
God remained steadfast and never once faltered; and his inspiration
and insight will be greatly missed.
His generosity continued even after death as Tom chose to donate his
body for medical research. We hope one day that a cure for
glioblastoma multiforme is found.
Please join us to celebrate Tom's life on Saturday, November 20th at
2:00pm at Irving Bible Church in Irving, TX.
Dallas Morning News Obituary - November 13, 2010
Tom Dooley, known for Christian show in
By Sam Hodges
Tom Dooley shared a
name with a famous folk song character and became well-known
himself, first as a long-haired disc jockey and later as a bald,
beloved Christian broadcaster.
Mr. Dooley, 63, died Tuesday at his North Richland Hills home. He'd
been in hospice care after battling brain cancer that was diagnosed
For about 20 years, Mr. Dooley had a two-hour music and
inspirational show called The Journey that originated at Dallas
Christian station KVTT and was picked up by stations around the
"He was our top-rated program," said Stan Thomas, general manager of
the station from 1993 to 2004. "He had a marvelous ability to
communicate the gospel."
Mr. Dooley also emceed many Christian events and produced some of
his own, including "1,000 Guitars of Praise" at Reunion Arena in
But Mr. Dooley, whose real first name was George, grew up in a
family that ran strip clubs in Illinois. A "wild child," he got his
first disc jockey job at 14, said daughter Kristin Spradlin of
"When he started in radio, he was 'Jolly George,' but he had a
production director suggest he change his name to Tom," she said.
Mr. Dooley longed to be a famous musician. His band Tom Dooley and
the Lovelights toured widely and cut records that can still be heard
But he would make his name in the late 1960s and '70s as disc jockey
for such powerhouse stations as WFIL in Philadelphia, KHJ in Los
Angeles and WAKY in Louisville, Ky. Radio history websites feature
him prominently, including clips of him on the air.
In an interview with WAKY, Mr. Dooley said he often behaved
self-destructively. He described the turning point of going with his
wife, Melanie, to the home of a Mennonite family in Lancaster, Pa.
Mr. Dooley became a Christian but continued to experience anger that
stemmed from a difficult childhood and made him a difficult father
and husband, his daughter said. She said her parents were near
divorce after moving to Dallas in the 1980s and underwent last-gasp
"That's when he really decided to dedicate his life to becoming a
better person, a better Christian, and working on personal issues,"
she said. "He became one of the most generous, kindest persons you'd
want to know."
In addition to his wife and daughter Kristin, Dooley is survived by
daughters Dana Franklin of Hickory Flat, Miss., Lesley McFerron of
Louisville, and Elizabeth Dooley of Fort Worth; son Joshua Dooley of
Fort Worth; and nine grandchildren.
There will be a memorial service at 2 p.m. Nov. 20 at Irving Bible
Douglas News reporter in the late
Hal Smith reports Craig is living in Nashville, Tennessee and owns a
studio from which he does voiceovers. Also does "Tax Tips" which is
supplied to radio stations.
Douglas WAKY DJ for six
months starting in June of 1979. Before WAKY he worked at WKBW (Buffalo),
WLOF (Orlando), WMAK (Nashville) and KX104 (Nashville) in addition to
various independent production companies. His airshift was 1 to 4 p.m.
weekdays and Saturdays from 3 till 7 p.m.
Now lives in Binghamton, NY where
he runs Douglas Media
Darrell Douglas Today
Douglas WAKY newsperson in 1970
from September through November 1970. After WAKY she went to a six-year stint at WKLO,
first as reporter/anchor and then as one of the first female news
directors in the country.
Eileen now lives in New York City, where she has had a distinguished
career as a broadcast journalist.
Ken Douglas Haberdashery
employee-turned-WKLO personality during the British Invasion years. A
native Englander, his British accent and knowledge of the Beatles and
other English acts took the WKLO airwaves by storm in 1965. Toured with
the Beatles and filed reports on WKLO. Friend of Davy Jones of the
Monkees, with whom he went into the haberdashery business in California
after leaving Louisville. Worked nights at WAKY for a brief time after he
and WKLO parted company. Also worked at WINN. Passed away in England on
November 21, 2016. From his obituary in the Courier-Journal: "Ken lived
a very exciting life from working on cruise ships sailing around the
world to touring with the Beatles in 1966, and meeting and interviewing
many celebrities. Ken worked for the Monkees in Los Angeles and became
life long friends with Davy Jones. Ken then became manager of the men's
store at Fred Segals in California. After retiring, Ken returned to
England to be closer to family and his daughter, Heather. Ken loved
meeting people and making friends. No one was ever a stranger."
Later lived in Marina del Ray, California
where he worked
in the retail clothing business. Eventually returned to England to be with
his daughter Heather. but might have returned to Great Britain.
Bob Dries WAKY night jock in
the early '80s. Left WAKY to go to WRKA. Later worked at WHAS
radio as a morning show producer during the week and as part of the
"Saturday Morning Crew" show from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. on Saturdays. Now lives
in Southern Indiana where he does freelance DJ and voice work.
Midday DJ who was part of Don
Keyes' original staff. Chuck also had stops at WABC, WIXY, and KLIF
and is credited as the father of the Progressive Country format. Chuck and
partners also owned Big Mack Broadcasting Co. (KIXQ, KSYN, KXDG and KJMK,
Joplin, Missouri). He is retired and living in Houston, Texas.
Elliott WAKY DJ in the mid '80s.
After a long tenure at WHAS, both as a DJ and a talk show host, Joe now
hosts a daily talk show at Louisville's
970 WGTK. Joe
"I was at WAKY for its last couple of
years, and I wouldn't trade the memories. Bob Moody hired
me in December of '83 to do weekends. In March of '84 I started
doing evenings, moved to middays in May, and stayed there for more
than a year. In September of '85 I moved to afternoons, and did
the morning show from March of 1986 until the management blew it
up in September of 1986.
"I stayed with the company, even in
the same studio, and did mornings for sister station WVEZ. In
1988 I moved to WHAS, where I have been hosting an evening talk
show since 1993.
"WAKY had a great staff, even at the
end. It was a pleasure to work for Bob Moody, and I loved
selecting my own music. What was the new management thinking when
they killed this area's most revered radio station and replaced
it with beautiful music? Wow! Can you say insane?
"WAKY's last night on the air was
especially meaningful to me. We played a few tunes, but mostly
talked with listeners about how special the station had been to
all of us. We called Johnny Randolph about an hour into
the show, and he drove up from Danville.
"It was an honor for all of us to have
been a part of such a legendary station, and nobody wanted to
leave when management threw the switch at midnight."
Bob Moody writes: "Joe was always one of my
favorites, but even more impressive was Timmy -- his leader dog at
the time. Timmy not only got Joe to the station, but he would then
lie down quietly beside the control board for hours. About fifteen
minutes before Joe's shift ended, Timmy would get up, walk around
the room a couple of times to loosen up, and be waiting at the
door when the clock struck the top of the hour. I often noted at
the time that it worried me that our smartest employee was a
Evans WAKY overnight DJ for a
couple of months in 1964. Originally from Litchfield, Kentucky. Now
owner/operator of WQXE
in Elizabethtown, Kentucky.
Fletcher DJ in the 1960s. His
radio and television career spanned from 1960 through 2002. He was a
WAVE/WAVG 970 TV and radio personality who received awards for his popular
show "The Joe Fletcher Show" by TV Radio Mirror. Joe was also known to
fill in on the weekend weather at WAVE TV-3 and hosted the program "High
Q". He worked for Louisville radio stations WAKY, WKLO, WINN, WAVE, WAVG,
and WKJK (where he retired). Early in his career he worked for WSAC, Ft.
Knox, KY and WSLM, Salem, IN. He also worked at WFBC in Greenville, SC.
Died at the age of 75 on December 23, 2009 at Springhurst Health &
Rehabilitation after a prolonged illness.
Fletcher WAKY Production Director
in the late '60s from Guthrie, Oklahoma. Deceased.
WAKY News Director during the
McLendon years, who later was a TV
newsman for ABC and ABC's White House Correspondent. Do you know where he
Newsman in the early '80s.
George died in June of 2004. He was the producer of the evening news for
WJAR-TV in Providence, Rhode Island up until his passing.
Gimmel WAKY Production Engineer,
Jock and Newsman in the late '60s. Rich writes:
|"I had the privilege of working at
WAKY as a college kid in the late '60s...first as a production
engineer, then as an all-night jock, then doing a combination night
news gig during the week (I was Weird Beard's newsman) and
jock on Saturday nights 6-midnight, and Sundays.
"I was first hired by the program director Bill Crisp, then
worked news for Ron Statzer and after his death for Bob
Watson. I was on duty when riots began in the West End of
Louisville in the spring of '68, and when Martin Luther King
was assassinated at about that same time.
"I still cringe when I recall the move from the original location in
the Kentucky Home Life Building to the showcase studios on 4th
Street in November, 1968, and how literally boxes full of WAKY and
McLendon E.T.'s were thrown away.
"After the move to 4th Street, as WAKY emulated WKLO's Showcase
Studios, there were literally cars bumper-to-bumper every Saturday
night as kids cruised 'theatre row' up and down the street.
Rich Gimmel (2011)
"After leaving WAKY in May, 1969 I went
to WLAP in Lexington where I was News Director while I finished up
at Georgetown College. After getting fired at WLAP in 1972 (right
after I helped start a union) I wound up in Alabama at WHHY as ND
there (the only 'unions' they had to worry about in Alabama were the
guys they had fought in the Civil War.) I came back to Kentucky as
PD at WEKY in Richmond. Finally wound up as anchor and then ND at
WTVQ-TV in Lexington 1973-78, then at WAVE-TV in Louisville as
Associate News Director until 1985.
"After getting my MBA in 1985 I joined our
manufacturing business (Atlas
Machine and Supply) where I'm now chairman and owner. I also
volunteer as executive director of the
"I have a bunch of GREAT memories from WAKY... many of them from
that old facility in the Kentucky Home Life Building (old RCA board,
a vertical Presto reel-to-reel machine, the production facilities
that still used engineers, and some of the incredible antics we used
"We really had to clean up our collective acts when we moved to the
showcase studios on 4th Street in 1968. We finally had new
equipment, but it wasn't nearly as much fun."
WAKY part-time/swing DJ in the late
'70s. Prior to WAKY, she was a member of the United States Gymnastics Team for four years.
Adele was married to fellow WAKY on-air talent Charlie Blue (Charlie
According to Gary Burbank's wife Carol, Adele died of cancer
WAKY Sunday morning board op in
the '70s. Later became one of the region's best-known horse-racing callers,
most closely associated with Cincinnati's River Downs. Died in January
2004 at the age of 48 after apparently suffering a heart attack while
driving to his home in Independence, Kentucky. Remembrances of Kevin:
|Travis Hardwick writes: "I
had often talked to Kevin when I called the station and we became
friends. He invited me to come down and hangout in the studios
during the public affairs programming and paid me to cover for him
on Friday nights when he could not be there to do his other job,
taping high school students who were phoning in to report the
outcome of football games at their schools. The carts were then
played over the air. Because of Kevin, I had the unique opportunity
of seeing WAKY, in detail, from the inside and got hands-on
experience in working with the equipment. He even gave me a key to
the back door so that I could come and go as I pleased. It wasn't
right that I had a key, and Johnny Randolph later took it
from me, but I have always been grateful to Kevin for having allowed
me into the studios and for having given me the key."
Dude Walker writes: "I knew his family well. He and his father
and I used to go to harness races all over the tri-state area. The
last time I saw Kevin was when he was passing through Chicago and
spent a few days at my place. I was at Louisville Downs the night he
called his first race. He did a good job."
WAKY 7 p.m. - midnight jock from
May through July 1985. Previously worked at WWKK, WSAC, WRKA and WHAS.
Left WAKY to do down the hall to WVEZ to do afternoon drive
until WVEZ became automated in March 1986. Later worked at WIEL and WRKA
(again). Became Production Director at
WHAS in 1987 where he remained until 2007. Now doing production at WQXE in
Elizabethtown, plus various other radio and TV
Grady Jock during the McLendon
days. He started out doing WAKY's version of the all-night show, "The
Milkman Matinee". He then moved to the 7 to Midnight shift, and was also
WAKY's Music Director. After leaving WAKY in 1962 when McLendon sold the
station to LIN, he got out of radio and was with Columbia Records and
other music business interests in New York and the West Coast. Jack
was the overnight personality on ABC's "Stardust" format, based
in Dallas, Texas between 2001 and 2009. Passed away around June 1, 2015 at
his home in Dallas. [Real name: John K. Anderson]
Jack gave us the names
of some of the staff and lineups during his time at WAKY:
Grady Midnight to 6am
Al Risen* Morning Drive
Bob Russell Midday Mornings
Art Keller Midday Afternoon
Jack Sanders Afternoon Drive
Ricky Ware 7pm to Midnight
*went to WSAI in Cincinnati
Bill Ward Midnight to 6am
Al Risen Morning Drive
Bob Russell Midday Mornings
Art Keller Midday Afternoon
Jack Sanders Afternoon Drive
Jack Grady 7pm to Midnight
Bill Ward Morning Drive
Bob Russell Midday Mornings
Art Keller Midday Afternoon
Jack Sanders Afternoon Drive
Jack Grady 7pm to Midnight
Bill Ward Morning Drive
Hal Smith Midday Mornings
Art Keller Midday Afternoon
Jack Sanders Afternoon Drive
Jack Grady 7pm to Midnight
Bill Ward Morning Drive
Hal Smith Midday Mornings
Jack Grady Midday Afternoon
Jack Sanders Afternoon Drive
Jerry Barr 7pm to Midnight
period Jack Sanders was PD; then Jim Brand was PD
until the sale; I was Music Director
Bill Gill ND
Jon Poston ND
Gerry WoodOther staff: Wick Morrison, Chief Engineer
Johnny Workman, Production Engineer
Marijo Rison, Secretary to the Manager
Willis "Scooter" Duff
Interview Available] Newsman and News Director.
He also worked at WKLO between 1974 and 1975 using the name Mike Scott. [Real name: John
"I worked at WAKY from September 1975 to August 1978. Starting out I did news and
later did sports in the morning. After Reed Yadon
was promoted to News Director and was Bailey's 'news sidekick.'
"The name Bill Graham was given to me and I don't know who came
up with it. The first week I was William Graham, yet Bailey
referred to me as Billy. William was just too stiff so we
changed it to Bill. Yet Bailey always called me Billy. It was a
reference to Reverend Billy Graham and it allowed Bailey an
avenue to his pulpit. How ironic. I had the name, he always had
the sermon. I think the next person who joined the morning show
was going to have that name and it just happened to be me.
"I do know that in the interview process there was a discussion
about using the name Michael Scott, which I used at WKLO.
At first there was some objection to it, however, since it had
been a year and a half since I was in Louisville. (I worked at
WLCY in Tampa-St. Petersburg between the Louisville gigs.) That
discussion was short and obviously not final. It was in a later
interview that the idea of Bill Graham came up and I believe
Reed was the one that brought it up.
"After leaving WAKY I went to Cincinnati, Baton Rouge, St. Louis
and then retired from radio. I worked in Alabama, where with my
wife I started my own company. We now live in Celebration, Florida
where I'm a coach for a high school debate team."
WAKY jock in 1973 and 1974. (He
also worked at WKLO before and after WAKY.) Passed away in 1996 in
Houston, Texas. [Real name: Royce Lee Darling]
Griffin Worked at WAKY 1971-1977.
Previously worked at WREY and WXRX.
Mike writes in 2005:
|"I was first hired by Johnny
Randolph for two weeks as vacation fill in for Mason Dixon
in July of 1971. (Probably this is the vacation he alludes to in the
aircheck you have for him on the 79WAKY site.) A month or so after
that I was hired as Production Director and weekends, a job I stayed
in until 1977. In 1974, I also did overnights for nearly a year.
Mike Griffin at the closing ceremony
of the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles
"I left radio in 1977 and went to work in engineering at WDRB-TV in
Louisville. From there I moved to WHAS-TV-AM-FM also in engineering.
While there, I had the distinct honor and high privilege of having
constructed WAMZ's first on-air studio when it went fully live with
Coyote Calhoun in '81 or '82. In 1982 I left WHAS and became a Field
Engineer for Sony Electronics. Since 2012, I am doing
in Louisville helping businesses market themselves on the Internet."
Allen Guess Newsman for
about 6 months in 1973 or 1974.
Do you know where he
Gary Guthrie WAKY Program
Director 1977-1979. Joined WMC-FM (FM100) in Memphis in the summer of
1979. Read Gary's "WAKY Thoughts"
Newsman in the early '60s.
Later worked at WTMT and other Louisville stations. Believed to have moved
to Florida. Do you know where he
DJ at WAKY in the 1980s. Tom writes:
|"I worked at WAKY in the '80s and
WCII, which used to be WKLO. I worked with Bob Moody at WAKY, and
Bill Bailey at both stations. I was the last DJ to play the oldies
on WAKY, and I was the morning man on WAKY when we switched to
country music. I also worked in 1969-1974, 1978-1980 and 1982-1984
at the country station in Louisville known as WINN 1240. (I was the
last morning man on WINN.)"
Hatfield WAKY jock in 1979. [Real
Name: Joe Reilly] Bobby writes:
"I worked at WAKY in 1979, I was hired by Mike McVay to be
Assistant Program Director and 1 till 4 in the afternoon. I was also
the guy that Mike called early in the morning to fill in for Bill
Bailey. A week after I purchased a house in Louisville I was canned
by WAKY. Two days later CC Matthews the PD at KJ-100 hired me
where I was later promoted to Operations Manager of WKJJ/WCII.
"It was there that Chuck Finny, myself and E. Alvin Davis
formulated a plan to get Bill Bailey away from WAKY and
over to WCII Country 11. In my opinion, It was the beginning of the
end for WAKY when Bill crossed town.
"From Louisville it was back to Indianapolis, Oklahoma City,
Rochester, Detroit, Cincinnati, Columbus, back to Indianapolis
again, Cleveland, and back to Rochester. Today I am in Bloomsburg,
Pennsylvania where I own and operate
News Radio 930 WHLM.
This is the smallest market I have ever worked...but it helps when
you own the shop. It was either buy a station or get a gun and shoot
my miserable ass in post deregulated corporate radio."
Bobby Harper WAKY Morning man
from mid-1969 through the end of January 1970. Died of cancer in Atlanta, Georgia in 2003.
Henderson Weekend WAKY jock
between 1970 and 1972. Worked at WLAP in Lexington, KY before coming to WAKY.
After WAKY he returned to Lexington to work at WVLK for several years. He
still lives in Lexington where he works in the horse racing industry.
Holiday See Al Risen
Part-time DJ in 1980 and 1981. Dan writes on February 17, 2010: "I was
full-time WVEZ and part-time WAKY. I did a lot of fill-in for Bill Bailey,
and was on the air on both stations at once sometimes, running from one
studio to the other. Great memories and great fun. In brief my radio log
is as follows: WLCV, WUOL, WLRS, WMMG, WAKY, WVEZ, WKJJ, WCII, WQXE, WRKA,
WHTS, WRVI, Eagle Broadcasting (Traffic), Metro Networks (Traffic)."
Interview Available] WAKY night jock in the 1970s. [Real name: Fritz Lape]
"I came to WAKY from WGRQ-FM in
Buffalo, New York in September, 1973. I did 10 p.m. - 2 a.m.
behind brother Coyote for 5 straight years. Great radio station
and very creative radio personalities.
"When I left WAKY I ventured out to
Amarillo, Texas to do morning drive. I left Amarillo for WKY in
Oklahoma city and did a 2 year gig there under the direction of
good ole Russ Spooner. I left OKC for Jacksonville, Florida
and did afternoons at Y-103 (WIVY). I left radio in 1984 and never
"I live in LaGrange, Kentucky with
my wife of 25 years, Natalie. I have 3 children: Erick
(30); Emily (12); and Anthony (9). I have been an
Oldham County resident since 1997. I am enjoying my outside B-to-B
"I really enjoyed the WAKY Web
site. It brought back many happy memories. It was a great radio
station in its day. There will never be another WAKY! (Or at least
I haven't heard one yet.) Johnny Randolph was the best program
director I ever worked for."
Weekend newsman in 1973/1974 while Program Director/Morning Drive at WSAC in Fort Knox.
Later was morning news anchor at WKLO in 1977 and 1978 using "Dave Jacob
Straub." Left WKLO for a news position at Atlanta's WSB. [Real name:
David Jacob Straub] Dave writes:
|"I did so much 'stringer' news at
WSB for NBC during the Carter Administration, I went with them full
time. Then later, Len King, I and a few other veterans worked
to create the CNN Radio News Network format and I anchored there for
several years. Finally, I worked in management in radio and TV until
I retired and started my own business in 1995.
Dave Jacob at WSAC (1974)
Dave Jacob (2006)
"Today, I am CEO of APSI (Alternate Power Systems, Inc.), a
solar/wind/renewable energy company based in Atlanta and doing
Part-time DJ in 1969 and 1970. Also
worked at WREY in New Albany, WJPS in Evansville (where he used the
airname "Roger W. Vanderbilt") and WORX in Madison,
Indiana. [Real name: Bob Boling]
Johnny Randolph recalls, "He ALWAYS
wore sun glasses and I don't think I ever saw his eyes. He was worth his
weight in gold because he had a first phone."
Do you know where he
Bob Boling at a WREY late '60s remote
George J. Jennings
WAKY News Director in
the '60s (right before Bob Watson). He also worked at KAAY in Little Rock, Arkansas
and WOIA in San Antonio, Texas. Died March 15, 2007 at the age of 67 due
to renal failure. Mike McCormick wrote in 2005:
|"George Jennings was my second news
director at KAAY/Little Rock. He was later transferred to
WAKY/Louisville, another LIN Broadcasting station. He also served as
our News Director at Storz's WDGY/Minneapolis, but later returned to
"After a couple of changes in Little Rock he accepted a position at
WOIA/San Antonio and retired around a year or so ago. [JQ notes:
He retired in 1999 after more than 20 years at WOIA.]
"We plan to get together soon and drain
Austin of its beer supply...and tell radio lies all evening long.
"George is a great broadcaster and
super gentleman. I'd hire him again...probably!"
WAKY part-time all-night DJ in 1962, possibly using the airname "Daddy
Cool". Filled-in for the regular overnight DJ Gene Snyder,
and did record hops for WAKY PD Jim Brand. Simultaneously worked
full-time for Louisville's WINN. Was in radio from 1954 to 1991. Now
retired and living in Akron, Ohio. [Real name:
Adam Jones Website
1972 and 1973. Now morning man and PD of
WDHR in Pikeville,
Kentucky. Former WAKY News Director Bob Watson says of Randy:
|"I hired Randy, who was one of the
best field reporters I've ever seen. He drove a mobile unit through
the woods of Bullitt County one time in the search for a missing
child that should have earned him an award. There were National
Guardsmen hanging on for dear life. The child was found safe,
although we didn't find him."
Kane WAKY midday
personality hired from Memphis in April 1969 at the same time as his friend Gary
Burbank. According to former PD Bob Todd,
Kane tried to make WAKY a union shop, but was unsuccessful. Kane went
to WKLO in December of 1969 as a newsman. He retired in 2002 after a long career in radio news. He produced a syndicated commentary called "Kane's World" for a
number of years. He served in the United States Marine Corps, and fought
in the Korean conflict. [Real name: Carl Wigley] Died October 27,
1967 WAKY overnight and afternoon drive DJ.
Went on to a long programming career using the name Buddy Scott.
[Real Name: Buddy Kincer]
"I was so proud to be working there [WAKY]. (Actually my talent
wasn't that good. My old airchecks are painful.) But the station was
was hired by Bill Crisp. When I was there we were in the
Kentucky Home Life Building. I started doing overnights, then moved
to PM drive for a short few months before I left to go to Oklahoma
I was there, Bill Crisp was AM Drive/PD, Jack Murray was
Early Middays, Steve Baron was next, followed by Tim Tyler
and then Weird Beard.
Louisville, I jocked at KOMA in Oklahoma City, KRUX in Phoenix, WIFE in Indianapolis, KCBS-FM in San Francisco, WKRQ in
Cincinnati...and programmed in Evansville, Dayton, Columbus,
Milwaukee, Chicago, Louisville (KISS 104), and Pittsburgh before I
became Senior VP of Programming for what used to be called SFX
(which became Capstar, AM-FM and Clear Channel). Did that for 7
years and now program
KHMX in Houston.
from Kentucky (the mountains). WAKY was one of the greatest and most
exciting stations in America. I owe a lot of my programming beliefs
and fundamentals from both listening to and working at WAKY."
Update: Buddy left the
Houston gig in June 2006 and now lives in Chicago.
Keller McLendon-era WAKY midday
Do you know where he
Kelley Full-time overnight/weekend
personality in 1974 and 1975. Previously worked in Chattanooga, Tennessee
and Huntsville, Alabama. Left WAKY to
go back to Huntsville, Alabama and worked afternoons at WAAY for about two
years before moving to Dalton, Georgia to go into radio sales. Eventually
became a station owner. Now owns a Cable TV system in Spring City,
Tennessee. [Real name:
Walter Hooper III]
morning drive personality (part
of the "Tim & Ev" husband-and-wife team), beginning in September of 1981.
Left WAKY in 1982 for KPPL ("K-People") in Denver.
Last heard to be living in Los Angeles with her husband, Tim, and two kids.
WAKY morning personality (part of
the "Tim & Ev" husband-and-wife team) beginning in September, 1981.
Left WAKY in 1982 for KPPL ("K-People") in Denver. Was
Executive Vice President
and General Manager for Premiere Radio Networks in Los Angeles until March
Do you know where he
Sherrie Kendall Newsperson in 1977.
Also worked at WKLO and WDGS in New Albany, Indiana.
Do you know where she
[Audio Interview Available] Gary writes:
|"I was there from
June of 1975 to August of 1978. I worked with Johnny Randolph, Bill Bailey, and
Tom Dooley, and then Bob Moody and Coyote Calhoun, and then
Chuck Jackson and Mason Dixon.
I replaced Lee Masters on middays and Tom Prestigiacomo
Gary later became the VP/GM of
KVEG in Las Vegas,
NV. Today he's an insurance agent in Henderson, NV. [Real Name: Gary Cox]
Interview Available] Afternoon newsman in 1972 and 1973. Left
WAKY with Gary Burbank to go to WNOE in New Orleans. Also worked
with Burbank at CKLW and WLW. Later went on to become the head of CNN
Radio in Atlanta. Now does voiceovers for CNN from his home in Alabama,
plus Web design work.
B.J. Koltee DJ
during WAKY's oldies days after a long run at WINN. [Real name:
Died on July 9, 2005 at the age of 59.
All-night DJ in the Summer of 1964. [Real name:
John Bowles] Died in 1993.
Mark "Buzz" Knight
Assistant to WAKY DJ Ed Phillips. Mark writes:
|"I'm a footnote in WAKY history.
"While working as the 6-to-midnight jock at WXVW in Jeffersonville
in 1977, I was introduced to Ed Phillips. Ed was hired to do
the 'WAKY Talk Show,' and, as he is totally blind, he needed someone
to take transmitter readings during his shift. Since Chief Engineer
John Timm wouldn't allow Ed to connect his audio-reading
equipment, he needed a 'warm body' with a FCC 'third phone' [Third
Class Radiotelephone Operator's license] to sign off on the
transmitter logs. After meeting Ed, we hit it off and he asked me to
work for/with him.
"Sunday nights, we came in at midnight, right after Coyote Calhoun's
6-to-midnight gig. The rest of the week, we came in at 2 am
following 'The Boogieman,' Chuck Jackson [whom I worked with
in the early '80s when he was selling cars in the East End of
Louisville]. Chuck occasionally sent me over to the White Swan
Restaurant, which was on the corner of 5th and Chestnut, to pick him
up a milkshake while Ed was copying the commercial log with his
Braillewriter. [Chuck said they were the best milkshakes in town -
'swear to God!']
remember what time we came in on Saturday nights, but the shift ran
to around 10 a.m. After 4 a.m. we did it from one of the back
production studios, while the engineers did maintenance in the main
control room...so I guess that means we had Friday nights off.
"Ed had Brailed the entire wall of music carts -- something like
1200 or so songs! -- and he would send me out to help pull music for
the 5-to-6 a.m. music segment of the shift, as well as the Saturday
night shift, which was all music until the religious/public service
programming and Casey Kasem's 'American Top 40' began around
4 a.m. or so.
"The lineup I recall at that time was: Bill Bailey from 6 to
10 a.m.; Gary [Cox] King, middays; not sure, but I believe
Lee Gray did afternoon drive; Coyote did 6 to 10 p.m.;
and 'The Boogieman,' Chuck Jackson, from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m.
Karl [Schmidt] Shannon was the Production Director. Overnight
news was pre-recorded on cart, and I believe it was usually the
voice of Ralph Dix.
"I worked with Ed from sometime in the early summer until about the
end of October, when I left WXVW; I worked with Ed occasionally
after that, but it was seldom, because I got married in the spring
of '78 and my wife decided I ought to have a 'real' job. I believe
it was about that time that Ed left.
"But for a brief, shining moment, I was part of the excitement that
emanated from the 'Engine [rhymes with 'nine'] Room of the Sooper
79,' as Bailey liked to say. Never before, and never again in my
radio career, have I worked with as many Louisville legends. Besides
Ed Phillips' approval, I also had to have Johnny Randolph's
to work there, and Randolph always spoke when we met in the hall.
Reed Yadon, I discovered, was all business until he sorted thru
the overnight wire service copy and got his first newscast together.
Bailey could be counted on to arrive anywhere from 5:30 to 6:30 to
begin his 6 a.m. shift, but the man had a style that was often
copied but never duplicated. Here's how an average off-air exchange
[Bailey] Hey, Ed...I got a question
"And with that, Bailey became 'YOUR
Duke of Louisville' for another day, reigning over all he surveyed.
[Ed]: Yeah Bill?
[Bailey]: Is this sh*t absolutely necessary? [meaning the routine
of having to actually work for a living]
[Ed]: Yeah, Bill, 'fraid so.
[Bailey]: Then, by God, let's get on with it!
"I began my radio career at WPDF-AM in Corydon, IN [same place
Burt Markert/Weird Beard began] in the summer of 1976. In late
'76 I was at WMMG-FM in Brandenburg, KY, and by April '77 was at
WXVW in Jeffersonville. I was hired to fill the vacancy created when
Rollye Bornstein ['Rollye B.'] left to write the 'Vox
Jox' column in Billboard Magazine. I left 'XVW in late October '77,
and went back to WMMG...until I left radio for the auto parts
business in early 1978. In April 1983, I went back to the Corydon,
IN AM station -- now called WJDW -- and from '83 thru '88 I worked
weekend mornings at WJDW and weekend afternoons at WMMG. In June of
'88 I left radio for good to become parts department manager at
then-new Blue Grass Hyundai in Louisville. In 2000 I left auto parts
to work at Tower Automotive, making frames for Ford Explorers in
"There are stories from my days [nights, actually] at WAKY that are
better left untold...like the all-nighter half the staff pulled for
Gary King's birthday, and the leftover case of 'Old Frothingslosh
Pale Stale Ale' that Gary sent home with me because, frankly, the
stuff was downright awful...but for the sake of decency and
propriety, I'll spare you those details and hundreds more.
"These are memories of people and times that I'll treasure
forever...because, even as a 'footnote' in WAKY history, I was part
of a legend as magical as Camelot, and just as unlikely to ever be
seen again in our lifetimes."
Landecker WAKY jock in the mid '80s. Now works afternoons at
Power 94 (WJTT-FM) in
Chattanooga, Tennessee, plus is the PD and Operations Manager.
Jerry Lee WAKY jock
between December 1963 and August 1964. Came to WAKY after a three-year
stint with KQED in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Jerry writes:
|"My tenure at WAKY lasted less than
a year. I did the midnight to 6 a.m. shift during most of that time
and hated the hours. After about 6 months I finally got a daytime
shift, 12 to 3 p.m. (I think that was when George Williams
left the station for a short time.) When I was doing overnights I
had applied at several stations and I soon had an offer to join KGIL
in Los Angeles.
"I have many fond memories of WAKY and Louisville. During my time
there the GM was Joel Thrope and Jim Brand was the PD.
Jim and I had worked together at KOKE Austin and KICN Denver. I was
always grateful to him for hiring me at WAKY when I was out of work
with a wife and a 3-month old baby.
"The lineup I worked with included Jim in morning drive, Tim
Tyler 9 to noon, George Williams 12-3, Jack Sanders 3-7
and Jerry Barr 7-12 with me 12-6am. Tom Watson was the
"I got to work with a great staff at WAKY. All were excellent
communicators. Jim had such a smooth voice and delivery, Rusty
Reynolds was also very smooth and a great jock, and Johnny
Argo was just totally bizarre. Tim Tyler was always a very
happy, positive sound on the radio. I have very fond memories of him
and his wife Sandy. My wife, Susan, and Sandy became very good
friends during the short time we knew them.
"Tom Watson was a fine newscaster. A few years later we worked
together again at WIL in St. Louis.
"I eventually got into management and ran KLOL is Houston for 10
years. I was GM of the Westinghouse station in San Diego back in the
early '8's and finally got out of the business.
"I've been in the consumer magazine business for the last 18 years.
Today I am the editor of several outdoor and shooting magazines for
Los Angeles. Primedia publishes over 120 magazines including Motor
Trend, Hot Rod, Hunting, Guns & Ammo, etc. I live in Beverly Hills
(rent, don't own).
"Bill Ward (Wardlaw) and I were very close friends and had
worked together in Dallas and Wichita Falls, Texas as teenagers in
the mid '50s. He was at WAKY before I was so we didn't cross paths
there As noted on the WAKY website, he went on to run not only the
Golden West radio group for Gene Autry but before that he was
President of Metromedia's chain of stations. I left radio nearly 20
years ago but Bill and I remained close, especially after my wife
and I moved to Los Angeles 11 years ago.
"We used to get together every few months for lunch and talk about
the sad state of radio today, how great it was in the old days when
we were on the air, etc. I miss him greatly.
"Please post my email
address. I'd love to get in contact with Tim Tyler, Jim Brand,
and any other WAKY exes."
Jerry Leitzell and friend
WAKY newsman circa 1981.
Previously did news at WQXE in Elizabethtown in the mid '70s and WHAS
(1975-1980). Non-radio gigs have included teaching English at
Elizabethtown Community College; Director of Corporate Training in the
Bingham family-owned media companies; working at Creative Video
Productions; Humana's Corporate Community Relations Manager; and weekend
news producer at WLKY-TV. In recent years he has held several supervisory
positions within the Fort Knox School System, including Director of
Technology, Director of Instruction, and Director of Communications.
Currently Jerry is Administrative Officer, representing the school
system's interests with faculty, staff, parents, the media, the military,
WAKY newsperson circa 1980.
Believed to still be in the Louisville area after marrying and having a
Do you know where she
Jim Light Program
Director and Morning Man 1959-1963. Previously worked at KWK in St. Louis
and WSAI in Cincinnati. Left WAKY for KFWB in Los Angeles to become
Director of Operations and eventually became General Manager. Deceased. [Real Name: Jim
Sonny Limbo Mid '60s WAKY
personality. Went on to work in the music industry with acts like Alabama
and Bertie Higgins. Deceased.
Johnny Locke Mid '60s WAKY midday
personality from Lafayette, Indiana. Later worked at WKLO. Left radio in
the early '70s to work in the construction of water towers, which
took his life in January of 1974 at the age of 35. Last lived in
New Albany, Indiana.
Lundy WAKY midday jock 1969-1972.
Started his radio career at WLEF in Greenwood, Mississippi in 1966 using
the airname Greg Allison. Became "Chris Lundy" at WWUN in Jackson,
Mississippi in 1967. Begin using his real name (Hardin Browning) in
broadcasting after leaving WAKY.
Chris writes on August 20, 2006:
"I came up from WWUN in Jackson,
Mississippi, where I had worked with Gary Burbank, who had
moved on to WMPS in Memphis. I sent Burbank an aircheck at WMPS,
but he never gave it to the program director because he was on his
way to WAKY. He gave the aircheck instead to Bob Todd at
WAKY, who called me and asked me to come up and do middays.
"After Bob departed, almost everyone
stayed on to work for Johnny Randolph. I was hired at WAKY
and never really applied because Burbank hijacked my aircheck.
What a special three years they were! The talent at WAKY, in my
opinion, was deeper than anywhere else in America.
"I returned to my home area of central
Mississippi and worked in area radio and TV until my retirement in
2000. It just wasn't fun any longer. What happened to fun radio? I
also played guitar and keyboards in local bands for a great number
"I still voice commercials from my
bedroom computer studio from time to time, but this is all the
broadcasting I do. I do a little carpenter work and painting for
friends and ride my motorcycle.
"I live in North Carrollton,
Mississippi, with my wife Josephine Neill-Browning, who was
my junior high sweetheart. We have been married for five years.
She is truly a work of art!"
Lyles Joined WAKY as night DJ in
late 1978 and stayed until 1982. Previously worked at KATZ, St. Louis; WTLC, Indianapolis; and
WMEE, Fort Wayne (among others). Now president of the
Lyles Media Group
in Marietta, Georgia.
Michael Marvin WAKY 790
part-time jock (Sundays and occasional fill-in) between late 1985 and late
1986. Worked for stations in Elizabethtown, KY including
103.5 WAKY. Retired.
WAKY 9 a.m.-12
noon DJ hired in early 1962 by Hal Smith. After Hal left WAKY, Greg
went to a station in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
Do you know where he
anchor in 1985. Believed to have worked in Louisville public radio before
Do you know where she
Interview Available] WAKY jock twice in the early to
mid '70s. Came to WAKY from WIFE in Indianapolis to do nights in the Fall
of '72. Replaced Gary Burbank in afternoons in
1973, and left WAKY in the Fall of '74 to go to Y100 in Miami, Florida.
Came back to Louisville to be a DJ at AOR WLRS. Returned to WAKY to do middays
for about six months starting in the last part of '75. Went on to program WLRS in
Louisville and work both afternoon and morning drive at WNBC in New York,
as well as partnering with the owners of WLRS to co-own and manage two
radio stations in El Paso, Texas. Came back to Louisville to become PD and
afternoon drive jock at WAVG (now co-owned with WLRS), before going to
Tulsa, Oklahoma to manage a Country FM. Became GM of MTV and
VH-1, and later helped launch the E! network in 1990, where he stayed for
nine years. Left E! for Liberty Digital. Currently President and CEO of
NPR. [Real name: Jarl Mohn]
Now lives in Los Angeles, California.
Lee Masters Airchecks
Tom Maxedon Newsman in
the '60s and early '70s. Also worked at WKLO. Later became a Methodist minister.
RETIRED REV. THOMAS H. JR., 65, died on April 10, 2012
Prior to entering the ministry in 1986, as a United
Methodist pastor, Maxedon was previously a veteran news
anchor, working at the legendary WAKY-Louisville and
Maxedon was a Bronze Star and Vietnam Service Medal
recipient for his heroic service aboard The USS Richard B.
Anderson (DD-786) during The Vietnam War.
He also wrote the song "All These Things" for his wife. It
was recorded by The Uniques and numerous other musicians,
first hitting the charts in 1966 and again in 1976 atop
Billboard magazine's Hot Country Singles where it rose to #
He is survived by his wife, Carrie; daughters, Elizabeth and
Amanda; son, Tom III; granddaughter, Abigail; sister-in-law,
Sandy; brother, Richard; sister, Patricia; as well as
numerous aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews in the
Visitation will be at Middletown United Methodist Church
Friday, April 13, 2012, 5-8 p.m. with memorial service at 11
a.m. at the church on Saturday.
In lieu of flowers, expressions may be made to family for
granddaughter's educational fund.
Dave McCann Afternoon
host (2:00-4:00 p.m.) and production assistant hired from WKYX in Paducah
1979. Left a short time later to do
afternoons at "the New" KJ-100, where he stayed until
1982. Tom Prestigiacomo reports
that he was a solid air talent, was good with a blade in
production, and played on the WAKY Wackers basketball team.
Now lives in O'Fallon, Illinois (just across the river from St.
Louis) and works in the eCommerce support division of Network Solutions. Dave writes on July 1,
literally stumbled upon your WAKY Tribute site yesterday for
the first time. When I arrived at WAKY in 1979, the station
was at the start of its decline, so I never thought I would
be among the voices on the aircheck page. What a HOOT --
hearing myself on the air from 30 years ago!
"I think the site is great for the tradition of WAKY and
Louisville radio in general. It was the first medium market
I ever worked in, having come from WKYX in Paducah. I still
remember Gary Guthrie calling me to tell me I had the job,
and the thrill I had when I caught the first glimpse of the
Louisville skyline coming up I-65 from E-town.
career began in July of 1972 at a 250 watt day-timer, KYMO,
East Prairie, Missouri. It was the summer before my senior
year in high school, and my brother was working at the
station. His boss called one afternoon looking for him, and
I answered the phone. By the next week, I had the start of
an almost 25 year career. Bizarre? You bet!
"I worked a few small-market jobs in Cape Girardeau and
nearby Jackson, Mo. from July of '73 to August of '76 under
the names of Martin Kane and Mike Mohr and
then -- the big time: WKYX, Paducah, as Michael Q. Mohr,
Mama Mohr's Bouncing Baby Boy! I remember thinking it was
the big time, because Paducah is the biggest city in the
area between Memphis and St. Louis. (Evansville was too far
away.) KYX had the biggest and most professional sound in
the area, and their jocks did the most fascinating walk-ups.
They started songs underneath the commercials. Later I found
out that all the song intros and the spots were timed out to
an 1/8 of a second, and the cartridge machines were all set
to auto-fire using Graylab timers. Easy as pie! Gary
Guthrie worked there at one time -- that name would mean
something in December of '78. Gary spoke to our Production
Director at the time, Kurt Engelhardt, to see if he
was interested in a production/on-air gig. Lucky for me, he
had just had a child and was getting his feet wet in
voice-over work. But, he passed my name to Guthrie, and
asked me if I was interested. Oh, yeah.
"I hit the air on WAKY in January of 1979. Gary had us
reading the IDs live -- 'Its OUR year--79--W-A-K-Y, Lou-uh-vull'
-- swear to God, spelled just like that! That attention to
detail was really impressive to me, and I thought to myself,
I will really learn a lot from this guy. Unfortunately, it
was very short-lived. Within just a few weeks, Gary was gone
and replaced by Mike McVay. Mike kept me in my
position for a while, but the sound of the station was being
steered more in an adult direction. I remember the day in
late May '79 that Mike called me into the office, and told
me he didn't think I was an adult-styled jock. It hurt like
hell at the moment, but he did the absolute right thing. He
would do something for me later on that made up for any hurt
I had at that moment.
"Enter E. Alvin Davis and C. C. Mathews. A
consultant and program director hired by John Otting
to change WKLO's FM easy-listening station (WCSN) into
something the Derby City had never seen before -- a HOT,
rock-leaning Top 40 station (on Freaking FM!!!) called 'the
New KJ-100'. In the process, the call letters of WKLO were
permanently retired in favor of the new ones, WKJJ FM/AM.
"I will never
forget the set up. Dave 'Commander Hutch' Hutcheson
was the morning man. C. C. and Russ Hopkins shared
middays (later on, Gary Griffin), I was hired for
afternoons (up against Mike McVay -- wink, wink), and
Bumper Morgan was on after me at night. The night we
went live with the new format, the last song to air on WCSN
I can't recall, but as it ended at the stroke of midnight,
E. Alvin's voice came on, something like this: 'We hope you
enjoyed the last several years of the sunshine sounds. And
we know if you like that, you're gonna be crazy when you
hear this' followed by 'Oh, mama I'm in fear for my life
from the long arm of the law....' Anyone who listened to
WCSN would not have taken offense until John Young,
lead guitarist for Styx on the song 'Renegade' screams "YYYYYEEEEEAAAAAHHH!"--
AND WE WERE OFF TO THE RACES!! And so it went for the next
almost 3 years. Lots and lots of fun. A few heartbreaks,
like the day Woody Stiles crashed his banner towing
plane and died. That was horrible. But the 1979-80 U of L
Cardinals won the NCAA championship!
"My time in Louisville radio was about to end. In 1982, I
was offered a job in New Orleans at WEZB-FM (B-97), and I
took it. It lasted from October to maybe April of '83. That
was a tough market for me. A lot of inner turmoil happened.
My girlfriend left me to go home to Louisville, and I kind
of let that get to me to the point that it cost me my job. I
simmered in that apartment on the west bank till about
September, then landed the morning gig at WZNE (Z98) in
Tampa, FL. Now THAT was about the most fun I ever had.
Problem was, the transmitter was on the peninsula where St.
Pete and Clearwater are, rather than in the city of Tampa on
the east side of the bay, so literally 50% of the 100,000
watt signal was heading out to sea! We never reached
anything near our true potential, but damn near every radio
you heard on Clearwater or St. Pete beaches was on Z-98, and
that was a trip!
"Re-enter Mike McVay! I wrote earlier that he would do me a
solid later that would make up for the hurt I felt in
Louisville? Well, he was in Tampa and heard me on the air
(as Bryan Thomas). So happened that his consultancy
had been hired to turn around a legacy FM station in St.
Louis (KWK, to be exact). Remember the old video of the DJ
smashing an acetate, and saying 'Rock-n-Roll has gotta go'?
Look at the call letters on the microphone. Anyway, I can
only assume Mike remembered what kind of station we had put
together against him on KJ-100 back in the Louisville days,
because he had contacted C.C. Mathews to program KWK. They
offered me the afternoon slot. This was the fulfillment of a
lifelong dream of mine to work in St. Louis radio, having
grown up 150 miles south in Sikeston, and listening to KXOK,
the BIG 630, in its heyday (Johnny Rabbit, and,
believe it or not, Mason Lee Dixon). We gave it all
we had, but in the end, the CBS radio machine was too much.
No matter what we did -- we gave away a freakin' Porsche! --
we never beat KHTR, one of the major regrets of my career.
The KWK gig ended in a change of format after 2 years, and
rather than pick up and move again, I just got tired of it.
I landed a couple of part-time gigs (one on KXOK with Johnny
Rabbit -- WOOO HOO!), but the writing was on the wall. I
moved behind the scenes to do traffic for a Classic Rock
station, went to night school and got a degree in computers.
"Thanks for all your hard work in keeping the site alive. I
am no longer in broadcasting, and it was really nice to
relive some of that magic. It kept me up most of the night
McCarthy Overnight jock from Huntsville, Alabama
between 1972 and 1974. Came to WAKY from WAAY; left WAKY to go to WFIL in Philadelphia.
[Real name: Kevin Webb]. Today he's VP/GM, Urban Radio Mississippi,
McCormick Morning news anchor in
1959. [Real Name: Mike Hankins] Mike writes:
National Program Director for the McLendon Stations, prepared the
format, hired the staff and solely put WAKY 'on the air' in 1958. It hit
the market like an Old Dallas Cowboys' BLITZ. Many McLendon people
thought it was the very biggest and best success stories in the entire
"Proof of performance was WAKY's initial Hooper achievement(s). The
station went from zero to a 60% share in only two months. I remember
seeing Hooper trends on a large white board (looking like a real Hooper
report page) on the back wall as you entered the station. Don Keyes
called the market entry the 'usual flying circus.'
"The station's original
call letters were WGRC that honored revolutionary war hero George
Rogers Clark. Clark is also known as one of two persons that
originally 'mapped' America.
"I have either lost or misplaced my notes listing names of the original
staff. I joined WAKY in late 1959. The staff then included:
6am - 9am Bill Ward
(and Aunt Bertha)
9am - 12N Bob Russell
12N - 3pm
3pm - 7pm Jack (the "Jumper")
Sanders, Program Director
7pm - 12M Hal Smith
12M - 6am
Jack Grady (Music Director)
AM News Anchor:
Day News Anchor: Jon Poston
PM News Anchor: Tom Perry
Night News Anchor:
Mobile News: Craig Douglas
"WAKY was then located on
the 5th (I think) floor of the Kentucky Life Building. It was the most
exciting radio station in my career.
Director Jim Light(foot) and News Director Bill
Gill left WAKY around the time I arrived in mid-to-late
1959. They, along with a other WAKY personnel, were going to
WSAI in Cincinnati to create a new and far
'better' WAKY. Their departure from the Mighty 790 seemed to
be a little tense!
Jack Sanders was appointed Program Director and Jon
Poston joined WAKY as News Director
McLendon's National Program Director Don Keyes later visited
Cincinnati and conducted a WSAI monitor.
Before returning to Dallas he held a programming staff
meeting at WAKY. I remember his report was very
structured, quite comprehensive and highly detailed with
Don clearly determined the future of the new WSAI format. 'Without major improvements...it would not achieve
competitive numbers...or...be around for very long.' He was
McQuage WAKY morning newsman
1979-1982. Bill writes on October 3, 2006:
"I joined the WAKY News
Department in 1979, working 6-10AM with Bill Bailey. He started
calling me 'Billy Bob' McQuage, and the name stuck. In 1982, Bailey
accepted a position with rival WCII/WKJJ and asked that I join him,
which I readily accepted.
"In 1985, I left
Louisville and joined the Texas State Network in Dallas, and later
moved to KMGC in Dallas. In 1988, I did news at WIOD in Miami, and
later did a 10AM-3PM talk show at WIOD. From Miami, I moved to
Norfolk where I did news at WWDE. I later worked at Metro News
Network and WMZQ in Washington, DC.
"Other stations that I proudly include on my resume are WKIX
(Raleigh, NC) WAYN (Rockingham, NC) WLNC (Laurinburg, NC) WATA
(Boone, NC) WKDX (Hamlet, NC) WZGC (Atlanta, GA.)
"[WAKY GM] George Francis and I first met in the late '60s when we
both worked at WKIX (Raleigh).
"Just recently, I relocated to Nashville, TN from Indian Wells, CA.
I retired in 1995."
Interview Available] WAKY Program
Director and on-air personality from February 1979 through June 1981. Mike went on to found and head a
successful programming consultancy,
McVay Media. Now
is SVP/Content & Programming at Cumulus Media in Atlanta. Mike
|"It's important to note
that despite being the PD at WAKY, I was only 26 when I arrived and
still had much to learn. Bob Moody was as much a teacher to me as
he was my Assistant PD. The man is brilliant. The same for former News
Director Glen Bastin. Glen had been at WHAS before joining us at
WAKY and he taught me much about news. AND, the Duke of Louisville, (Bill
Bailey) was an amazing talent. I learned more about talent from Bill
than from anyone else during my years of being a PD. I learned what to
do and what not to do. Needless to say WAKY was a fabulous experience
for me. THANK YOU for remembering the old girl. 790 AM is tattooed on my
Overnight DJ, deceased. Mike Griffin writes:
|"Jim worked at WINN Radio in
Louisville before coming to WAKY. WINN had a country music format
and Jim did middays for a couple of years. After working overnights
at WAKY, Jim became morning man and PD of WTMT a country music
daytimer in Louisville. At WTMT Jim went by the name
Mark 'The Spark' Anderson. He and Johnny Randolph were good
friends during the time. As I recall, Randolph went over to WTMT a
time or two for an airshift, for the fun of it, so he could play
some country music.
Miller, better known to Louisville country-music fans as
Mark "the Spark'" Anderson of WTMT-AM radio, died Sunday at
Norton Audubon Hospital after a brief illness. He was 53.
Miller worked as a disc jockey and program director for WTMT,
which switched to an all-sports format shortly after he left
the station in the early 1990s.
full time as an insurance agent after leaving the station, a
job he had done part time alongside his radio work. Miller
was a native of Lynch, Ky., and began his broadcasting
career when he was 17. He worked for a station in
Cumberland, Ky., before he graduated from high school, and
then for stations in Whitesburg, Ky., and Bluefield, W.Va.
He came to
Louisville in 1969 and worked for WINN-AM, then the
other AM country-music station in town. When he left
WINN, he worked daytime for WTMT and nights for WAKY, a
Top-40 station. He became program director for WTMT in
1973. Miller left WTMT in 1981 but returned as the
morning drive-time personality less than a year later
his fast talk and bluntness, Miller once described the
appeal of the music he played: "It talks about booze, broads
and bill collectors. And when you're talking about those
things, you're talking about things people experience.''
Paula Burba, Louisville Courier-Journal, January 8, 2002
Mike Mills WAKY DJ
between 1978 and 1983. Now working in security in the medical industry.
Harry Minnich Newsman in
the late '60s. Came to WAKY from WEKY in Richmond, Kentucky. Left WAKY to
Winston-Salem and got into TV. Died of a heart attack a good many
Kathy Lykins, one of Harry
Minnich's daughters, writes on April 9, 2006:
just came upon this website while doing a search for family names
and thought I could give you some more information about one of
your listings. My father was Harry Minnich and he was a newsman at
WAKY in the '60s.
leaving he went to TV at WXII channel 12 in Winston Salem, North
Carolina, where he stayed for several years. After a while he felt
homesick for Kentucky and obtained a position at WBKO Channel 13
in Bowling Green, Kentucky.
about a year or so, he decided to get out of the business and our
family moved to Richmond, Kentucky where my father took a position
with South Central Bell (part of the old “Ma Bell” System). The
position was actually in Winchester, Kentucky so the family ended
up moving to Winchester in the summer of 1978.
stayed with Bell through a few changes and with the split of Bell
and AT&T he went with AT&T and ended up back in Louisville at the
AT&T offices on the corner of Hurstbourne Lane and Shelbyville
"While on a
business trip for AT&T he had a massive heart attack Wednesday,
February 6, 1991. He is buried at Resthaven Cemetery on Bardstown
Road in Louisville. He had 3 adult children: Sherry, Kathy and
Modell Newsman between 1978 and
|"I left the afternoon anchor chair
at WAKY in 1980 to become the first ND at the new adult contemporary
WRKA-FM in Louisville. When I interviewed with WRKA ('Between Rock
and Rocking'), they were switching call letters from the lowly-rated
and horrible-sounding WNUU-FM, and the studios were hidden up on the
second floor of Oxmoor Mall, way behind the movie theatres. There
were no windows and the place was a disaster. As the closest
bathroom was about a 4-minute sprint through the mall, down the
escalator to a public restroom on the lower level, the overnight DJ
had to keep a gallon jug in the on-air studio to pee in! It was
half-full the day of my interview. Thoroughly disgusting. I would
never have taken the ND job, but they were moving to nice new
studios on Linn Station Road a few weeks later.
"I loved the job, anchoring morning
drive but sadly never having any staff or dollars to compete
seriously with WAVE or WHAS. I recall that WRKA pulled some decent
numbers, as high as 6.5 in 1982, but a revolving door of talent and
management led to serious problems by the end of 1984. GM Joe
Koetter mercifully gave me the axe the first Saturday of 1985. I
think I was the last of the original crowd to go.
"With help from ex-WRKA PD Dan O'Toole's borrowed rolodex, I
made contact with the Katz station in Orlando, whose PD put me in
touch with the great John Butler, then the ND at WSYR in
Syracuse (John is now at KMOX). He hired me to be afternoon anchor
at the news-talker and was a terrific boss. I also later became his
assignment editor and worked at WSYR for 10 years, until I hung up
the mike in 1995 at age 45 to become a financial planner here in
Syracuse (also a wonderful college hoops town). These days I can
honestly say that I have no desire to return to the radio, but I'll
always recall with fondness my WAKY days of 1978 and 1979, working
with such great talents as Bill Bailey, Ralph Dix,
Bill Purdom, Coyote Calhoun and the beautiful Chary
Interview Available] WAKY DJ, ND and/or PD between 1976 and 1985.
Came to WAKY from Detroit's legendary CKLW where he worked with Gary
Burbank. Bob writes:
|"In 1976 Johnny
Randolph hired me to replace Tom Dooley. Lee Masters
was already gone and Gary King was the midday guy. In 1978 I replaced Bill Graham, who replaced Reed Yadon.
Glen Bastin, George Gillis, and Tom Van Howe were
in there somewhere, too, but I can't recall the sequence. There wasn't a
big raise that I can recall; I wanted to work with Bailey and thought
that news might be more stable than jock work.
"In 1979 I returned to DJ-ing and was Mike McVay's Assistant PD and Music Director.
"The story of how I became PD is kind of odd. I was working five days a
week and recording 'Fourth Street Sunday Night' to run twice on the
weekend. In late 1981 they told me I would have to work six days and
still record the show, so I quit. A couple of months later they decided
to go all-Oldies and offered me the PD job if I would come back. The
format change took place early in 1982.
Bob Moody (February 2007)
"In 1984 the station was sold to a black guy from Alabama who planned to
go urban with it. That Fall I said my goodbyes, packed up my stuff, and
headed to Scotland for a vacation, thinking I was unemployed. When I got
back I found out that the guy didn't have the money, the sale had fallen
through, and I still had a job. In fact, Multimedia offered me a nice
bonus if I would stay until they could sell it.
"In 1985 a Yankee named Bob Fish bought WAKY and made it clear
that I didn't have a future there. So in August of that year I went to
work for former WAKY GM George Francis, who had bought a Country
station in Shreveport. From there I went to Baltimore, then became a
consultant for McVay before joining Regent Communications [as
VP/Programming] over two years ago."
Note: Regent Communications
eventually morphed into Townsquare Media, and Bob exited in
November, 2011. Bob is now retired and living in Louisville.
WAKY Bob Moody Promotional Handout Text
Since Bob Moody set up shop
in the studio every weekday afternoon from 4 till 7,
Louisville has turned to 790 on the AM dial in
"It's nothing special," says the Arkansas traveler. "I don't
play the kazoo or bang a gong to get anybody's attention.
What I try to be is a companion. I've driven in the traffic
after a hard day at work. I know it's a rough time
for a lot of people. So I play the music they want to hear,
tell them a funny story and commiserate about the traffic."
The three hour Moody show keeps in touch with traffic
developments, news, sports and weather. Glen Bastin and
Aaron Notar update local news and sports on the hour and
half hour, along with Accu-Weather. On the hour they're
joined by ABC Network News, Paul Harvey's "The Rest of the
Story" at 6:05, and shy, lovable Howard Cosell commences
"Speaking of Sports" at 6:30.
The Moody touch carries over to Sunday night when Bob
unleashes his love for nostalgia on "Fourth Street Sunday
Night" from 8 till midnight. Moody plays "remember when"
music from the Fifties and Sixties and, in the process, has
turned off more television sets than anything since the last
Moody sums it up this way: "I'm low-key. I feel comfortable
with people, so they feel comfortable with me."
A local media critic named him
"the thinking man's disc jockey." Others have called him "an
We have here a man whose favorite musicians are the Jive
Five and George Frederich Handel, who spent four years as a
professional wrestling ring announcer, in in his spare time
studies 17th and 118th century English history.
As WAKY program director, Bob is the architect of the
format. From 4-7 PM he uses his vast knowledge of oldies, a
wry sense of of humor and one of the best one-to-one
techniques in the business to construct a program that is
entertaining and intelligent, yet never pedantic.
Since coming to WAKY from CKLW/Detroit in 1976, Bob has
build a large and loyal following. Asked to explain his
success, he quotes James Boswell: "I have a compulsion to
tell everything I know."
Louisville loves to listen.
about Bob Moody appeared in Vince Staten's TV Scene August
14, 1985 column:
Bob Moody, a legend in local
radio, is leaving Louisville.
Moody, the afternoon DJ (3-7 p.m.) and the program director
at WAKY-AM (790), is heading for parts unknown.
In a prepared statement he said, "Two years I promised
Multimedia [Inc.] I would stay through the sale of the
station. Now that FCC [Federal Communications Corp.] has
taken control, I feel my best option is pursue career
opportunities in other markets…. I expect to announce my
future plans shortly after Labor Day."
Moody had been at WAKY for nine years and had worked in
In an interview Moody said, "Hell, I've been news director,
music director, assistant program director, acting program
director, acting news director, program director and now
former program director. I was only in this for the titles."
He won Billboard magazine awards as Program Director of the
Year and Air Personality of the Year.
Moody's departure can be tied to two factors: the station's
declining ratings (it was 12th out of 17 stations in the
spring ratings) and new ownership. His last day is August
Bob Moody Airchecks
Jack Murray WAKY jock in
the mid '60s.
Do you know where he
Worked in the WAKY news
department as a writer in 1969. Went on to a long career at the
Courier-Journal. Left Louisville in the early 1990s for coastal North
Carolina where she continued to work in the newspaper business. Died
March 3, 2017 at the age of 70.
WAKY newsman circa 1980.
Also worked at WHAS and CNN. Passed away in 2007 at the age of 62, due to
cancer. [Real name: Ron
Interview Available] Spent 2 years at WAKY
from September 1971 through August 1973. Came to WAKY from WRFC in Athens,
Georgia to do overnights. Later moved to nights. Left WAKY to go to a
station in Birmingham, Alabama for a short period of time and then went to
WNOE in New Orleans where he became PD after Gary Burbank left. He spent
15 years doing sales at Atlanta's WVEE and WAOK. Later got involved in
radio station GM and ownership roles. Now majority owner of Rome Radio
Partners, a cluster of stations in the Rome, Georgia area (which is near
Atlanta). [Real name:
Morning DJ who was part of Don
Keyes' original staff members when WAKY signed on the air in 1958.
Do you know where he
Newsman circa 1979.
Now is a minister at
First Presbyterian Church in High Point, North Carolina. [Real Name: Ken Broman-Fulks]
News anchor and/or News Director
Left Louisville in 1963 for Dallas, Texas to worked for the NBC radio affiliate at
the time John Kennedy was shot. He later was offered a network position
with NBC (as Dan Rather received from CBS), but turned the offer down. Tom
was also the GM of WIL-AM which was LIN Broadcasting's ill-fated dive into
an all-news format, complete with 26 teletype machines, all painted
different pastel colors.
Later became the GM of Louisville's WCII/WDJX. Eventually worked in sales
at WAKY-FM in Elizabethtown between July 27, 2010 and January 15, 2016.
Died May 2, 2018 at the age of 81. [Real name:
Tommie Lee Perryman] Tom wrote on April 11, 2005:
|"From the article in the newspaper
this morning I discovered your Website and enjoyed looking it over.
I was hired as a newsman at WAKY in December, 1959 and stayed until
I resigned as News Director in the summer of 1963 when I went to
Dallas' WFAA as Assistant News director. I ended up covering the
assassination of JFK in November of '63. After a couple of years
they gave me job of manager of WFAA-FM job and a couple of years
later LIN broadcasting asked me to return to the company as GM of
stations in Houston and Oklahoma City, I returned to Louisville to manage
WCII/WDJX (WCII was of course the old WKLO and why they changed that
great name, I don't know). This was in the early eighties, and low
and behold, Bill Bailey was the morning personality. I was way
before Bill at WAKY, so while I had heard of Bill, I didn't meet him
until I came in as General Manager.
"They sold the station in 4 years and
since Louisville was such a special place (all 3 of my kids were
born here), I decided to stay and I opened a travel agency. Big
mistake, but that is what I am doing now and enjoying a little
travel and taking it easy.
"Anyway, a lot of memories
flash before me when I start thinking of WAKY and some of the
forgotten promotions and craziness that went on."
Tommie Lee Perryman,
age 81, passed away peacefully on the morning of May 2, 2018. Tom
was born in Whitesboro, Texas, on December 2, 1936 to the late
Bennie Gwynette and Edgar Thomas Perryman. Tom is preceded in death
by his parents, his older sister, Cynthia Clodell Allen, and his
older brother, JM Perryman. He is survived by his loving and caring
wife of 27 years, Anita Raye Perryman, his three children, John
Timothy (Kathy), Claudia Michel (Chuck), and Wildy Perryman, his
stepson, William Dalrymple (Patricia), and one grandson, JT
Tom grew up in
Sherman, Texas and served in the served in the Army National Guard
of Texas and Kentucky as well as the U.S. Army Reserves. Tom began
his long and memorable broadcasting career as an on-air news
reporter at WAKY radio in Louisville and then at WFAA in Dallas,
during which time he covered one of the country’s most defining
moments in history, the Kennedy assassination.
After more than 20
years in radio and television news, Tom’s love of travel led him to
open his own travel agency, where he spent years sharing his love of
travel with many people, including his wife with whom he travelled
In his spare time,
Tom enjoyed watching and going to sports games and playing golf and
gin rummy with pals at the Audubon Country Club. His wife remembers
him as an intelligent and exciting conversationalist and his kids
remember him as a proud father with a wonderful sense of humor. All
who knew him will miss him dearly.
Petrey Midday jock in 1980/81,
replacing John Ashton who became WVEZ's Production Director.
Was also WAKY's PD when Mike McVay departed the second time. Jack worked at WBT in
Charlotte in the early '70s. Left WAKY to go to work for WKYT-TV in
Lexington, Kentucky. Now is President of
a video production company in Lexington.
Poston News Director and news
anchor circa 1960.
Jon is retired and living in Cave Creek, Arizona.
Phillips WAKY jock from 1973
through 1978. Died June 10, 2018 at 68 after a battle with cancer. Ed
|"I was at WAKY, mainly part time,
from December 1973 to August 1978. In fact, that was only my second
"My interest in radio goes
back to the mid '50s, when even as a 5-year-old, I wondered why
some stations did what they did, and why. In Louisville during this
period, WKLO and WGRC began to program the typical rock 'n' roll
segments, with sponsored hillbilly live programming, 'good' music
and network commitments the rest of the day. Then, as WAKY went on
the air and WKLO changed about a year later, my interest really took
"I should note here that, being totally blind, odds were next to
none that I could find a way to even consider radio as a profession.
"To make a long story short Ron Britain on WCFL and John
Randolph changed all that. Britain re-ignited the spark of
determination if not hope of getting into radio. (If you've ever
heard his work, you know that Ron was 'Laugh In' years before the
concept hit television.) That seemingly undisciplined, spontaneous
crazy type of radio had to be too much fun to give up on. With this
in mind, you can understand why John's support and encouragement
were so vital.
"There's something special about just walking into the building of a
legendary radio station, particularly in your home town. I found
acceptance, and an unmatched learning opportunity. Hey, how could
one not learn from people like the Duke, Lee Gray, Gary
King, Bob Moody, Mike Griffin and of course,
Coyote Calhoun. Add to that, Bill Purdom, Reed Yadon, Chuck (Mr. Boogie) Jackson and Lee
"As for handling the operations
requiring sight, I hired someone to read meters, transcribe log
info, etc. When computers became more adaptable with text-to-speech
programs, I was finally able to work pretty much independently.
"As for after WAKY, I did some small market programming, then worked
at WCII (1080 AM) from 1980 to 1988. I had the good fortune to do
middays following Bill Bailey on WCII (the former WKLO) for
just under four years. (Speaking of that, it was a pleasure to work
with and for Bobby Hatfield.) Then it was on to WAVG 970,
WLRS (Mix 102), and finally to WVEZ into 1998."
Prestigiacomo On-air at WAKY in
1978 and 1979. Previously worked at WLCS, Baton Rogue; WSAC, Fort Knox;
and WTMT, Louisville. After WAKY, Tom spent over 25 years as afternoon host at
Memphis (more on that here) then moved
WKIM where he
remained until April 2010. Tom writes:
at the Mighty 790 from June, 1978 through August, 1979 working in
production, weekends and vacation fill in. The line up was Bill Bailey
in the morning, Gary King did middays until 10/78, when I took
over, Coyote Calhoun 3-7 and 'Dirty' Harry Lyles from 6-10.
For the life of me, I cannot remember Chuck's last name who did 10p-2a. [Chuck
Jackson?] Mason Lee Dixon was back for awhile to do overnights.
was GM. Meyers left in November 1978 and was replaced by George Francis. Bill Purdom was the production director and did a hilarious Sunday
morning WAKY talk show before we went into Powerline and the usual Sunday
Purdom WAKY Production Director
and jock in the late '70s and early '80s. Today he's Creative Director at the Cox
Broadcasting cluster of radio stations in
Johnny Randolph in the WAKY-FM Control Room
on September 19, 2008
Randolph Former WKLO DJ that
joined WAKY as a jock and Assistant Program Director April 1, 1967.
Replaced Bob Todd as PD in 1970, and was at WAKY's programming
helm through 1977. Later co-owned a station in Danville, Kentucky with the
WKLO call letters. Worked as Director of Programming for Walter
May's East Kentucky
Broadcasting Group in Pikeville, Kentucky from February 2005 through
February 2007. Last did PM drive on
Elizabethtown from 2007 to 2020. Died July 22, 2020 at the age of 78. [Real name: John Randolph Aspenleiter.]
Johnny Randolph Airchecks
gave impetus to Rich
By Billy Reed, Courier-Journal Columnist
October 17, 1974
The impetus that carried Charlie
Rich from the obscurity of the honky-tonk circuit to the top of
the country music field didn't begin in the Grand Ol' Opry or
anywhere else in Nashville, for that matter.
Instead, it started in the mind of disc jockey John Randolph -
and the studios of Louisville radio station WAKY - on a cold
winter morning in 1973.
At that time Rich, named Monday night as country music's
entertainer of the year for 1974, was hardly the famed "Silver
Fox" of today. Rather, he was journeyman singer whose main
claims to fame were a couple of semi-popular records: "Lonely
Weekends" in 1959 and "Mohair Sam" in 1965.
He didn't have many fans, but John Randolph was one.
"I had been a Charlie Rich freak for several years," Randolph
said yesterday, "and I used to tell Julie that if she ever got
the right record for him, he would be a superstar."
"Julie" is Julie Godsey, a promoter for Rich's record company.
Early in 1973 she sent Randolph an advance copy of a new Rich
recording and asked him to play it.
"I don't remember the exact day we first played it," said
Randolph. "All I remember is that was really cold. But I thought
the record was really good, so I started playing it."
Johnny Randolph and Charlie Rich in
The record was "Behind Closed
Doors" and Randolph was the first disc jockey in the country to
play it on the air. The song appeared in WAKY's top 30 charts.
From Louisville, its popularity spread rapidly, selling more
than 1 million copies and turning Charlie Rich into a superstar.
As soon as the record passed the million mark in sales, Randolph
got telegrams from both Rich ("You were responsible for helping
me get my first gold record, and I appreciate it very much") and
Julie Godsey ("Congratulations…you started the whole ball of
Randolph was the first disc jockey in the country to play - and
push - Rich's second million seller, "The Most Beautiful Girl In
The World." For his efforts, Epic sent him gold copies of both
records. The gold records now hang on Randolph's office wall,
flanking a cartoon of another of his top heroes, Mickey Mouse.
Rich personally has thanked Randolph on several occasions, the
most recent being Rich's performance at this year's Kentucky
State Fair. Randolph says he see Rich "about every three months
or so," and sometimes Charlie telephones him just to chat.
"He remembers," said Randolph, "and that's kinda surprising."
At the risk of ruining his credibility with WAKY's hard-rock
audience, Randolph admits that he's always been a little partial
to country. In his role as director of music, Randolph is
responsible for selecting what songs are played on the air.
According to Randolph, the infamous practice of "payola" - in
which record companies bribe disc jockeys to push their songs -
is nonexistent at WAKY.
"I'm sure with 4,000 radio stations in the country, there's some
of it going on somewhere," he said, "but it never hits down
here. Nobody has offered me any money, merchandise or anything
to play a record. And even if they did, it would be silly for me
to consider it. I'd be blackballed out of the industry."
Aspenleiter “Johnny Randolph”, 78, died July 22, 2020 in
Danville, Kentucky. John was born in Middletown, Ohio on August
7, 1941, son of the late Clarence John and Dorothy Marie Copp
Aspenleiter. John graduated from the Chattauqua High School in
Ohio and earned an Engineering Degree at Miami University of
Ohio. John loved studying the history of radio including call
letters history, frequencies of stations and everything about
the industry. He was a broadcaster and DJ for WAKY radio
beginning in the early 60s and became so well-known across the
state that he was recognized by strangers as soon as they heard
his voice. On April 1, 1967, John joined WAKY as a jock and
Assistant Program Director, until 1977. During his years at
WAKY, he became a huge fan of Charlie Rich. Charlie’s record
“Behind Closed Doors”, was played on air for the first time by
John. The song later appeared on WAKY’s top 30 charts. The songs
popularity spread from Louisville, selling more than a million
copies and turning Charlie Rich into a superstar. He then later
co-owned a station in Danville with WKLO call letters. From
February 2005 to February 2007 John worked as Director of
Programming for Walter May’s East Kentucky Broadcasting Group in
Pikeville. Later that year John joined WAKY-FM in Elizabethtown
to do the PM Drive, a position that he held until 2020. He had a
fantastic sense of humor and was a good-humored prankster. When
his sister was listening to her favorite songs on her radio in
her room as a teenager, he would set his radio to a similar
station to interfere with her reception. He loved musicals,
dancing and traveling around the world. John was a student of
anything and everything and he had a long-time fond love of old
diesel Mercedes. He was a member of Southland Christian Church
and a volunteer for Heritage Hospice. He is predeceased by his
wife of 34 years, Frances Evelyn Aspenleiter and a
granddaughter, Jennifer Franklin.
He is survived by three sons and two daughters, Jon Christopher
Aspenleiter of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, Cassie (Ed Silver)
Hill of Orange Beach, Alabama, Carrie (Thomas) Owen of Danville,
Gordon Edward Couch of Louisville and Tim (Patricia) Gulley of
Danville; six grandchildren, Christopher (Lori) Tims, Timothy
(Lisa) Tims, Michael Tims, Aubrey Lanier, Jr, Lee Gulley and
Jonah Couch; one sister, Sharon Aspenleiter (Tim) Maddox and
special family friend, Sandy Turner.
The funeral service will be held, 1:00 p.m., Thursday, July 30,
2020 at the Showroom in Danville. Hershel McKinley and Charlie
Perry will officiate. Visitation will be after 4 p.m.,
Wednesday, July 29, 2020 at the Showroom in Danville. Masks and
social distancing will be required at The Showroom. Memorial
donations are suggested to Heritage Hospice. Our Hugs from Home
program and the online guestbook are available at
Rudy Ratfink Rudy Ratfink
was actually programmed by Ben Allen, one of the WAKY
Engineers from 1964-1968. WAKY, the "Mighty 790" was without an
overnight personality for a long time, when in late 1964 it
created a chipmunk (or in this case, its rodent cousin, a rat)
voice with a simple audio technique. Rudy added the live fun with
Telephone Instant Requests, Fun-n-Games for the late-night crowd,
party goers, night shift workers, and the insomniacs from "Fun
Lovin' Wacky". It was like an "All Request Party" from Midnight to
5 AM through early to mid 1966. Ben crossed over to the
Engineering Department of WKLO in 1968-1970. He moved to WROK
AM/FM Rockford, Illinois in 1970, as Assistant Chief Engineer. Now
retired from Comcast Cable Communications, Inc. where he was a FCC
Compliance Manager and Field Engineer. Still lives in Rockford. [Real Name: Ben Pflederer]
Dale Reeves Night jock in
the mid '60s.
Now is the 6 p.m.-midnight jock on the
Channel, plus runs a
business out of his home in Panama City Beach, Florida. Dale
|"I think it was '66 when I started
at WAKY (Jim Brand hired me) and '67 or '68 when I was at
WKLO (Terrell Metheny - Mighty Mitch Michaels hired
me.) Somebody sent me this line up from June of 1966. It looks
right. As I remember, Bill Crisp was called 'Emperor' Crisp
and George Williams was called Georgie 'Baby' Williams back
then. Tim Tyler was always Timothy 'L' Tyler
5:30-10 a.m. - Bill Crisp
"On Saturday nights I worked 6 p.m.
to 12 midnight on WAKY. And on Sunday I often did a paid appearance
at Fontaine Ferry Park. I almost never had a day off. We used to
have WAKY staff meetings on Sunday mornings.
10 a.m.-2 p.m. - Jim Brand
2-6 p.m. - George Williams
6-9 p.m. - Tim Tyler
9 p.m.-12 midnight - Dale Reeves
12 midnight-5:30 a.m. - Ed Walker
"I just took over as PD/afternoon
drive host of the local AM Standards station (WKGC)."
Reising Early '80s newsman.
Do you know where he
Reynolds WAKY DJ between 1961 and
1963. Native of Mount Vernon, Illinois. Left WAKY in late 1963 for
WIFE where he helped launch the Indianapolis Top 40 station. Hosted the
nationally syndicated TV music program "Scene '70". Also worked at WABC in New York City.
(He did overnights between 1970 and 1976, longer than anybody else.)
Other on-air stints included WFMS, WNDE, and WGGR. Held a number of
management positions in Indiana radio, plus owned stations in Ohio and
West Virginia. Reynolds died in March, 1996
at the age of 59. (Some sources say he was 61.)
1963 WAKY "Personality Information" biography of Jay Reynolds
|Hosting WAKY's midday radio
companion is handsome, young Jay Reynolds. From 12 until 3, Jay
entertains and informs in an easy-going style, injected with wry
humor, with such features as the Jay Reynolds' Twin Spin, Top Forty
Music, and weather reports.
Jay, a native of Mount Vernon, Illinois, studied radio and
television at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, Illinois.
While at the University, he participated in many "little theater"
activities...and when he later entered the United States Army, he
directed several GI productions and handled a vocal trio, which
toured both military and civilian clubs throughout Western Europe. Jay entered the professional field of
broadcasting in 1957 when he joined the staff of WCNT in Centralia,
Illinois as an announcer. He became the morning disc jockey for
WGGH, in Marion, Illinois in 1958 and joined the staff of KIOA in
Des Moines, Iowa in 1959. Within two months after he joined KIOA, he
was racking up top ratings...average PULSE -- 34.4. He was assistant
program director and air personality for WPEO, Peoria, Illinois; and
prior to joining WAKY, was a featured air personality on WMAK,
WAKY's sister station in Nashville, Tennessee, where he once again
proved his outstanding ability to earn high ratings. Jay's easygoing style, his excellent
sense of humor, and all 'round good sportsmanship make him a popular
personality, both on and off the air -- a vigorous asset to WAKY.
Reynolds Mid '60s afternoon
personality, replacing Jack Sanders at WAKY. Rusty was a jock, salesman,
play-by-play announcer and eventual radio station owner in a number of
markets in Texas. On the air he was at KXOL and KCWM in Ft. Worth, KDOK
in Tyler, WAKY in Louisville and KEEL in Shreveport. He also managed
KMCO in Conroe. Rusty partnered with colleague Dick Osburn from KXOL in
the late 1970s and formed a chain of Texas small market station
including KEAN in Abilene, KYKS in Lufkin, KYKX in Longview, KIXS in
Victoria and KAGG in College Station. Reynolds was the recipient of the
Texas Association of Broadcasters "Pioneer" award, and was an inductee
of the Texas Radio Hall of Fame. In the last years of his life, he and
his son were still the owners of three broadcast properties in the
Tyler/Longview market. Rusty became a victim of Alzheimer's Disease, but
it appears that a stomach virus was the cause of his death on March 19,
Sheila Richards WAKY midday
personality in the '80s. Died on August 30, 2011 after losing her fourth
battle with ovarian cancer. Last worked as half of the "Sheila
and Jerry" morning show at Atlanta, GA contemporary Christian
station J93.3. Sheila wrote us on November 12, 2005:
|"I worked at WAKY a couple of times,
once for Mike McVay, who originally hired me, then Bob
Moody, then Mark Strauss. I followed Bill Bailey
over to WCII. For a while, when he called in sick, I did mornings
for him. I did afternoons, before I left in '86. I eventually
followed Moody and George Francis to KRMD in Shreveport,
where I had a wonderful country music career, including winning a
CMA in '95.
"I graduated high school in '74, so I listened all the time to
Gary Burbank, Bill Bailey and Johnny Randolph. I did an
interview with Gary for my junior year journalism project. I
remember every year, at the year end countdown, writing down all the
songs, recording them onto a cassette.
"Now, I'm in Atlanta. But I do evenings on K-LOVE, a Christian radio
network, based out of Sacramento, CA. They are in 38 states.
Including Lexington, and some parts of Louisville can pick it up.
I've been with them for over 2 years now, thanks to the amazing
technology in the radio world these days!' [Sheila voice-tracks
her shows using the Scott Studios system.]
Richards Mid '80s jock.
Do you know where he
Riggle WAKY jock in the 1980s.
Died in 2006.
Risen WAKY 1960s midday
personality. When he first came to WAKY he used the airname "Jack
Also labored at Louisville's WKLO, WINN, WKRX (now WVEZ) and WXVW, as well as Lexington's WLAP.
Left Louisville in the mid-70s to work at WKDA in Nashville, and later
WSM, where he syndicated a country music show. Also worked at
country-formatted WELE in Ormond Beach, Florida in the '80s. Eventually spent
many years working for the Post Office in Edgewater, Florida. Died in New
Smyrna Beach, Florida on April 18, 2009 at the age of 65. [Real name:
Albert H. Risen, Jr.]
Rogers Early WAKY
personality. Left WAKY in the summer of 1959 for KTSA in San Antonio.
Do you know where he
Rodgers WAKY DJ for a short time
He previously worked for WKLO (1976-1979) in evening and afternoon drive
slots. Before his death on May 14, 2005 at the age of 50, Rusty was a director at WKLY-TV in Louisville. [Real name: Eugene Rodgers III]
Russell McLendon-era WAKY midday
Bob let us know in February 2015 that he came to WAKY from KTSA in San
Antonio. He left WAKY to go the WMAK in Nashville as PD. Bob became the
first National PD for LIN after it added WAKY and KEEL in Shreveport
from McLendon. He then went to Topeka, KS as part-owner and PD of KEWI.
Bob started "Big KeeWee" and later became General Managers of KEWI/KSWT
and Executive VP of Midland Broadcasters. After 20 years, he bought KOZA
in Odessa, TX, later selling it and going to KGNC and KGNC-FM in
Amarillo. Bob converted the 10KW AM to News-Talk 710 and KGNC-FM to
Country. After 12 years, he retired, coming out of retirement to help
start KXGL-FM ("100.9 the Eagle"). Bob then retired for good and is
living in Amarillo with his wife of 40 years, Kathy. They have two
daughters and three grandchildren.
Sanders WAKY afternoon personality during
the McLendon era and the first part of the LIN Broadcasting days.
Voted "America's Greatest Disc Jockey of the Year" by Movie Mirror Magazine,
Jack was the most
listened to deejay in Louisville in his time. A leader in the Louisville
music scene, Sander established several record labels, recording studios,
talent agencies and booking agencies. Left Louisville for Nashville where
he worked as road manager for Hank Williams, Jr. Owned and operated the Spotland Company, one of Nashville's most successful advertising agencies.
Died in February, 1978 in Nashville from liver disease and pneumonia. [Real name:
James Dale Spence -- According to
Jack's former brother-in-law, the sobriquet Jack Sanders was born at KGKO in Dallas in
1956 when the KGKO Program Director told him, "Jim Spence sounds like the
name of the guy who delivers my mail. From now on you are Jack Sanders."]
Jack Sanders Page
1963 WAKY "Personality Information" biography of Jack
disc-jockeys come in all shapes, sizes, and personalities, but young
Jack Sanders, WAKY Radio's afternoon helmsman, comes in one of the
most popular brands. Jack entertains Kentucky from 3 until 7 each
weekday afternoon with music, humor, and, as he expresses it,
anything that comes into his mind. His dynamic personality and
vigorous enthusiasm for anything he undertakes places him at the top
of the list as an outstanding disc-jockey and air salesman. His
ability to project is verified by the fact that he was titled
"America's Greatest D-J" by MOVIE MIRROR MAGAZINE in 1960. Jack,
26-year old native of Hutchinson, Kansas, attended Cisco Junior
College in Cisco, Texas. He entered the field of broadcasting as
program director of KGKO in Dallas; and prior to joining the WAKY
staff, he served on the staff of KEEL Radio in Shreveport, KLIF, in
Dallas, and KDFA, in Amarillo, Texas. He has not only been an
air personality, but Jack has achieved eminence both as a newsman
and salesman. His news-gathering endeavors earned him the United
Press news award for outstanding coverage. One of the most popular
personalities in radio today, Jack is truly an asset to the WAKY
programming staff. He and his wife Carol Ann are the parents of two
Sattell WAKY newsman in 1969.
Previously worked for Gordon McLendon at KEEL.
Kim Scott Midday DJ in
the early '80s. Before WAKY she was at WZZX in Louisville, WSAC in Ft.
Knox, Kentucky, WDXY in Sumter, South Carolina and WJER in Dover/New
Philadelphia. Left WAKY to go to to WHAS radio; also did announcing for
WHAS-TV. After WHAS, Kim worked at
several Cleveland, Ohio stations: WWWE, WMJI, WKYC-TV and Q104. She lives in the Cleveland area today
where she freelances as a
for stations around the country. She's also a personal fitness trainer, a
mother of twin girls (13 years old in the seventh grade as of 2005), a
room mom and a volunteer at school and church.
Reed Scott Night jock
during the oldies era.
Do you know where he
Tom Scott Late '60s WAKY jock.
Do you know where he
Karl Shannon Part-time DJ
in the 1970s. Became Production Director when Mike Griffin
left. Was part of the morning team at
92.9 The Bear (WLXX)
in Lexington, Kentucky until April 2009. Now doing mornings at "Coyote
Country" WCYO in
Richmond, Kentucky. [Real name: Karl Schmidt] Karl writes:
|"I was there from 1972-1974, then I
left for WAYS in Charlotte to work with Jay Thomas. I came
back in '75 and worked there until '78 when I went to WHAS. I was
part time during the '72-'74 stint...a weekend warrior. When I came
back I was production director. I also worked overnights for about 6
months in 1974...I think!
first stint I did there part time I was 'Chris Shannon,'
because I was working full time at WINN, the country station. When I
came back from Charlotte, I went by Karl Shannon.
"I've also worked in Nashville at WSM-FM."
Don Sheridan Newsman in
the early '60s. Left WAKY for WMSK in Morganfield, Kentucky, where
he spent 50 years. Died August 20, 2013 at the age of 80.
Smith Mid '60s WAKY midday
Deceased. Scott Miller from Lexington, Kentucky writes:
"If Farrell Smith is the same one that
worked at WABC and is briefly mentioned in Rick Sklar's book, he
passed away a few years ago.
"Farrell was an awesome talent. He was
a Native American who was draft-exempt and therefore got into
radio at an early age when other jocks were being drafted.
"I personally worked with Farrell at
WWVA in Wheeling, West Virginia circa 1982. Unfortunately, by
then, the booze had taken its toll and Farrell never got the
recognition he deserved. I was just a high-voiced kid at the time
and doing the all-night show on the 50 KW blowtorch. Farrell was my
"I can still remember his rich, deep
voice reminding me not to pop my 'p's' into the mic."
Hal Smith (2004)
WAKY DJ between
October, 1959 and August, 1962. Started doing 7 p.m. - midnight
("The Night Creature"), then moved to Noon - 3 p.m. Also acted as
Program Director during the latter part of his time at WAKY. Came
to WAKY from WKDA in Nashville. Left WAKY for WMPS in Memphis.
Later worked promotions for Capitol Records, programmed KLAC in
Los Angeles, and was General Manager of KNEW in San Francisco.
Also worked as GM in Philadelphia and Little Rock. Now retired in the Sacramento, California area.
Newsman in the
'70s. Also worked at WKLO and WCII.
Later radio work included News Director positions at WTTB in Vero Beach,
Florida and KNUZ in Houston, Texas.
Dave Steele writes: "I worked with Ike Smith when I was the
Program Director at WEHR 105.1 (Shepherdsville/Louisville) at its
inception in the early '90s. We hired Ike as the News Director, and he did
an excellent job - not to mention he was a joy to work with. The station was
sold, and the last time I ran into him was at the Hawley-Cooke Booksellers
on Shelbyville Road in the late '90s. At that time, he wore a pager from
Jewish Hospital - waiting for a page when a heart became available."
KEY "IKE," 64, of Louisville, passed away Sunday, March 9,
2014 at his home.
He was born
June 28, 1949 in Madison, IN the son of Leslie Key Smith and
Rose Dee (Pratt) Smith.
preceded in death by his parents and his wife of 39 years,
Barbara Versaw Smith.
Ike was a
1967 graduate of Henry County High School and later went on
to complete his Bachelor's degree at University of
Louisville. He worked in Louisville area news radio for 25
years and was a member of Calvary Episcopal Church and The
Sons of Confederate Veterans.
He leaves to
cherish his memory a daughter, Jennifer Smith Sinclair; a
son, Nathan Key Smith; a granddaughter, Adalyn Ellen Smith;
and a sister, Lillian Ann Smith Arbogast (Al).
A service to
celebrate Ike's life will be conducted at noon on Saturday,
March 15, 2014 at Calvary Episcopal Church, 821 S. Fourth
St. Visitation will be from 5-8 p.m. on Friday at Arch L.
Heady & Son at Westport Village, 7410 Westport Rd.
In lieu of
customary expressions, donations may be given to Calvary
Episcopal Church or WHAS Crusade for Children.
WAKY DJ around
the turn of the '70s. Also worked at WKLO. Dude Walker reports that he thinks Mike is working
at an advertising agency in Memphis, Tennessee.
Do you know where he
Gene Snyder WAKY DJ
between 1962 and 1964. Previously PD at WINN. Also worked at WCEF, Parkersburg, West Virginia;
WJBW, New Orleans Louisiana; the ABC Radio Network (as a tape editor); and WOWI, New Albany, Indiana. Recorded song
called "Able and Baker", a novelty tune which dealt with two monkeys sent
into space. Started Joni Talent Agency in Louisville. Was 63 years old
when he died in West Virginia on March 29, 1999. [Real Name: Raymond
Southmayd Did news at WAKY from
1978 through 1980. Departed WAKY to go to WRKA. Today she's a newspaper editor in the Tampa Bay area,
after leaving the radio business fulltime in 1994. (Q105 was her final
destination on the radio dial.)
Chary Southmayd Today
Mark Stahr DJ and
Production Director in the mid '80s. Currently the Production Director for
the Clear Channel Cluster in Louisville. Mark writes:
|"I replaced Scott Goettel in
August 1985 doing the 7 p.m. till midnight shift and then moved to
the 9 a.m. till noon shift in March 1986. I lost my airshift and
became an off-air Production Director along with Alan White
in May of 1986. I will give you a bit of the format history here.
"In Fall of 1985 we added songs from 1978 to 1984 [to WAKY's live
oldies format] but never played current hits. In May 1986 the
station went to all satellite-fed programming using Transtar's
Oldies Channel format. In October 1986 the station switched to
beautiful music and became 'Beautiful 790.' (WAKY stayed only as the
legal calls.) Sometime around March 1987 the station became 'WAKY
"Around March of 1988 the station dropped the country
format and simulcasted WVEZ. (The call letters became WVEZ-AM.) In
1989 the station switched back to country as 790 WWKY. The station
remained WWKY through 2001, then became
Sports 790 AM']."
Ron Statzer Newsman in
the early-to-mid '60s. Went on to WLW in Cincinnati, where he later became
a TV anchor. He eventually went to Baltimore where he died in a
Mark Strauss WAKY DJ from
1980 until the station's demise. He eventually replaced Bob Moody
as Program Director. Previously worked at WKLO as Mark Sebastian in
1975-76. Mark writes:
|"I was hired by Mike McVay in
early Fall of 1980 to do overnights. When Bob Moody took over
as PD, I became the station Copywriter, Production Director and then
Assistant Program Director under Bob. I became PD when Bob left and
remained until early Fall of 1987...when 'Yankee' ownership asked me
"Perhaps the best thing about the final night of WAKY in 1986 was
Johnny Randolph's appearance at the studio. John had been
listening and called in. When we changed our signal to 'night
pattern,' Johnny could no longer listen. So, he drove Louisville and
helped us sign off.
"After WAKY, I managed two small market stations. One in South
Jersey, the other in Central Illinois until I left the business in
"After a 19-year career in print advertising and customer service, I
returned to WAKY 103.5 in March, 2009, as a sales rep and
weekend/fill-in air talent."
Stephens WAKY news director
between 1984 and 1986. Also did news at Lexington's WVLK.
Now lives in the Seattle, Washington area where he teaches full-time and
works part-time for Westwood One.
Stiles Newsman in the 1970s. Also
worked at WKLO. Killed in 1981 in a plane crash:
|Pilot dies in crash at airport
Charles Woodson "Woody" Stiles, a former radio newsman, was killed
yesterday when this plane
crashed at Blue Lick Airfield in northern Bullitt County, Ky.,
police said. Stiles, 30, of 3614 Maryville Drive in Maryville, was
killed when he tried to pick up an advertising banner, state police
said. After making a flying hookup with the banner at about 12:15
p.m., Stiles, who was alone in the plane, was unable to gain
altitude. He was a native of Richmond, Ky., and a former employee of
Louisville radio stations WKJJ and WAKY. His body was taken to
University Hospital in Louisville, where an autopsy will be
Courier-Journal, Sunday, May 24, 1981
Interview Available] WAKY newsman between 1969
and 1971. Now lives in the Atlanta, Georgia area. [Real name: Mike
Cunningham.] Mike writes:
|"What a treat it was to hear your
composite of WAKY, the 'WAKY Louisville Remembered, 2003' stream.
"By way of background, I was a news anchor and reporter at WAKY,
under the name Mike Summers, in the late '60s and early '70s,
working with Bill Bailey, the late Skinny Bobby Harper,
Mason Lee Dixon, Johnny Randolph, Gary Burbank
and a host of other very talented people. (A Louisville native, I too
had started with Junior Achievement Radio at St. X. in Louisville,
then worked at WREY in New Albany and WSTM-FM in St. Matthews before
being lucky enough to be hired at WAKY.) I later worked with former
WAKY general manager Al Smith in Chattanooga and New Orleans,
and with former WAKY program director Bob Todd in
Chattanooga. Al, Bob and Johnny Randolph essentially built the WAKY
that is heard in the clips.
Mike Summers Today
"What a wonderful hour down memory lane!
"Some of my former colleagues and I have complained that -- other
than a few, cracking acetate tapes -- not much is left of an
incredible era in broadcasting. Thanks for taking the time effort to
leave a digital reminder of sorts of the hard work and talent that
went into Top 40 Radio."
Carol Swanson Newsperson in
the early '80s.
Left WAKY to do news at WCII. Today she lives in Louisville with her
Chris Taylor Morning DJ in
the mid '80s.
Warren McDonald reports Chris died of a heart attack on March 22, 2008.
An Exceptional WAKY
I finished listening to the Bill Hennes
WKLO interview. Very good; it
was interesting hearing different perspectives. WAKY did have a
higher component of country music, usually dayparted. At nights the
urban component was probably pretty close between the two stations.
Mike Rivers was a tremendous production guy who turned out
some great stuff, promos and commercials; a great voice too. I
didn't know Mike, but he was a master.
WKLO's multi-track production studio is something WAKY didn't
match until '73, '74 or so (I don't recall exactly). It happened
when we got a new chief engineer, John Timm. John did a lot
for WAKY: upgrading the production studio; introducing digital
timers tied to an element starting; upgrading the cart machines to
three stacks with secondary tones to sequence the commercials; and
taking us away from playing 45s on the air to all cart. He also
upgraded the old Gates large-platter turntables in the production
room to electronically controlled turntables. After the turntable
upgrade WAKY would also, very occasionally, speed up a song. An
Maxine Nightingale's "Right Back Where I Started From." John
Timm's actions may have followed from a decision by management to
upgrade but I remember John as the driving force and I suspect he
sold them on the idea.
lot has been said about Johnny Randolph tweaking WAKY's
'sound' and that is certainly true. John Timm came and installed
equipment that gave Randolph even more handles to tweak on. WAKY had
some engineers along the way who were good technically, but John was
an innovator and moved the station along in ways that made an
important difference on the air. John Timm was important to WAKY and
I know that Bruce Clark and Pete Boyce were important
to WKLO. - Mike Griffin, former WAKY Production Director
(Note: John Timm exited WAKY in the late '70s. He
passed away in 1997.)
Byron Thomas Newsman
from late 1973 through early 1974. Also worked at for WKLO in Louisville
1969-1970 under his real name and at WORX in Madison, Indiana, plus did
news as "Cy Atkins" at WLRS in Louisville for a couple of weekends in the
late '70s. He bounced back and forth between radio and print news
(including stints at the former Bloomington Herald Telephone) and worked
as a reporter for the Evansville (Indiana) Courier & Press from 1991 to
2007, when he took early retirement. He now has returned to radio part
time in the news department of 104.1 WIKY in Evansville. He also works
as a substitute school bus driver, hoping to become a regular in the fall
of '08, and is a part-time musician and songwriter with one CD, "The White
Disc", under his belt. [Real name: Byron Lee Rohrig.]
WAKY Program Director from January 1, 1969
to March/April of 1970. Now runs a
company with his son. [Real name: Robert Thurgaland.] Check out Bob Todd Remembers WAKY.
[Audio Interview Available]
WAKY jock in the '60s. In May of 2005 he retired from broadcasting,
selling his partnership share of
Broadcasting in Cleveland, Tennessee.
He and his wife Sandy live in Houston, Texas.
[Real name: Don Schwartz] Tim writes:
|"I was at WAKY from early
1963 to early 1973, but I was on the air from 1963 to 1967,
shifting into sales in 1967. I spent more time as the
evening jock, 7 p.m. to 12 midnight, but I also did mornings and middays for a while."
Marty Balou adds: "I am telling you Tyler was
THE man. On Saturdays he did live broadcasts from Stewarts, with bands
and Carnaby Street fashions. What a time!"
"Personality Information" biography of Tim Tyler
Tyler Show is the Kentucky housewife's daily companion over
the WAKY radio airwaves. From 9 until 12 in the morning,
twenty-two-year-old Tim Tyler entertains and informs with
music, humor, timely sayings, and weather forecasts. Tim's
sense of humor and friendly style make a popular air
personality as well as a believable salesman.
Tim entered the broadcasting
field early in life. He spent four his teen years in Okinawa
with his parents while his father was in the Untied States
Air Force. When he finished high school there in June of
1958, he became a staff announcer and salesman for KSBK in
Naha, Okinawa. In August of 1959, he became an announcer for
KAKE in Wichita, Kansas; and in February of 1960, he joined
the staff of KBUD, in Athens, Texas. Tim's career includes
service as a popular air personality with such stations as
KDOK, Tyler, Texas, and WIRL, Peoria, Illinois. His
outstanding air ability is demonstrated in the fact that
while at WIRL he achieved the highest PULSE ratings ever
earned by the station during the afternoon "drive time."
Tim attended the University
of Wichita in Kansas, where he majored in speech. His
hobbies include all sports and photography.
Now a news anchor at
WOOD-TV in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Ed Walker Overnight DJ in
the mid '60s.
Joined WJIM in Lansing, Michigan in early 1967.
Do you know where he
John W. "Dude"
Interview Available] Came to WAKY from Memphis
(where he was known as "Johnny Dark") in 1968 to do afternoon drive. Moved
to nights to make room for fellow Memphis radio personality Gary
Burbank ("Johnny Apollo" in Memphis). Later became WAKY's midday jock.
Dude left WAKY in November 1971 to take the PD/PM Drive position with Top
40 WDXB in Chattanooga. The station was partially owned by former WAKY PD
Bob Todd, who did mornings at WDXB. Despite WDXB becoming number
one, Dude missed Louisville and returned to WAKY by the summer of '72. He
stayed at WAKY until late 1973 when CHUM in Toronto made him an offer he
and Mrs. Dude couldn't refuse. Later, Dude did stints on WMAQ and WJJD in
Chicago. He returned to Memphis to work in radio for the legendary Sam
Phillips, and then later began an 18-year career doing sports and weather
on TV in Memphis, which he did until 1994 when he retired on medical
disability. Died March 11, 2019. [Real name: John Doughtery]
Dude Walker Airchecks
WAKY newsman and DJ in 1959. Art writes in
"I had the good fortune to find the
WAKY memory-filled web site and had to read about Jumpin' Jack
Sanders and the other people I worked with when I was there.
"I worked at WKBW in Buffalo from
'56-'59. During late Spring of '59 I received an offer from Texas.
Driving through Louisville, I listened to WAKY and was greatly
impressed. I visited the station and spoke with Jim Light
and Bill Gill. Bill auditioned me for news and said that,
unfortunately, they didn't have an opening. Jim also heard my tape
and stated he didn't have a DJ opening.
"On my second day on the job in Texas,
I happened to call Gill and he said, 'If you can get here in 24
hours, you've got a job.'
"I made it in 22 hours. When Gordon
McLendon heard about it, he roared as did Don Keyes. I
went on the air doing news in morning drive: 'WAKY Bacon and
Eggs Edition.' I wrote the 8 a.m. newscast for Gill and became
part of that fabulous station
"I then did the news for Sanders in
afternoon drive which was a joyous experience. Filling in for
Bob Russell, Jim Light then put me on the air as a DJ.
Interestingly, KXL in Portland Oregon got a tape of Jack Sanders
with me on the news. They offered both of us a job. Jack refused,
but since KXL was owned by Frank Sinatra and Danny Kaye,
I accepted in late 1959.
"McLendon sued me for breach of
contract, then hired me when he bought WYSL in Buffalo, my
"Reading of the greats that traveled
through WAKY...I hired Bill Ward in Atlanta in 1961 to do
morning drive; recommended Jay Lawrence to Rick Sklar
at WABC; and of course was pleased that my news boss Bill Gill
got the big gig with ABC.
"My tenure at WAKY led me to PD
positions; national program director for Group One; and then
VP/Operations for Plough Broadcasting (Memphis, Chicago, Boston,
Baltimore, Atlanta and Tampa). Never would have happened if I
hadn't worked at WAKY and McLendon Broadcasting
"There was never -- or ever will be --
as great a personality-oriented radio station as WAKY where news
was just as important as the music.
"Your web site is magnificent."
personality 1959-1962. Previously worked all-nights at WRR in Arlington,
Texas. Left WAKY to do evenings at WPRO in Providence, Rhode Island. Later
went to WPLO in Atlanta and KBOX in Dallas as well as KBLA/KBBQ and KLAC. He moved up through the broadcast ranks to run Gene
Autry's Golden West Broadcast. Retired in 1997. Passed away in 2004. [Real Name: Bill Wardlaw]
Interview Available] WAKY PM drive personality for
several months starting in July of 1958. Was the first DJ heard on WAKY.
Came to WAKY from KKBC in Austin, Texas. Left WAKY to go to KTSA in San
Antonio, Texas. Ware called KTSA home for most of his radio career. Also
worked at KBUC. Member of the Texas and San Antonio Radio Hall of Fame.
Passed away on October 21, 2016 at the age of 79.
Watson Newsman and/or News
Director 1961-1967 and 1968-1973. (He worked at WIL in St. Louis, also
owned by WAKY's parent company -- LIN Broadcasting -- in between.) His
first job at WAKY was a weekend news shift in 1961. Less than six months
later Bob went full time as Evening News Editor. He moved to the midday
slot a year later and in 1964 was named News Director. Prior to Watson's
appointment as ND, WAKY had never won a national award for news coverage
or reporting. However, under Watson's direction WAKY News won national
awards for 1964, 1965 and 1966. Left WAKY the final time
to work at the Associated Press in Louisville as Kentucky Broadcast
Editor. "That means I'm responsible
for making sure the radio and TV stations get good, fast and friendly
service," Bob explains. "I write broadcast news mostly from 5:30 a.m. to 3
p.m. M-F. It's a good salary with five weeks vacation, pension, and a
401K. Radio wouldn't have provided that, I don't believe." Bob retired
from the AP in the summer of 2009 and continues to live in Taylorsville,
Kentucky. Inducted into the Kentucky Journalism Hall of Fame in 2009. (Real
name: Thomas Shelby Watson -- The "Bob" came in 1961 when ND Tom
Perryman preferred Watson use another first name since Tom Hall was
leaving.] Bob wrote on August 29, 2011:
|"The success of WAKY was due
to a combination of great jocks and an incredible
news-public affairs effort. Under the name 'Bob Watson' I
attempted to hire people who not only sounded good but were
bright, energetic and proficent in all phases of broadcast
"After my WAKY career, I spent 35 years at the Associated
Press and was Kentucky broadcast editor. In 2009 when I
retired I was inducted into the Kentucky Journalism Hall of
"Among accomplishments of former WAKY news team members,
Byron Crawford was inducted into the Kentucky Journalism
Hall of Fame. Irene Nolan became managing editor of
the Courier-Journal in Louisville. Rich Gimmel
continues as a top-notch businessman in Louisville and when
a select panel was announced for a television appearance by
President George Bush, Rich demonstrated his
"Others who were recognized as leaders in broadcast news
during their WAKY careers and afterward included: Tom
Perryman, Jerry Wood, Tom Maxedon, Reed
Yadon, George Jennings, Woody Stiles and
"The walls of WAKY had news and public affairs award plaques
galore, including those from the National Headliners Club,
Associated Press, which honored WAKY News as the national
champion of gathering and sharing news three times and tops
in Kentucky for a decade."
Thomas Shelby Watson, renamed 'Bob Watson' when he began
his WAKY career in 1961 by News Director Tom Perryman,
became a writer while at WAKY. His documentaries won
national awards, including the Freedom Foundation, Robert F.
Kennedy Award, Ohio State Journalism Award and National
Conference of Christians and Jews.
WAKY News was the most respected broadcast news in Kentucky
and was recognized nationally.
Watson's latest book "Confederate Guerrilla Sue Mundy" is
highly regarded by history professionals as well as Civil
War enthusiasts. He writes a weekly column in The Spencer
Magnet at Taylorsville, KY, while Crawford succeeded the
late David Dick, a CBS newsman, as columnist for Kentucky
1963 WAKY "Personality Information" biography of Bob Watson
|WAKY Newsman Bob
Watson has crammed a lot of radio into his three years of
broadcasting, studying the media, and reporting the news.
Twenty-three-year-old Bob, a native of
Louisville, entered the field of radio-television and films at the
University of Kentucky after changing his major from art. During his
college career, he served as program director for WSTL, Eminence,
Kentucky, and as news director of WBKY, the University's FM station.
In addition, he was chief cinematographer for the radio-television
films department and was very active in educational television. His
efforts earned him the University of Kentucky "Mike Award" for
outstanding service in radio-television films.
In June of 1961, Bob became a weekend
newsman for WAKY while attending the University, and in the spring
of 1962, he became a fulltime news editor for the station.
The achievements of this young
newsman have earned for WAKY recognition as an outstanding news
reporting agency. On the scene when fire struck Churchill Downs, Bob
was the reporter of the event to Kentucky and to the Associated
Press. He has interviewed such personalities as Pee Wee Reese,
Arnold Palmer, Dave Brubeck, Tom Ewell, and Lionel Hampton.
Though his radio interests keep him
very busy, Bob enjoys art, music, and photography in his leisure
Bob Watson Airchecks
Beard Night jock from November
21, 1966 through September 30, 1971. Weird Beard left WAKY for a PD gig
at LIN Broadcasting's station in Rochester, New York where he spent two or
three years before taking a position with the Rochester Police Department. Another reason many people think
he departed Louisville was because of the 1971 tragic drowning death of
his young son, Scotty. Mason Lee Dixon recalls: "We spent many
anguish-filled hours searching for the boy, sensing all of the time that
he had crawled through the hole in the fence at the Water Company across
the street from his house. There were all kinds of rumors flying hell,
west and crooked since Burt (Weird Beard) and his wife were separated at
the time. People can be cruel in their ignorance. Most of the city was
sympathetic, even the competition. Only the cops and some really low-vibing
characters were suspicious of Burt. It wasn't until the city finally
consented to drain the reservoir that they recovered the body."
Burt was diagnosed with Multiple
Sclerosis at the age of 19, but didn't let that stand in the way of
successful careers in broadcasting and law enforcement. He returned to Louisville and lived with his mother for a
while. Eventually he went into a Pewee Valley, Kentucky nursing home where he died
November 22, 1995 due to complications brought on by MS. [Real name: Carl Burton Markert] Travis Hardwick
|"Weird was named after his father,
Carl Markert (but not a junior) who was a member of the Louisville
Orchestra. During the late '60s, Weird would often bring his
father's old bugle to the station and play sour notes over the air.
He was dubbed 'the dropout from bugle school,' and would play the
thing over the air in the worst way. He especially enjoyed playing
alongside Herb Alpert's 'This Guy's In Love With You,' which
featured a trumpet, bugle or whatever, on the long outro of the
song. It was terribly hilarious."
Weird Beard Airchecks
Alan White Worked at WAKY
in 1986 and 1987. Traffic/Copy Manager at Cox Radio in Louisville
from August 2005 through November 2010. Now at Louisville's WGTK. Alan writes:
|"I worked at WAKY from March 1986 to
March 1987. I started as the overnight board op, then moved up to
production director. It was long after the hay-day of the Big 79.
When I was there, it was 'the music you grew up with.'
"It was my dream as a kid to work at WAKY. I grew up across the
street from Mason Lee Dixon. He was a big-shot DJ at THE radio
station. As far as 'on the air' is concerned, I am like Moonlight
Graham in 'Field of Dreams.' Moonlight got to bat in one inning in
his baseball career. I got to work one on-air shift at WAKY on a
Saturday afternoon. My dream was fulfilled.
"As WAKY was about to pass into history, the station went automated
and I was the fulltime, around-the-clock voice of Beautiful 790,
"I'm still in
Williams Noon-3 p.m. DJ
from late 1962 through late 1966. Joined WAKY from WMAK in Nashville when
Gordon McClendon sold WAKY to LIN Broadcasting. Left WAKY for a PD
job at WTRY in Albany, New York. Later replaced Terrell Metheny as
the National PD of Southern Broadcasting Company. George was an
associate of Kent Burkhart in Atlanta in the early '80s and
eventually became VP of Programming for Satellite Music Network,
now part of ABC. In 1986 he started consulting. Now retired in
Gerry Wood Newsman in
the early '60s.
Previously worked at WVLK in Lexington, Kentucky. Later went on to be the Country Editor for Billboard Magazine.
Gerry writes in February 2014:
"I’ve got an
update on WAKY newsman Gerry Wood, and it’s from the horse’s
mouth since I am Gerry Wood.
the U. of Kentucky with a B.A. and a Master’s degree from
Vanderbilt, I worked at No. 1 WAKY from 1961 to 1963 when I
moved to Nashville where I not only attended Vanderbilt but
worked at WKDA with Jumpin’ Jack Sanders once again. Boy, do
I have a ton of Jack Sanders stories!
"I left radio to
become head of the Vanderbilt News Bureau where I directed
Vandy’s PR efforts. Left that job to become Associate
Southern Director of ASCAP, signing up songwriters and
publishers in Nashville and throughout the south. In 1975 I
became Southern Bureau Chief of Billboard Magazine, a job
that led all the way to the top as Billboard’s Editor in
Chief in 1980 in New York City.
back to Nashville to become Editor in Chief of Nashville!
Magazine, then became Special Correspondent for People
Magazine, writing People stories from all over the U.S.
Returned to Billboard as Nashville bureau chief, then opted
for the life of a freelance writer -- have written five
published books, the latest one Tales From Country Music did
quite well for me and is still available on Amazon.com.
freelance years, I spent four great years in Key West,
Florida, where is also worked as the news and PR rep for the
agency handling the Keys. Returned to Nashville to become
chief correspondent for Country Weekly Magazine.
"Now working as
a photographer at Walt Disney World in Orlando where my boss
is Mickey Mouse. Love it."
Joe Worthy Newsman in
the late '60s.
According to his daughter Terri, "He actually had quite an illustrious
career in radio and had wound up his career with WAKY in failing health
due to emphysema. He had one of the first political talk shows in the
country out of Phoenix, Arizona at KOOL radio in 1950-52 called 'Let The
People Speak' He was extremely popular and politically 'hot.'" Joe died in
the 1970s at the age of 55.
writes: "Joe Worthy was the night newsman, working with
Weird Beard, when I was hired at WAKY in January, 1968. I was
hired first as a production engineer, and then all-night jock. I
wound up taking Joe's place as night newsman when he left in about
March or April of '68.
"Joe was a real gentleman as I recall, but his health apparently was
deteriorating. I remember he would cough quite a bit. He worked
under Ron Statzer, who was the ND at the time. I don't know
when Joe was hired at WAKY, as he was there when I arrived.
"I didn't work directly with him very much in the news department,
but talked with him several times and was generally familiar with
him. He was quite a professional from the 'golden days' era."
Byron Crawford adds:
"In the days when
I remember Joe Worthy, he reminded me a lot of actor Charlie
Ruggles -- almost actorly looking, and sounding, but just a
great down-to-earth personality and wit. He worked nights much of
the time I worked with him. In later life I know that he was a
Kentucky rep. for either some agricultural products company or
Yadon WAKY Newsman in the '70s and
Now a weatherman at WHAS-TV
as well as the Director of Advertising for the
Archdiocese of Louisville's
weekly newspaper, The Record.
Yates Host of WAKY's Sunday night
Street Countdown" between March of 1982 and February of 1984. Left WAKY
for a five-year stint doing part-time work at WHAS. Also worked at WRKA in
1990. Today Leonard is a retired school principal, but still does some
substitute principal work plus some educational consulting.