Friday, July 19, 2024

 It's March 1953 and WIVK is on the air. (foto via Knoxville Journal)

Monday, July 08, 2024

Bill Miller 1950-2024...RIP Suitcase Simpson!


Back in 1978 I was working weekends at WIVK as was Suitcase Simpson. Suitcase aka Bill Miller went on to DJ and Program Director at WKGN and WMYU.

During his on-air career Bill used some groovy DJ names...Bill Miller, Suitcase Simpson, Stan Cassidy, Lincoln Smith, Bad Willie Soul, and perhaps even more!

Here are some of Bill's stops along the way. BTW- I gathered this info from him back in '78! It all started at WCPH Etowah followed by WMTM in Morristown.

Bill did 4 years at the legendary WFLI in Chattanooga as PD and afternoons. During his Chatta time he also worked at WGOW. 

Skipping ahead Bill went to WIFE in Indianapolis for one year and had the #1 rated night show there. His on-air name was Lincoln Smith.

Bill next headed back to WFLI followed by WGIV Charlotte and then WKY Oklahoma City working nights for 2 years as Bill Miller.

Returning to East TN for school Suitcase worked at WOKI afternoons, nights at WIVK, a stint at 15Q (with everyone else) and then back to WIVK. (note- a few stops along the way are not listed).

What a trip up and down the radio dials, thank goodness he had his Suitcase!

As 101 heads into the first football weekend of the 2008 college season, we feature stories from Chip Emerson, Suitcase Simpson, and Dave Young~

Great to hear from Jean Ash-I was at 'KGN with her when all this was going on -- man was that a golden time at 'KGN even with Vic. Great names on the air and off --- Andy Reeves, David Vantrease, Nancy Kirk, Joe Anderson (the Warlock), Dave Young, The Beachman, Wayne Bernard, Frank Erwin, Ricky (the stick) Davis, all night guy Kerry Lambert...... the list goes on and on. George Mooney's son Pat and I were college roommates, I have some great stories about George. (Chip Emerson)

Re Chad Austin’s question: I've heard about the shooting incident at the Whittle Springs studio so often that I assume it was real. A disgruntled ex-WNOX jock who is a friend of mine has been widely reported as the culprit. Although I suspect the statute of limitations has long expired (as well as several of the WNOX staffers of the time) on the incident I don’t think he has ever admitted it publicly. If it was indeed he who did the deed, it was only one of several colorful tricks in his radio career. For the record, I never worked at WNOX. (Bill Miller; I Am Still Suitcase Simpson)

Good stuff from Jean, and yes the new G.M. was a D.H. It seems from the get go that he was out for some people, but that is another story. My move to the famous 1340 was quick and decisive. Bob Baron had been after me for some time and things at the Big 99 were going to pot. I had talked to Baron about 8 in the morning and said, hey the offer is on the table. Come on over and you can start 7-Midnight and I'll pay you XXXX which was a great deal more than 'NOX. I told Bob that I would give it some thought and get back to him. He told me that he would like to know by early afternoon. I went to lunch at Harold's on Gay St. and Pete (WNOX GM) was there. He asked me about the Gladys Knight record, if I had re-recorded it and I told him no. Long story short, he started riding my behind and one thing led to another and another, so at 3 when I went on the air I called Baron and said I'm on my way. Bob started a promo at 3:05 that said...The famous 1340..Where Your Dave Is now Our Dave. (Dave Young)

101 wants to hear from you...send photographs and memories to

Wednesday, July 03, 2024

It's October 1976 and Eddie Beacon is playing disc jockey at 15Q (WKVQ 1490).

Other DJs at The Q are Chuck Baron, Suitcase Simpson, Charlie Fox, Shotgun Kelley, Ron Baptist, and The Brothers.

Thanks to Amos Pigg for sending this exclusive to the 101 Audio Vault...


Monday, July 01, 2024

Great story about doing overnights on WKGN in the mid-60s. Oddly, I got a feeler from 'KGN around 1965/66 when I was in Terre Haute. John Patton was one of Sully's jocks at the time and he wanted me to send a tape to the station. John and I had worked together. Vietnam was getting red hot, and I was in college at Indiana State, giving me a 2-S temporary retrieve from the army. I was afraid the timing wouldn't work, and I'd get drafted before I could get into UT if I made the move.

Even stranger was that impulse eventually got me to WKGN. By 1969, my 2-S had become Y-1 (women and children first) because of childhood polio. By that time, Joe Sullivan was the PD at WMAK, which Mooney Broadcasting had bought in Nashville. I had sent a tape a few years earlier and he remembered he liked it. He told me to send a new one to Skip Broussard, who was then programming 'KGN. Two weeks later, I was on the road to Ktown.

Thanks for hangin' with The Possum

Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Bob The Championship Builder

Knoxville radio legend and still broadcaster Bob Thomas is bringing home the trophy as he represented 101 at the Men's College World Series! Go Vols!

Friday, June 21, 2024

It's Your Cowboy Pal Gunner...

 ...and that's a wrap! After 36 years behind a microphone on the radio, including the last 25 years at WIVK, afternoon DJ Ted Ousley has exited stage left.

Gunner got his feet wet at WMDR "The Doctor" 1470 in Maryville, jumped into FM at 94.3 and then spent a decade at 100.3. 

Since the 1970s WIVK has had only 5 afternoon drive DJs...Bobby Denton, Your Dave Young, Ed Brantley, John Garrett, and Gunner.

In November 1998 then PD Mike Hammond moved John Garrett down the dial to WXVO 98.7 and Gunner assumed his 25 years from 3-7p on WIVK. At that time Andy & Alison were mornings, and Colleen middays!

Now that Gunner has gone fishin', nighttime DJ Sean McNally aka Mac will slide into the coveted afternoon slot. Mac has been at WIVK since 2016, previously he was PD at WPLZ in Chattanooga, and also worked at WQLK in Richmond, Indiana.

Did anyone ever notice that Gunner resembles Alan Jackson? 

PS- Gunner is being inducted into the Tennessee Radio Hall of Fame this summer.

Monday, June 10, 2024

In a time far, far away, I was the overnight DJ for WKGN in Knoxville. It was my second job. I had just graduated high school and was getting a degree in electronics/technology (1960s technology) at a school in K-Town. I landed a job at WKGN when Joe Sullivan offered me the overnights. When I drove in, I was overwhelmed as I had just left my small town in southwestern Virginia with about 2000 people. Knoxville seemed so big, and the station sounded so much like WABC in New York that I was intimidated. The reverb, the WABC jingles, and some exceptional talent made WKGN a strong station.  The picture is of 19-year-old me in probably 1966, sometime in the wee hours of the morning. I learned so much during my two years at WKGN from Joe, Charlie Champion, Bob Baron, and Dr. Al Adams.  It was tough, forty hours a week on the air and another 20 hours in class, plus study time. I netted about $58 a week, but you could make it on that money in those days. I loved the RCA DX-77 mike, and those Clevite brush earphones sounded like tin cans. Bob Baron ended up in Montgomery, AL, and hired me as his morning guy in 1969; Bob left, got into TV weather, and now has a company named Baron Services. His weather-tracking system is probably the best anywhere. I never realized that fifty-five years later, I'd still be in Alabama, but now I operate an ad agency. I look at that picture and wonder where did that kid go; now I see an old man looking back at me in the mirror. Knoxville still holds a special place in my heart; my bride and I had our first home together in Knoxville.

Sunday, June 09, 2024

Happy Birthday Weekend... Eddie Beacon and Alan Douglas of Knoxville radio fame. Oh, those were just their radio names! If you are curious, ask AD the significance of this photo. HBD!

Thursday, May 23, 2024

(Bob Catron) Who remembers Bill "Beetle" Bailey on the all night show WIVK. As I can recall, it was his departure in 1970 that created the opening I was hired for. Someone told me (back then) that a brick was thrown through the front door one night while he was on the air. Another voice back then was Mike Hansen on midday WIVK. Again, if memory serves me well, it was when he went to WAPE Jacksonville, I moved to his day slot 10am to 1pm.

(Bill Jeffers) Bill Bailey was at WIVK when I came home from the Army in early 1968. We became friends and he took over my night shift when I left to work at WCAW in Charleston, WV. His real name was Bill Brabson, and he moved to Charleston and we worked together at WCAW. I lost track of him after he left there, but had a brief conversation with him sometime later. He had become a minister in the Church of Christ and I haven’t been able to find him since. It was Bobby Denton who left WIVK and went to WAPE in Jacksonville, around 1964 when WIVK adopted the country music format. He returned when I was drafted into the army in 1966. He took over my former afternoon drive show where he remained for years. Terry Womack came on board around that time and did the night shift for quite a while. Seems like he was there for over 20 years. My memory’s not that accurate anymore. I believe I’m the only one left out of the original WIVK country music personalities. Claude (the Cat) Tomlinson was early mornings, Mike Hanes was 9-Noon, Kenny Dearstone at noon, and me from 3-7 pm. That was when WIVK was daytime only, 1,000 watts at 860 am. When the FM came into existence in 1964, or ‘65, there were some shift changes made as 24-hour a day broadcasting began. I have many fond memories of that era. Hope this bit of info helps.

(Bob Catron) Terry was attending UT classes at some point in the mid to late 60s. Troy Rusty Keesee might know more about Terry's tenure. All I can remember clearly is that Terry replaced me on the all night show when I went to days. He was then dating the UT head majorette 'Cathy' is the name I remember. I moved away in 1976 but remember calling Terry after midnight around 1985 from Florida, where I've been since '81. To this day I still remember the "request line" number and the main number from then.

Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Did you know...

...that East Tennessee radio legend Ed Brantley got his Knoxville start at WNOX 990?!

The 101 Audio Vault features Ed on WIVK-