Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Thanks for the birthday shoutout, if anyone is keeping score, this is #75 of the Official Knox County Survey.

I guess it's time to tell the story of where "Possum Riley" came from. Here goes...

I was packing to leave KWBB in Wichita when WKGN PD Skip Broussard (who had hired me) called and asked if I would mind changing my name to fit the market. I asked "to what" and he said he was thinking it over and he'd see me in two weeks (he was about to leave for National Guard summer camp). I heard nothing more from him.

A few days later I'm driving into Knoxville on a Sunday night, groovin' to Eddie Beacon, who said he was my swingin' deacon, and I heard this over-the-top promo, towering music, reverb, second coming of a promotion. It said not only was some dude named Possum Riley coming to WKGN, but that he was RETURNING to WKGN. Hmmmmm, Broussard must have hired two jocks. Over the next hour I heard two more promos for this Possum guy, and none for me.

I checked into the Andrew Johnson Hotel, picked up the phone and called the station hotline. Beacon answered with "hello y' all".

I asked, "Eddie, how many jocks did Broussard hire?"
"Just one" he replied. "Who is this?".
"Got a real certain funny feeling I might just be the Possum", I said.
"Welcome aboard dude", he said.

As it turned out, Skip had been having a few beers (maybe a couple too many) and was getting off sneaking stares at a guy whose face reminded him of a Possum. A dude who knew both of them wandered in and introduced them and - when Skip heard the guys nickname was Possum- it sent him to the moon. He said he coupled it with Riley because "it just sounded right."

Had that not happened the new guy at 'KGN would have been "Dick Randall".

...thanks for hangin' with the Possum!

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Here's a 101 Reload first posted 10 years ago this week...

"George...Just saw your post on WYSH. Interesting stuff. The 104.9 signal (as you probably already know) was moved north to LaFollette and was our sister station (formerly WQLA-FM) until about two years ago. Our ownership sold it to a Florida/Delaware corporation. Bob Wallace was their C.E. in 1982 and was still their C.E. the last I've heard. He was our C.E. (AM 960 WQLA) until about two months ago or so. Last I heard he was still with WYSH-AM as well (which now has an FM, 96.7 WMYL, Halls Crossroads). Also, my understanding is Jim Stair is currently a majority owner of the other AM, WLAF (1450) in LaFollette. Just thought you'd like some info concerning where they are now." (Terry West)

Monday, May 18, 2020

speaking of names...

Alan Sneed had a great radio career after Ktown at WKDF/WKDA Nashville, 96 Rock in Atlanta, 97 Rock in Houston and into ownership and programming consultant roles for many years.

101 heard from  Alan...

"Until I retired I was PD or consultant in roughly 90 markets. But in 1975-80 I used Alan Douglas (like you my first and middle names) on W149, 15Q, WKGN, and WKDF in Nashville. I was very average but boy did I have fun and it helped prepare me for 40+ years as a programmer."


Friday, May 15, 2020

HBD Possum!!!

Ktown has had it's share of fake radio names, not the same as fake news. I tried to be George Michael, somehow the Michael became Michaels, which wasn't my intent. George Michael is my first and middle name. If I did it over again I would have pinned myself as "Andy Spears"...taken from my son's name Spears Andrew (from his two grandfathers).

Did you ever use an on air name that was not God given?

...Eddie Beacon, Suitcase Simpson, Jack Diamond, Smokey Burns, Gary Drake, Sonny Knight, Tollie Michaels, Dr. Don West, Jessica James, Jamie Rivers! Just a few of those fun names!

What about the best "real names"- Mike Beach and Fleetwood Gruver come to mind!

And today we salute and say "Happy #&th Birthday" to WKGN PD and morning DJ Possum Riley (foto)....every now and then Possum goes by Paul Randall Dickerson!

Monday, May 11, 2020

Back in October 1978 Mr. Ed joined WNOX 990 as afternoon DJ. Here's the line-up... 

6-10 Dr. Dave Dunaway
10-2 Phil Williams
2-6 Mr. Ed
6-10 CC McCartney
10-2 Bill Beason
2-6 James Maurice

The 101 Audio Vault features James Maurice (Turk)-

Sunday, May 10, 2020

Here's one of Ktown's all time greats- Ed Brantley on his mid morning WIVK program in the late 70's via the 101 Audio Vault... 

Sunday, April 26, 2020

This newspaper clipping was posted on our 101 Facebook page. Circa, 1937 WROL began broadcasting Vols football on the radio with Allen Stout as PBP announcer.

Monday, April 20, 2020

Who could replace Bobby Denton as afternoon DJ at WIVK? There was one choice, Your Dave. And who could replace Your Dave, only one choice, Ed Brantley. What a run of great afternoon drive DJs at WIVK, including Gunner, now having held that slot longer than anyone at the dial position.

Your Dave had great banter with Traffic Sergeant Wayne Bell. Here's The 101 Audio Vault-

Page 3...

Shout out to three Ktown legends that 101 heard from recently- Art Miller, Dick Winstead, and Kerry Lambert. Keep the cards and letters coming!

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

It's the fall of 1978 at WKGN 1340...and AOR, before Disco 13! 

6-10 Kelly Stevens
10-3 Frank Greene
3-7 Keith Lambert
7-12 Jennifer
12-6 Rick Long

The 101 Audio Vault features Jennifer...

Thursday, April 02, 2020

It's the fall of 1978...I'm a student at UT and a weekend DJ at WIVK. Where were you? 

Other weekend warriors at 850/107.7 were Bob Thomas, Suitcase Simpson, and Arch Bishop.

Joe Grant joined WIVK at that time...he had previously worked at WCOR Lebanon, WSSO in Starkville, WROL Ktown, and WBNT Oneida. This was Joe's second stop at WIVK having been in sales and on in the air in 1971.

Big movies that fall included Animal House and Grease!

In Oak Ridge Clyde Scott Jr. took over as PD at WATO.

WBIR-FM was playing country and featured James Freeman, Bill Page and Mark Mabry.

Chris Gallu was named GM at WNOX 990, after Pete Dreyer held that position for years. Shortly thereafter Bob Savage arrived as PD from WKTQ in Pittsburgh.

WKGN was AOR at the time, the DJ line up was 6-10 Kelly Stevens, 10-3 Frank Greene, 3-7 Keith Lambert, 7-12 Jennifer, and 12-6 Rick Long.

The 101 Audio Vault features Mark Mabry...

Monday, March 23, 2020


Loved the control rooms revisit. The old WKGN control room at 22nd and Cumberland was a pit, but it was all business and very functional.

That old station was in a former grocery store. There was still a track and a hook back in the storage room from the days when they would hook a hog carcass and bring it in for butchering.

The control room was very small and built up on a wooden platform, so there was somewhere to run the wires.

There was in 1969 a Gateway console with 10 pots, a 16 inch Gates turntable on each side of the talent and a shelf structure that held four old Spotmaster cart players. Racks behind the talent held a couple of open reel tape decks and other gear.

The news booth was to the right and the control room looked in to the production studio, which featured an ancient RCA Consolette board, but had a couple of Ampex 351 tape decks.

Bob Goodman "Goodie" kept it all humming for years after it should have been replaced. Great memories of a treasured part of my life. What a staff! Sonny Knight, Eddie Beacon, Don Smith, Jeff!

thanks for hangin',

Possum Riley

Friday, March 13, 2020

The New 62

WRJZ hit the airwaves in late 1976...and the following year was a banner year as both John Boy and Adele ere added to the air force!

Adele initially joined as the all night DJ but later moved to middays.

Here are some of the DJ names in 1978...CP and Walker, Rick Kirk, JJ Scott, Bob Kaghan (PD), Carson King, Ernie Baker, David Henley, and Foster Arnett.

The 101 Audio Vault features Adele...

Friday, March 06, 2020

Hi George,

I was the original midday guy on Rock 104 in 1979, when we went on the air. Left the station in 1984 to pursue grad school and a research career in the DC area. Just recently moved to the Chapel Hill/Carrboro area in NC and am doing radio again, at WCOM-FM. Doing a free form album rock and jazz show on Sunday afternoons between 3-5p ET. People can listen online- WCOM

Larry Solomon