Friday, January 19, 2018

To make a long story short...

...this classic photo is of Ken Russell from WIVK fame. He's seated at the controls of WKCS, the Fulton High radio station. This photo arrived to Russell Mayes (he heads up WKCS) from Ken's granddaughter Kensey Zimmerman. Per Russell~ Ken was the 1st person on the air at WKCS in 1952!


Tuesday, January 16, 2018

The Blow family (real name of 15Q owners) brought in some heavy weights when they rolled out WKVQ in the spring of 1976.

The morning DJ was Steve Bridgewater aka Steve West. Six years later I worked for him at WRJZ when it was a country format. The afternoon DJ arrived at 15Q from WSAI in Cincy, Bob "Shotgun" Kelly. 

Here's Bob via The 101 Audio Vault~

Thursday, January 11, 2018

The WNOX story is well documented...one of the first stations to sign on the air in our great USA, the Midday Merry Go Round, Lowell Blanchard, on and on!

The 60's was a marvelous decade of transistor radios and the AM dial. The 101 Audio Vault captures 101 Wall of Famer and Ktown legend Johnny Pirkle on WNOX 990~


Monday, January 08, 2018

Happy Birthday!!!


Happy Birthday wishes to 101 Wall of Famer and host one of the longest running DJ shows in East Tennessee (at a few stations)~ Phil Williams!

Phil burst on the Ktown radio scene as a teenager in the 70's at WNOX 990. For many years Phil hosted morning drive at WIMZ, and now he is the morning talker on News Talk 98-7 WOKI.

His impact has been colossal! HBD!

Friday, January 05, 2018

George -

Did I ever tell you I "almost" came to Knoxville about five years before I got there?

I actually came to WKGN in August of 1969 at the age of 24. However, I was first contacted by a friend and asked if I would be interested in coming down from Indiana when I was still a teenager. Here's how that happened.

John Patton was doing middays on 'KGN in about 1964. He and I had worked together in Terre Haute a couple of years earlier and we respected each other's work. WKGN had an opening and John told program director Joe Sullivan he knew this guy (me) who might be a good hand. At Joe's urging, John called me. I really wanted to come to Knoxville and I even sent an aircheck, but I was about 18, never been out of the market and was in the middle of a semester at Indiana State University. The stars just didn't align.

A short time later, WKGN's owner, George Mooney, bought WMAK in Nashville and a lot of the Knoxville talent was sent there. That included "Sully" who was programming Nashville when I found myself in an unhappy situation in Wichita. I called Sully, who had liked my aircheck. He had nothing, but knew Skip Broussard was looking for a midday man at 'KGN. We connected and I was on the road to Knoxville.

To complete this odd little circuit, I eventually went to WMAK in 1976 when John Patton was GM there.

Thanks for hangin' with the Possum

   Paul Randall (Possum Riley) Dickerson
   Ashland City, Tenn.

Wednesday, January 03, 2018

Happy 2018!

It's 1980 at WOKI-FM 100 Oak Ridge...

Johnny Pirkle's station is in high gear with Michael Henry Martin and Mike Beverly handling the drive time DJ slots and Gary Adkins as PD. Super jock Brother John and The Brothers were also on air stars!

6-10 Michael Henry Martin
10-12 Gary Adkins
12-3 Larry Mazzetti
3-7 Mike Beverly
7-12 Brother John
12-6 The Brothers

The 101 Audio vault dusts off the sounds of Brother John~



Sunday, December 31, 2017

...and that's a wrap!

Were you one of those teenagers driving around in your heavy chevy, listening to AM radio...and playing DJ? Sure you were, we all were!

It's time to close the 2017 Knoxville Radio History 101 chapter...and jump in to a great '18! Thanks for reading, listening, and story telling!

My radio career was short but sweet. Back in '81 I was on the air staff at WETQ 94.3 Oak Ridge. Here's the 101 Audio Vault~ PS- Happy New Year!


Thursday, December 28, 2017

Claude Tomlinson

...few would argue that Claude is Knoxville's all time top radio personality. His "sidekicks" Lester Longmire and Mr. Schultz added greatly to the daily banter on WIVK. 

The 101 Audio Vault features a commercial from 1980 featuring the trio-



Thursday, December 21, 2017

...a little to the left!

Today we move a little to the left...not to the left of the radio dial but to the left of our great state- Memphis! Back in '76 101 traveled to Memphis, and air checked!

101 is debuting this exclusive of "Elvis's best friend" and radio legend George Klein on 56 WHBQ~

Page 3...

Tony Basilio has been beaming thru the Ktown airwaves for decades, and he's an independent who does it "his way". Shout out to Tony and The Tony Basilio Show! You can hear Tony on WVLZ from 11a-1p weekdays.

Happy Birthday wishes to...Mike Clark!!!

Wednesday, December 20, 2017


It's been a touchy year in the media...Here's Mike Beach and Don Geronimo! Happy Holiday from 101!

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Herbert Hoover Howard

I was one of the lucky ones, I knew Dr. Howard during my time as a student at UT. Kind, gentle, intelligent and helpful are appropriate words I believe.

Dr. Howard passed away on Wednesday at age 89. He had retired from 44 years of leadership at the College of Communications, The University of Tennessee. Just imagine his far reaching impact!

Born in Johnson City, he ventured in to broadcasting at age 16 at WJHL...after college becoming the station's program director. Years and degrees later he landed in Knoxville, even worked as a weekend DJ at WNOX. 

May his memory be eternal!

My Kind of Country

It's February 1982 and WRJZ 620 AM was playing country music!

Steve Bridgewater had been brought in to be Program Director. My notes say he migrated from WEFM Chicago. Other names of note were afternoon DJ Jessica James from KFH Wichita and Bob Ziegler via Z93 Winston-Salem.

The music play list was divided in to five categories- power currents, currents, re-currents, power oldies, and oldies.

There were other power names on the team as Bill Hays was sales manager and Ernie Baker was a news anchor. 

Tag lines included "62 WRJZ is going to make you rich"!

The sales force featured Mike Langley, Chris Hoosier, and Bill Osborne. 

6-10 Dr Don West
10-3 Eddie Beacon
3-7 Jessica James
7-12 Bob Ziegler
12-6 Martin Baker

Bill Beason
Jim Montgomery
George Michael

News-
David Henley
Ernie Baker
Brad Schultz (news director)
Ron Sprowl

...in April 1982 WNOX 990 jumped in to the country genre becoming "Proud Country"...Rick Kirk, Scott Majors, Dave Young, and Jim Donovan were the DJs!

Where were you in '82?

Monday, December 11, 2017



George, back in 1980, I made a deal to return to WIMZ from a job at KBEQ in Kansas City. The station made a big deal out of flying me, Karl Kilo and Santa Claus into Downtown West Shopping Center. Santa that day was...my old pal, Win Maxwell. What a great memory...and a great guy (Santa). Happy Holidays!

~Mike Beach