Thursday, October 01, 2015

'Possum remembers WKGN~

One of my favorites involves Bob Crenshaw, who managed the station and was a master salesman. He came back from a sales call to get a message from a new car dealer to cancel his spots because he was placing his business on 10000 watt WNOX, instead of 1000 watt WKGN. Crennie blew into the dealership, walked past the secretary who was trying to stop him and stood before the dealer's desk. 
"Now, you can put your spots on any station you want to," Crenshaw said, looking at the WNOX business card still on the man's desk. "But you need to know what you've bought into." Crenshaw put down his own card and pointed to the "10 kw" notation on the WNOX card. "You've put your money on a station that only broadcasts with 10 kilowatts.
"Look here," he said, pointing to a line on his own card. "WKGN has a thousand watts. A thousand, not just 10! I just thought you ought to know that." The dealer picked up the phone, called WNOX, canceled its spots and said he never wanted to see their salesman in his office again. He told Crennie to put his spots back on the air at WKGN.
Another involves the still-living, but I think I can get by with it.
Eddie Beacon (yo' swingin' deacon) did the night show in 1969-70, during the time I came in as a midday jock and became the program director. Before his show began, Eddie would go next door to Brownie's restaurant (home of mett and beans) and buy at least three Falstaff tall cans of beer. He'd line them up on top of the console and start rockin' at 6 p.m. His program started out strong and only got better from there. I think the beer had a positive effect.
WKGN moved from 22nd and Cumberland on "the UT Strip" to the second floor of a Hamilton Bank building on the Alcoa Highway in 1970. It lost its funk in the move. Gone were the days when a jock would go into the production studio and have to throw things to chase a rat from atop the console (was there, did that) and work in an on-air studio that never saw a vacuum cleaner. While we would have liked a remodel, the move to tall cotton pulled us off the strip and waaaaay down the road. Too far, it would turn out. When engineer Bob Goodman ("Goodie") switched over the line connection at the transmitter at 6 p.m., the air monitor sounded like we were trying to listen in Chattanooga. WKGN's little old 250-watt night signal was beyond the receiver's ability. We listened to the studio monitor until Goodie installed a feed line off of the transmitter's final stage the next day. We literally had to "pipe" the night signal to the new studio location. I looked through the packing boxes for the funk factor, but we had failed to move it.

Here's Possum on you,
 Possum Riley
 Middays/PD 1969/70

Thursday, September 24, 2015

In the mid and late 60's Dr Al Adams was the rockin' night time DJ at WKGN. 

In 1975 the good doctor returned as morning DJ and Program Director. 

This jingle package is from Dr Al's early years...


Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Happy Burfday!!!

Special birthday wishes to 101 Wall of Fame member Jean Ash...Jean cut her teeth at WKGN 1340 under News Director Joe Anderson and then had a legendary run at WIVK, there's only one~ JEAN ASH!!!

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

101 will be featuring jingles from WKGN (1960's) this week so we wanted to peek in to the control room...this is Art Miller, circa~ '66 in the Cumberland Avenue control room!


Monday, September 21, 2015

WKGN...circa~ 1965

Back in '65 WKGN and all AM radio was still king of the airwaves, and what a cast of All American DJs WKGN featured...

Charlie Champion
Joe Sullivan
Bob Baron
Alan Dennis
Al Adams
Larry Stevens
Mike Edwards

Over at our neighbor's site- TRHOF, a jingle package scope was posted, here are some fun memories!


Thursday, September 10, 2015


The 2015 CMA Radio nominees have been announced...

Medium Market Station of the Year~ WIVK

Medium Market Personality of the Year~ Andy & Alison and The Morning Crew WIVK

The 101 InBox~

"I grew up in Eastern Kentucky in the '60s and listened to WNOX frequently. The big 10,000 watts put it into my area both day and night. In my early days in radio people like Johnn Pirkle, Wayne Perkey, Rex Miller, and Rob Galbraith were my role models. There were others but those just come to mind off the top of my head, and oh yes, Honest John who spoke rhymes on the air, was almost like an early form of rapping. In the early 80s I had the opportunity to work at WNOX for a few months. The station had gone to country at the time, worked briefly with Dave Young, Jerry Howell was the PD, they were trying to get things going in the auditorium once again. I remember when I would walk in the place to go to work each day I felt a reverence because of the reputation of the station and all the greats that had been there before me. It was the last gasp for AM radio, at least in the music formats, but I wouldn't take anything for the few months I spent there. I retired from a 48 year radio career in 2014. I still have air checks and my Proud Country WNOX belt buckle."

(Carl Hogg aka Bob Berry)

Tuesday, September 08, 2015

101 hopes you gave two thumbs up to our latest class to join the YDY 101 Wall of Fame!

Alan Sneed aka Alan Douglas teamed with Gary Adkins to form The Brothers and has gone on to have a nationwide impact as a programmer and consultant!

Arthur Wilkerson fired up WLIL in Lenoir City in the late 40's, think of all the broadcast careers that were launched there!

Bill Miller is an all around great guy and was a major market DJ too! He was Suitcase Simpson on the radio...and yes he programmed disco on WKGN! 

Channing Smith has been on the air at WIVK for more than 30 years, perhaps normal for WIVK, not normal for the radio industry! He's a true news man!

Chuck Ketron! Let's be honest, radio was at it's best when "Hold That Line" was on the air!

Colleen Addair has been with WIVK for more then 25 years and has stayed the course thru all the ownership changes. Not only is she the midday DJ but is Music Director too!

Ernie the Bartender, we all know his story. He anchored overnights and talk at WETE 620 before talk was king, he had a cult following!

Herb Howard! It's great to see the good doctor in this group! If you attended UT and were in the College of Communications, you know Dr Howard, he taught me!

Jeff Jarnigan has been on the air in Ktown since the 70's, he's been part of some great dial positions and these days he mans the PA microphone at the Vols home football games!

Jim Humphries is Ktown's iron man having set the Guinness world record for staying on the air the most hours! He hosted WETE's midday show for years.

John Isley turned Ktown's night hours upside down during his tenure at WRJZ! He's gone on to host a nationally syndicated morning show for decades!

Mickey Dearstone is a WIVK legacy following his Dad Kenny on the air there, these days he programs their sports station WNML and hosts the morning drive show.

Paul Oscar Anderson....Thiiiiiiiiiis is Paul Oscar Anderson, 'nuff said! Great voice and great personality!

Tim Berry is behind the scenes, has been forever. Tim simply makes things happen including being part of the Vols network for decades!

Wayne Perkey is a broadcast legend, in Ktown he was a big part of WNOX in the 60's!

PS~ got story? If you have a great story (fact of fiction) about any of these legends, please send to us at! 

Monday, September 07, 2015

Ladies and Gentlemen~

Introducing the complete list of our 6th class for the Your Dave Young 101 Wall of Fame...
  • Alan Sneed
  • Arthur Wilkerson
  • Bill Miller
  • Channing Smith
  • Chuck Ketron
  • Colleen Addair
  • Ernie Baker
  • Dr Herb Howard
  • Jeff Jarnigan
  • Jim Humphries
  • John Isley
  • Mickey Dearstone
  • Paul Oscar Anderson
  • Tim Berry
  • Wayne Perkey

We interrupt this broadcast...

...I always wanted to say that on the air!

As we celebrate Labor Day 101 announces that the new class of the YDY 101 WOF is not complete, I repeat, there are 5 more members and they will be revealed later today!

Our media consultants, our corporate owners, asked that we present the class this way, that's a poke at the current state of this incredible insegrevious media we call radio!

And now we return to your local programming!
Our Knoxville Radio History 101 blog turns 8 years old today! Thank you to everyone for reading and participating! PS~ A few years later our 101 Facebook page was added...and the rest is Ktown radio history!

Each year on this date we unveil the new class of "The Your Dave Young 101 Wall of Fame". Today we are excited to announce the new members!

Arthur Wilkerson
Channing Smith
Chuck Ketron
Colleen Addair
Ernie Baker
Dr Herb Howard
Jeff Jarnigan
John Boy Isley
Mickey Dearstone
Paul Oscar Anderson

PS~ stayed tuned!

Monday, August 31, 2015

Memories from Brian Stevens..."Rock of Knox"~

You might remember that I grew up in Greenfield, IN -- home of early 70's Vols basketball great Mike Edwards. Somewhere in elementary school or junior high, my Dad coached Mike. So when Ray Mears recruited "the Greenfield Gunner" to Knoxville, the several times a season road trips from Greenfield to Knoxville were inevitable. 

Now I loved radio. Ate, slept, dreamed radio. I always had a transistor AM radio with me. Even on those early 1970s road trips. I soon learned that WNOX was the first Knoxville station I could pick up heading south on I-75. We'd top that ridge between Jellico and Caryville and through the ever lessening static I'd hear American Top 40 Saturday afternoons on WNOX. 

Once in town, I'd tune by WKGN or WETE or WJBE, but WNOX was my station. Obviously. WNOX was home to John Ward and the Vol Basketball Network. Who else would I listen to? My Dad loved Opera. My Mom loves Big Band. They hated the top 40 that WNOX played in those days. So I'd listen through one of those awful plastic ear pieces. The sound was painful, but I didn't care. It was WNOX.

From that first road trip of Mike's 1970-1971 Sophomore season (remember that Frosh couldn't play varsity in those days), WNOX was always the first thing I'd listen to approaching Caryville. The tradition lasted long after Mike had graduated. Through the 70s and most of the 1980s, the radio always landed on 990 first. 

As the 80s passed, adulthood and work meant I almost never dialed into WNOX from Indiana. I was working at an FM AC in Indianapolis and spent less and less time tracking what was happening at 'NOX or with country music radio. I listened when they changed to country when Mack Sanders bought them. I knew that they'd struggled through different owners since then. 

But what I didn't know was that 990 had gone off the air when I made a vacation trip to the Smokeys in July 1988. Approaching Caryville, it was nothing but static. Lake City, static. Norris, still static. I stopped at what I think was an old Smokey Mountain Market on Emory Road and called from the pay phone. Someone from the FM picked up. That's when I'd discovered that 990 had been off the air for several months. The call letters now on an FM in Jefferson City. 

There are those moments in life that are passage points. Transitions where you know things will never be the same. Reluctantly, I got back in the car and clicked over to Brother Clay on WOKI. For me, at 29 years old, WNOX not being there as I approached Knoxville was one of the last of those discovery moments when something else of your childhood is gone.

I'd been in Gatlinburg for a couple of days. But I kept thinking about what had happened to WNOX. Now in September 1981, I'd dropped off a tape and resume for John E. Douglas. But I never went beyond the lobby that day. I knew the FM was still on from Whittle Springs. I wondered if I might get someone to give me a tour of the old place. 

I called. The PD said yes. I've since forgotten his name. I hopped in the car and drove back to Knoxville. Got there to find the front door wide open. No one in the lobby. The building was dark. But the sound of Whitney Houston's "Love Will Save the Day" was coming from the FM studio down the hall. I headed that direction. 

It was 90 degrees that day. There was no AC on in the building It was like a sauna. I could hear the sound of an oscillating fan as I approached the one room with lights on. The FM air studio. The jock was startled as I knocked on the door to make myself known. I remember that FM studio looking very temporary, like they were planning to move soon. 

The jock called the PD. He met me. We walked around the building. He used a Coleman camping lantern to light the way through parts of the building. I seem to remember that the walls of the darkened auditorium appeared a pale blue in the harsh lantern light. Even then it smelled of mold and dust. I doubt if it had been used in years. 

Eventually we worked our way back to the studios and news room. I wish I'd had a camera. You could tell that Scripps spared no expense. Carpet on the walls to help acoustics were common then. But WNOX had taken it one step further. The old 70s WNOX logo was cut into the carpet. Impressive.

The gear in production was still functional. I'm thinking it was an Auditronics board, circa 1978 or so. ITC Triple Play and a recorder. A pair of old Scully reel to horses built like a wood sided tank or battleship. Great gear. And I was wondering what the air studio would look like. 

Disappointment. Who ever the last owner was had sold the gear from the air studio. All that remained was the dust covered studio furniture. Holes where the board and turntables once sat. A couple of booms with cable but no mics. You could tell where the cart machines once were. Just the wall mounted cart racks remained. 

The faint scent of stale cigarette smoke and burned coffee remained. I stood where the jocks would have. Thought of guys like Eddy Roy and Dick Winstead who'd once stood there. I could imagine the sound of that hot nighttime skywave signal playing from where those monitors once were. Those Pams' "Rock of Knox" jingles and that legal ID voiced by Ron Ashburn..."WNOX Knoxville. This will be our finest hour." 

I succeeded in not showing my true emotion. But it was heartbreaking. For me, WNOX would have been a dream job. I loved that station that much. And here I was. Standing where it once was. Now just a shell. I looked at the cart rack. Just one cart remained. The closer cart from the 1988 season of UT basketball broadcasts. Looking back, I should have pocketed it. But I left it where it was. Something of a last memorial to the WNOX I'd loved and what first introduced me to it, John Ward and the Vol Basketball Network. 

I probably didn't stand there for a minute. But it seemed like hours. All the memories that were rushing back. I looked toward the window between the studio and the news room. I thought of the old news guys like Ashburn and Colvin Idol. Even the younger guys like Jim Fairchild and H. J. Booker. 

But I kept going back to the days of Eddy Roy. Thinking about Roy in the Morning. And thinking about Paul Oscar Anderson railing on the politicians, questioning ideas like a World's Fair, and doing all those endorsement spots in the newscast. And I realized that as long as we held onto those memories, that empty and dusty old studio in a small way lives on. And will live on, long after the Whittle Springs building is gone. 

All that to lead to this. Your website is part of how we hold onto those memories. It's a resource. It's a treasure. And George, allow me to end this far too long e-mail with a simple "thank you."

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Welcome to the 101 Audio Vault, let's travel to 1997 and Doug Hullander on "MY 102", WMYU Sevierville~