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!