Knoxville Radio History will be alive and kickin' next week~
FIVE OF KNOXVILLE’S LEGENDARY RADIO ANNOUNCERS TO DJ MIDDAY SHOWS ON MERLE 96.7 JULY 2 – 5
Knoxville, TN -- Merle 96.7 station owner Ron Meredith announced today that, as vacation fill-in for Uncle Phil (Phil Jarnagin) the week of July 2, five of Knoxville’s legendary radio announcers will fill in on the 10am to 3pm airshift. “Phil and I were discussing his vacation relief recently and came up with a wish list of people we would love to have on Merle.” Said Meredith, “We quickly named more than half a dozen people who would be great for the job. It became obvious that the best solution was to ask one each day.” Scheduled to do the midday show next week are:
--Dan Bell, Monday July 2. With a radio career spanning more than 40 years, Bell was ‘The Eye in The Sky’ and hosted the Sunday Survey show on WIVK. He also hosted a radio show on Dolly’s radio station at Dollywood for ten years. Dan is proud that he kept personal contact with many of the country artists he played on his radio shows, and talked about the behind-the-scenes information that, in those days, could only be found by picking up the phone and talking directly with an artist.
--Brother Clay, Tuesday July 3. Clay served his country in Vietnam, is a graduate of The University of Tennessee, and was Music Director of W-149, Knoxville’s first progressive rock radio station. He has worked in major radio markets around the country including Atlanta, Denver, Houston, and Miami. While in Houston, he was credited as the first DJ to introduce The Police’s ‘Roxanne’ to The U.S. In addition to W-149, Brother Clay has worked in Knoxville at WKGN and I-100.
--Your Dave Young, Wednesday July 4. Dave started his radio career at WBNT in Oneida and shortly thereafter made the transition to Knoxville, working at The Big 99 WNOX in 1968, moving to WKGN in 1973. In 1975 he joined WIVK, where he created the frog mascot, worked middays and afternoon, and fill-in for Claude Tomlinson.
--Walker Johnson, Thursday July 5. Walker Johnson started in radio at WGAP in Maryville in 1970. Over the next 32 years Walker worked at various stations in Knoxville and when the one he was working for in 1975 was sold, the morning man, Curtis Parham talked the new owners into keeping himself and Walker. The CP and Walker Show became Knoxville’s top rated morning show on the new station, WRJZ. WGAP is now owned by Ron Meredith and is a sister station of Merle 96.7
--Bill Miller aka Suitcase Simpson, Friday July 6. Bill has enjoyed a long radio career with WIVK, U102, and other Knoxville stations. His resume includes successful stints at top rated stations in Chattanooga, Indianapolis, Charlotte, Oklahoma City, and Tampa Bay. He currently produces and hosts the ''Bluegrass Gospel USA!'' show for stations in New Zealand and the USA, including Merle FM sister stations WYSH and WGAP.
“Merle 96.7 not only plays current country songs,” says Meredith, “we also find ourselves in the fortunate position of being the only Knoxville country music FM that plays Willie, Waylon, Hank, and George Jones every day. We’ve worked hard to build Merle into a great sounding station. With the addition this year of 2009 CMA Radio Personality of the Year Jack Ryan, many thousands of more listeners have tuned in. They like what they’re hearing, and they’re sticking with us. 2012 is turning out to be a record year for Merle FM, and next week’s guest announcers are giving this staff five more reasons to be eager to come to work every day.”