Here's is some incredible bantering from our 101 facebook page featuring Bob Catron, Hugh Conoly, and Gary Adkins~
Bob Catron Before WNOX did Top 40, WATE at 620 AM was the place to get R and R if you lived outside Knoxville. If WKGN was doing RR in the early 60s we couldn't hear them at night in Maryville. Weren't both Johnny Pirkle and Wayne Perkey on 620 in the early 60s? And Randy Prewitt too. "Do it to it with Randy Prewitt" was his 'slogan'.
Hugh Conoly Mr. Pirkle and Wayne Perkey (later longterm morning man at 84 WHAS in Louisville) were at WATE in their top 40 days and later came to WNOX. Randy Prewitt to Do It To It was also on 620 but did not reappear at Big 99. Also on 62 was Bob Boyd. 62 tried to keep all their NBC clutter around the top 40 format but found their comfort level back with the old line WSB style MOR music and NBC Monitor and such. So WNOX took up the challenge and the rest is 99 History.
Gary Adkins I remember the old WATE Top 40 well. Jolly Johnny Pirkle. Lucky Chuck Ketron. Papa Don Schroeder. Papa Don went on to considerable success as a record producer, with big hits with James and Bobby Purify and Oscar Toney, Jr and others.
Hugh Conoly It was nice to have stations with enough power to reach Camp Pellissippi in the summer. And when WKGN hit that 250 watt night power you could forget it past West Hills.
Bob Catron Hugh and Gary, I'm glad others remember the way it was. Prewitt wound up at WWL New Orleans during the 60s and in '69 moved to Maryville, his wife's hometown. Randy was PD at WGAP. In recent years I think he was on New Orleans TV as a newscaster.
Hugh Conoly I have often wondered what would have happened had WATE brought in someone from co-owned WLEE in Richmond, VA to turn on the reverb, get the latest PAMS jingles, bounce the NBC and turned themselves into a low end of the band full on top 40 such as BIG WAYS or WSGN (610). Would have been INTERESTING.