Thursday, April 10, 2014

Met Bobby Denton when I was 19 years old. He and Jim Dick hired me to replace Norman Majors as the News Director at WIVK. I then found myself sitting across the hall looking through the glass at another legend...Claude The Cat. I never saw Bobby without being greeted with a big smile an a "Hey Biggin' how's it goin?" As and employee of WIVK told me on the phone yesterday...Bobby was overheard telling someone "I wouldn't give a weekend of my life...for your entire life!!"  The words of a man who did it all, saw it all and didn't miss a damned thing! What a great and full life he must have lived...some of us had the pleasure of sharing just a small part of it...others years. Many country music stars owe their careers to him and WIVK. That would be a long list. Thank you Bobby for giving a young man a hand up when he needed it...and always encouraging me each and every time we had contact. Saying he is a legend sells him short.  (Mike Beach)

Shortly after taking over the morning show in '91, we were having a hard time winning over listeners. Someone organized a roast for Bobby Denton's 50th birthday. Wall and I attended and recorded a bunch of the funny insults and praises from his friends and co-workers. It was there we realized what an honor had been presented to us. The respect that Bobby had garnered and the over whelming love from everyone was nothing short of incredible. We knew if we watched, listened and did what he told us to, things would turn around. His best advice to us was, "Seize the moment" try to find a way to include the station or your-self in every situation. A few months later we had a winner who was at work at a Weigels. We asked how many people were in the store. He said, "About 5", we said, free Slim Jims for everyone and made him make the announcement. Later that morning, Bobby came in and said, "Boys, that was funny as hell, good job! " (Wilhite and Wall)

When I saw the picture of Bobby in the control room Jim Graves many memories came back. There were several of us that made the trek from WBLC to WIVK and I was one of them. I found myself in the front office being hired by Bobby, Claude and Ed. I remember watching Bobby on the air in that studio. Smooth as silk on the air...but in that control room??? It was like watching an overheated popcorn machine in an earthquake. Carts were flying, sold out advertising and only two cart machines to his right, records to cue up, on the phone with a client on line one, talking to listeners on the other lines.... Barbara Mandrel was in the studio and Bobby was running that train wide open...she was about to have a nervous breakdown just watching him go. But that was who Bobby was...wide open, all the time...getting the job done. That's how you win...and he did. (Jerry Howell)