Thursday, April 10, 2014

There are so many great Bobby Denton posts today. I fully intended to read and enjoy every one of 'em without posting something myself. So much for that. I gotta chip in my two cents worth.

This picture is from one of the times Bobby came into the press box at Catholic High School and did his usual incredible job as guest PA announcer. He always showed up early before the crowd go there, so when he opened the mic and said, 'IT'S HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL TIME IN EAST TENNESSEE!!!' it was a complete surprise to the people in the stands and they all went absolutely nuts. He did this three different years, and couldn't get out of the stands without someone asking him to come back and do his other great signature line, 'PAY THESE PRICES AND PLEASE PAY NO MORE!'

The last few years I looked for an opportunity that never materialized. I wanted to thank him. He never knew it, but a lot of my most productive habits and practices came from watching him.

It didn't matter what chaos might have been swirling nearby, Bobby rarely let his feathers get ruffled. It could have been a building full of people, or a client swallowing hard before committing thousands of hard-earned dollars to an ad run. Bobby had been there before and he was going to make sure everything would work out.

It seemed as though the more influence he had, the nicer he got. He seemed to know instinctively the more people to share the success, the bigger that success became. At a time when many companies were trying to dictate decisions from far away and push them down to the workers to carry out, Bobby knew there was more strength in letting decisions be made at the lowest possible level, and giving these people the support to get things done.

There were a lot of times I'd stop before discussing an idea and try to picture if Bobby would he have been proud of it or would he have joked about how bad it was. If I couldn't see Bobby being proud of it, I'd keep it to myself. If I could see him bragging about it, it usually worked.

I interviewed for a job there about four years ago. I could see a lot of Bobby in the person I reached out to. I ran into this person Friday night. He's even more successful at his new employer. Part of his success comes from his natural abilities. Part came from applying what he learned from Bobby.

One of these days I'll see him on the other side of the pearly gates. I'll get the chance to look him in the eye, shake his hand, and thank him in person. Maybe he'll introduce me to General Neyland. That would be awesome. (Phil Jarnigan)

I can't tell you how excited I was on April 15 1974 when Mike Hammond and Bobby Denton hired me at WIVK! Bobby gave Mike and I and a ton of other folks a chance to work in an incredible environment of success at the greatest company Dick Broadcasting. James Dick just got a great GM and afternoon drive guy at his Heavenly station. I'm sure they are pumping out the hits and planning to kick WIMZ and WNOX's BUTT! Yeah Baby. "Put little Love in your heart darlin...BYE!!!" Bobby Dentonism.   Let’s get the deal in the house….surely then we can figure out how to divide up the commission! I remember when a bunch of guys from Texas bought Am 1490. W-149. These guys came to town and took the station country and were gonna kick WIVK’s you know what! They were all wearing cowboy hats and boots etc. Of course Bobby never wore any of that though there were many leisure suits and wide lapels in the day! Ha. Well arbitron was on sampling Knoxville one time a year then. So they decided they wanted to do two books a year. Ie..charge the stations double. They called a meeting of all the stations and presented there deal. The bunch from Texas got up at the end and Said, “We don’t want one book a year, We don’t want two books a year, We don’t want three books a year. We Want four books a year. Bobby puffed his ever present cigar and boomed out,   “When you see our numbers, You won’t want ANY BOOKS A YEAR! WIVK got a 28.8 in the next book. W-149 got a .8(point 8)  They went back to Texas!!! Classic Bobby Denton!!! (Paul Lyle)

George, I had not heard about the passing of Bobby Denton until I received this email. My condolences to all his friends and family. I never had the pleasure of meeting Bobby, but growing up in Knoxville, I was never far from the sound of his voice. Bobby and John Ward are the two voices that instantly recall the excitement, pride and joy of Tennessee football and all the warm emotions that we all share about those special Saturday afternoons. I know he will be remembered forever by a HOST of Volunteers! RIP Bobby. (Mike Beck)