Tuesday, August 25, 2015

HBD to Mike Beck!!!

Today 101 travels into our Facebook world again! There was a story posted about the old WNOX building on Whittle Springs Road being auctioned off, here's the banter~

Chris Lash~ I've been in it in the last 6 months, so much history.

Phil Jarnagin~ Mold and asbestos. The building will be more expensive to tear down than the property is worth.

Jerry Howell~ A lot of history there...and personal history. My oldest daughter, Laura, was a baby when I worked there. She would sleep in her carrier in the floor beside me while I did my show on WNOX and took some of her first steps in the lobby by the spiral staircase.

Steve Fritts~ I remember they built this in anticipation of getting channel 8.

Walter Erbaugh~ If those walls could talk, it could keep us entertained for a long time.

Bill Miller~ My father was one of the foremen who built it. The company was George W. Reagan Construction Company. I believe it was the late 1950s or early 60s. He was very proud of the outside brick work. Although I worked for several radio stations in town, I never worked for WNOX or in that building. The comfortable auditorium was supposed to save the live Mid-day Merry Go Round, but it helped kill off the show. People wouldn't drive all the way out to "the edge of Knoxville" to be in the audience. I looked into buying the building a few years ago (for the auditorium), but between the asbestos and the liens, a purchase and renovation wasn't close to being feasible. The building isn't likely to be used again.

Lynn Fuson~ My last radio job was at WNOX in this building before moving into the print phase of my career. I was working here when John Lennon was killed. As a Top 40 station, all their music was on carts. I had to go home and fetch my Beatles and post-Beatles Lennon records for the on air staff to play the next day. Of course none of them were marked like I remember them being at WKGN, e.g., "Intro :07" or "ends cold" so even when they knew the songs they were kind of flying blind, not to mention that a few of them had never worked a turntable. Interesting and sad time to be there.

Don Lindsey~ The horror on the WNOX news director's face was clear when the program director told him to hire me. I was the first person to try out without an East Tennessee accent. The problem was that I had no experience whatsoever, and I n the summer of '67 NOX was the number one station. It took a week but wiser heads prevailed and I was out, but that week in that building gave me a bug that's never gone away. Sorry to see the building go away.

James Fleenor~ It would be nice if the current WNOX would pay tribute to the history of those call letters. Even though it's not anywhere near the same they could still do something really cool with that station if they wanted especially since it's playing classic hits now.

Phil Jarnagin~ Good point James. And those calls are now back in the hands of Scripps-Howard.

Paige M. Travis~ I've heard that the sad shape of this building is due to some water drainage issues that were never resolved.

Bill Miller~ Once I visited several years ago and rain was gushing (not dripping) into the auditorium and main lobby. I assume there have been years of heavy rain damage.

Mike Clark~ I paid a visit one afternoon to Mike Beach when he started doing afternoons there. One high spot of that visit: he introduced me to the legendary Ron Ashburn.

Mike Kelly~ I emceed a great day of music there several years ago. It was a benefit for the late Glenn Laney of The Knoxville Grass. Several amazing musicians made for some wonderful memories in that historic venue. Sad to see it in this state.

Mike Clark~ My friend Mark Cawood has some pictures he took of this building, inside and out. I'll see if I can get him to post them.

Dave Jeffries~ I did news there in the 80's. Loved it there. So sad to see it in such disrepair. I really hope whoever gains ownership will be able to honor the history of the property.

James S. Kennedy~ WNOX was my connection to the outside world from 1966-1972. WNOX gave rock and roll credibility with its 10,000 watt signal, great playlist and jocks, brilliant promotions, and credible news. I'm very sad also to see the building die.

Becky Lynn Ottinger~ I loved listening to WNOX when I was young... it was my favorite and I had the chance to do an internship there in the newsroom when I was at UT! Dream come true smile emoticon