I was pleasantly surprised to be included in the August 5, 2015, 101 Audio Vault for early 1987 when I was on the air at WNOX. I will say, that looking at the list of 101 Wall of Fame, I worked with at least half of them. I'm proud to contribute as brief as I can, some highlights of my 20 year broadcasting career.
Like many, I attended Russ Skinner's Professional Academy of Broadcasting in Knoxville where I was in class with Channing Smith. Some of the instructors at PAB during my time were Mike Hammond, Kerry Lambert, Jean Ash, Dr. Al Adams, Buster Sutton and Colvin Idol.
My first radio job was at WSEV in June of 1982,to sign off, which was at sunset at that time. Colvin Idol was great and helped me get that job. Larry Trotter was the PD. U-102 was also in the building, so I got to work with some great people, Bill Miller, Dave Dunaway, Tom Van Hart, Mike Clark, and David Henley are some that I remember. On WSEV I worked with Sam Truen, Phil Jarnigan, Gene Vestal and Bob Bell. I got promoted to mid-days. I stayed at WSEV for a couple of years and then moved on to WIVK. I would eventually work a total of 5 times at WSEV, including during the time Chuck Ketron owned the station. I was also there when Dollywood owned it. I appeared on Dolly's Thanksgiving special on ABC TV. It's on youtube. It was really cool to see that old video on line recently.
I stayed at WIVK for 2 and half years. I remember not only working on the FM but also on WHIG AM 850. I recall Saturday mornings on the AM with Ron Sprowl doing news. Of course all the big names we are all familiar with worked during that time at WIVK. I was at the studio the morning Claude Tomlinson broadcast his show from the hospital bed. I think Micky Dearstone was there at the hospital and Claude stopped talking once and if I remember right, it was thought he was having a seizure. That's dedication for ya! Curtis Parham was someone I remember well during my time at WIVK. I wrote some commercial copy while working there. Curtis could make anything sound good, even something I wrote. I also remember Martin Baker and Laura Paul among others.
I moved on to WNOX, some names I recall there included Bill Beason, Dave Jeffries, Tom Miller and Jerry Caylor. I worked with Jerry again in the early 90s in the Tri-Cities and he was a super guy. I also worked more than once with Ed Arnold, who has been operations Manager at WCRK for a long time now. I've got to mention Mike Keith. He was just starting out doing some work at WNOX when I was there. I remember how nervous he was during one of his first sports reports. Wow, look where he's at now. Bob Kesling was doing the Lady Vols games on WNOX at that time as well.
I worked for a year doing afternoons at WKGN playing oldies in 1989. That was a blast. Eddie Beacon was the PD and I was the Production Director.
I later worked for 10 years in the Tri-Cities market at US99 in Johnson City, WGOC in Blountville, as well as WIKQ, WGRV and WSMG in Greeneville. I did lots of sports play-by-play over the years and have great memories from that as well. I still have dreams about my days in radio. I thought it was what I'd always be doing since it's all I every really wanted to do. I'm living in Oak Ridge and doing well working in the IT field these days. I'm glad to be able to share what were some of the best times of my life.