Wednesday, September 20, 2023

50 years ago...

 It's September 1973 in Ktown, where were you?

In the wrestling ring, The Fabulous Kangaroos were whooping it up in Knoxville, Phil Niekro was the Braves ace pitcher, and Jim Croce was tragically killed on this date (9.20.73).

WKGN 1340 featured Smokey Burns, Bob Baron, Frank Erwin, Wayne Bernard, Dick Winstead, Jerry Steele, with Joe Anderson and Walker Johnson anchoring the news desk.

...and this was the month when Jack Diamond exited WKGN, stage left, for Louisville KY, where he became a many decades star as Coyote Calhoun!

I was a busboy, starting my platters to platters careers, at the Ivanhoe House of Beef (now Copper Cellar in West Knoxville)...Ivanhoe was owned and operated by restaurateur legend Frank Kotsianas.

Eddy Roy and Your Dave Young were drive time DJs at WNOX 990.

Mike Beach, who hung his hat on many Ktown mics, was working mornings at W-149 (WROL 1490). Gary Adkins, Bill Johnson, and Bob Hamilton were also there.

Tuesday, September 05, 2023

Before "whose gotcha now"...WRJZ was WETE. Back in olden times television stations had radio stations. WETE was then WATE. When the TV station sold WATE the new owners changed it to WETE. I was working for WKGN in news and wanted to jock because they made more money and had more fun. When I got the word Mike Beach was leaving WETE to work for WKGN I called WETE, asked for the PD and when I got into him I told him I wanted Mike's job. I instantly was in "tall cotton". I was hired at $145 a week, up from $110. At WETE I also got to make another $50 for doing remote broadcasts! WETE was a fun ride that ended with it being sold to a guy who lived in Asheville. He turned it into WRJZ. This is an old pix from WETE of me earning my $50 selling boats on a three hour remote. Oh, as for the date, I'm thinking it was around 1973.

~ Walker Johnson 

Friday, September 01, 2023

Happy Trails to Jack Lee...


Congrats to Jack upon his retirement after 40 plus years in the biz. Jack has served as General Sales Manager for now Cumulus owned WOKI (NewsTalk 98.7) and WNML (The Sports Animal).

Wednesday, August 16, 2023

Ray Edwards and I did mornings at WOKI during the 90s. That doesn't seem so long ago...but this picture is probably 30 years old and is in the main control room. And I had hair!!!! So maybe more than a day or two has passed...Johnny Pirkle, Bill Hays, and an unbelievable group of dedicated people made it a wonderful place to work with loads of memories. (Jerry Howell)

...serves as a reminder that the name “Charlie Fox” was NEVER my favorite air name ever. Only after Bruce Johnson at KAUM/Houston gave me the milquetoast moniker “Jeff Collins” did I vow never again to use a nom de aire. And on terrestrial radio, I never did. (I’m retired now and things like air names are only a subject of jest.) During my four years at XM Satellite Radio (first US satellite radio company to air, and the first and last to be purchased by competitor Sirius Satellite Radio) I used “Maxwell House” because a) I thought it was cute and b) I had no concept of brand names and lawsuits, which fortunately never happened, at least as far as I know. Yours, a faithful reader because I’m an absolute geek about radio. Blake Lawrence (nee Charlie Fox at 15Q, WKVQ Knoxville) Oakland, California.

--Now retired from terrestrial radio but founder and program director of a popular streaming channel known as Chilltrax, The World’s Chillout Channel™. How popular? I could supply some numbers that I don’t really know how to read, but they’re medium to medium-large respectable numbers. So I’m told. A “Chilltrax" plug on would make my century! Have a listen and decide for yourself if your readers might be interested.

Uncle Bob Bob (Bob Baron) came to WAAY radio in Huntsville, Alabama some time during the summer of 1975. He was PD there plus one or two other stations owned by the Johnsons who owned WAAY. The station, WKGN like in top 40 and a new logo “The Great American WAAY”.

I enjoyed working with Bob. He went on to become the weatherman at the sister TV station WAAY-TV. (Adrien Newton)

Page 3...

RIP- Traffic Sargent Wayne Bell, longtime traffic reporter heard over the WIVK airwaves! Thanks to Dan Bell for reaching out and passing on this info. Dan took over that duty, and these days it's Pete Michaels!

Friday, August 11, 2023

Hello from Brian Mason...

Hey George- 

I found an article you wrote where you talked about your friendship with Ross Brooks ("The Boss Hoss"). I had heard that he died sometime back but never got any details. We worked together at WLAC...he on PM Drive and me at mid-days. Any info you can give me would be helpful and appreciated! I was doing a Sunday morning CCM show in Nashville when a long-time listener called and told me that Ross had died. I had to get back to an interview and begged the listener to call me back with what she knew...but she never did. I'm guessing that call came sometime before 2010.

Thank you...Brian Mason


Wednesday, August 02, 2023

Couple of shout outs...

 Groovy promo ads from back in the day at WNOX 990!

HBD today (August 2) to Mike Beach!

Get well soon to Phil Williams!

Mike has a online radio station called GlobalRadioDaytona and Phil is the morning personality at NewsTalk987 in Ktown!

Tuesday, July 18, 2023

got Milk?

Mike Clark, Ktown legend and morning host at Praise 96.3 posted this on his social media. The good olde days of U-102 with CP & Walker and Mike behind the news mic!

Monday, July 03, 2023

It's a 101 Reload via Charlie Fox from 2013...

I started at 15Q doing mornings after Steve West left. Those were some big shoes to fill, and I'm not sure I was perfect for it. I remember living on the west side of Knoxville and 15Q would be nearly inaudible on my car radio as I drove in to work. Meanwhile "Double Super WNOX" was blasting. Not the best frame of mind with which to crack the mic at 6 in the morning, but I did it. 

When Chuck Boo Boo Baron crawled out from under whatever rock he inhabited and took mornings (god love him), Ron Baptist moved me to afternoons which was a much better fit all around.

I think all of us treated 15Q as an aircheck machine that happened to broadcast live to the fragment of Knoxville who could hear us. We made it sound as big-time as we could so we could leap to bigger markets. And leap we did...Steve West to Atlanta, Kid Curry to Miami, Bob Kelly to Cincinnati, I went to Houston, and on and on. And of course the late Bob Kaghan started the WRJZ dynasty that eventually kicked 'NOX's ass. Apologies to names I've left out or forgotten - I'm sure their moves were great ones and are well documented elsewhere on your blog.


Friday, June 23, 2023

When AD speaks, the readers read...

Hello, George!

When did Bob leave WKGN as PD? 

(Gary Adkins and I actually worked with Bob providing music and a sound system for parties in 1975. I’m thinking he might have been gone from 'KGN at that point.)

As I recall, Dr. Al replaced him and was there until I came over from 15Q as PD in August of 1976 when we flipped 'KGN to AOR.

I left for WKDF in Nashville in April of ‘78 and Kerry took over!

Thanks...I hope all is well in your world!
A.D. Sneedo


...On June 3, 1974 WKGN rolled out their new line up featuring Wayne Bernard as morning DJ and new PD as Bob Baron exited. (my notes say Baron went to WCFL Chicago, not sure, and Kent Newton left for WHBQ Memphis). Newton became Tom Kent on the air and still is! 

...Wayne Bernard exited stage "west" to sister station WMAK Nashville, with his final WKGN show airing on Friday November 3, 1974. WKGN at that time included Your Dave Young as morning DJ, Frank Erwin, Rick Davis, Bob Thomas, Joe Anderson, Jean Ash and more! PS- 'Nard became Charlie Chase upon arrival in Nashville and the rest is history.

...Dr. Al Adams came home to WKGN on Monday February 24, 1975 and took over as morning DJ with Mike Beach arriving as afternoon jock. the fall of 1976 changes were happening at 1340- Dr. Al left with AD entering as PD. The station became an AOR format and 2 DJs got new names...Barry Tucker (Mike Beck) became Robin Beck and Chris/Kris Lee (Kerry Lambert) morphed into Keith Lambert. forward to late March 1978 and AD moves to WKDF Nashville as PD. Gina Logue, Dave Elrod, Keith, and Frank Green were the air patrol at that time at WKGN. Kerry Lambert was PD, then later exited to start up WIMZ, first known as WBIR-FM aka We Believe In Rock!

...and yes, disco was in the 1340 future!