Louisville and Lexington
For more history about
Louisville on-air personnel, check out
Page and the
Did you work on the air in Louisville or Lexington before 1990?
- Air name used Wes Alan
- Real name (will be withheld
upon request) Wes Henderson
- Years/months you worked at the
station 1983-1991 (WSTL, WINN, WXLN, WLRS, WTFX)
- What airshifts you did and the
positions you held there (like PD, ND, MD, etc.)
- Where you worked in radio after
(even if it's after 1990) Tucson/Sierra Vista, AZ
- What you're doing today and
where Co-Creator and Chief Operating Officer Louisville
Distilling Company (Angel’s Envy Bourbon)
My real name and on-air name
is/was Don Bader. I started at WHEL in New Albany, IN in early
1970, after an on-the-air audition (yikes!) at the behest of PD Rex
Jones. I didn’t really know the nature of the business that well, so
when I got fired, I didn’t know it was something of a badge of honor! So I
retreated back to New York for a while and worked in the family moving &
storage business, but then decided to give it one more try in the fall of
1971. I got a gig at WSTL, a small country station in Eminence, KY, which
had been owned by the Dunavant family, along with WSTM-FM in St. Matthews,
where Allen Brown got his start. WSTL fired its PD, and while not
giving me the title, gave me his vacated afternoon drive slot. I also did
a little fill-in work, mostly on the all-night shift, at WSTM. Perhaps my
proudest achievement was never confusing the call letters!!
My 1964 Impala was having a rough time with the 80-mile round trip commute
to & from Eminence (I lived in the Greystone Apartments at 4th & Ormsby at
the time), and the pay wasn’t good enough to justify my staying there. So
in 1972, I landed a gig as the all-night man on 106.9, WKRX-FM, then owned
by former WINN personality Keith Reising, and working under the
tutelage of Jerry Bigler, who might have had the best set of pipes
this side of Livingston Gilbert. Keith eventually sold the station
to Stoner Broadcasting and we became WVEZ. During that period of time, I
landed a gig on Sunday mornings at "The Walrus", WLRS-FM, and was
something of a favorite of Louisa Henson, the owner’s daughter. I
got married in March of 1974, decided my broadcasting career had come to
something of a dead end, and although I loved Louisville and hated to
leave my good buddy Bigler, I took a job at a moving & storage firm in
Atlanta and moved there in May 1975.
The only "broadcasting" I did after that was on a low-frequency broadcast
outlet known as the Georgia Radio Reading Service (GARRS) that read the
Atlanta papers live to those who were blind or print-handicapped. They
were pleased to have someone with broadcast experience, and I read most
every Wednesday and Sunday morning for ten years.
In my time in Louisville, I was privileged to have become good friends
with former WAVE personality Dick Marendt, knew Danny Kanipe
(Danny King) very well, and made the acquaintance of Dave
Bratcher (a/k/a Mason Lee Dixon), Bert Markert (the "Weird
Beard"), Jim Rucker (black radio legend "Jim Dandy"),
and had a snort or two with Gary Burbank (whose real name escapes
me) in the Z-Bar. About my decision to use my real name on the air: I
didn’t think the name "Don Bader" had much cachet, so I came up with what
I thought was a cool nom d’ microphone. My "focus group" was my girlfriend
Kay, but when I told her I had come up with the name Grant Gamble,
she crinkled up her cute little nose & said, "’Grant Gamble’? That’s
awful!" (Bless her heart, she was never one to pull punches!) So Don Bader
I was, and Don Bader I am.
Nineteen years ago, I went into business with my father as an auctioneer,
and am the president of Auctioncheer, Inc., based in New York, and
specializing in auctions for the storage and self-storage industries.
Thanks for doing this. I remember those days with great fondness.
(3,000 watt progressive rock station), Louisville, KY; Air name: "Carl"
(We only used our first names); Employed from October 1970-April 1972;
Air shifts: Began working weekdays from noon-6 pm, switched to morning
drive 6 am-11 am, and hated it. Moved to overnight shift 1 am-6 am; Reason
for leaving: Drafted in US Army.
Interesting story: Program
Director Steve Parker (real name Steve Avery) liked to draw cartoon
characters and created the "Walrus" that became the mascot for WLRS. LRS
stood for "Louisville Radio School", but it was later tagged as
"Louisville's Rock Station." We could only play albums, because you
couldn't switch the turntable speed from 33 to 45 unless you lifted it
up from the console and slid the belt up to the 45 speed position.
Therefore, several of us (including me) used to take the 45 rpm demo
records and throw them off the balcony of the 800 Building as Frisbees!
From April 1972 through
April 1974 I served as a Broadcast Specialist in US Army at Ft. Bragg, NC.
Responsible for recording weekly music show titled "Insight" that was
aired on WFBS, Spring Lake, NC; WFAI, Fayetteville, NC; WIDU,
Fayetteville, NC; WFLB, Fayetteville, NC; WFNC, Fayetteville, NC; and
WSHB, Raeford, NC.
WQSM-FM (50,000 watt country station), Fayetteville, NC; Air name: Carl
Edwards; Employed from June 1972-April 1974; Airshift: Weeknights 7
pm-9 pm and weekends noon-6 pm (while serving in Army); Reason for
leaving: Finished tour in the Army.
WFNC-AM (100,000 watt rock station), Fayetteville, NC; Air name: Mark
Stevens; Employed from 1973-1974;
Airshift: Weekends 6 pm-midnight.
Interesting story: I
worked at WQSM on Saturdays from noon till 6 pm under the name of Carl
Edwards, and at 6 pm on Saturdays, I would walk across the hall to WFNC
and work 6pm-midnight under the name of Mark Stevens. I don't think
anyone ever figured it out that Carl Edwards and Mark Stevens were one
and the same. I also remembered getting a death threat at WFNC from some
redneck because I played "Society's Child" by Janis Ian. It made me so
mad, I cued it up and played it again after the dude hung up from
WXVW-AM (1,000 watt oldies
station), Jeffersonville, IN; Air name: Christopher Michael Stone;
Employed from 1974-1975; Air shift: 10 am - 2 pm and moved to midnight to
6 am after marrying the the overnight deejay (Kathy Leary) live on the
air. (I took her shift. We divorced two years later.); Reason for leaving: Accepted employment as a radio dispatcher for a non-broadcasting
WINN-AM (1,000 watt country station), Louisville, KY; Air name: Jason
Williams; Employed from October 1977-September 1979; Air shift:
Started as part-time jock working overnights on weekends; later moved to
full-time overnights from 2 am to 6 am; Reason for leaving: Got married
and enrolled in college full-time.
Interesting note: New
management came in and fired everyone except for me. I stayed for a
little while longer, but couldn't stand the consultant who was running
the station. I won't give his real name, but he was nicknamed "Goats
Breath". The last song I played on the air was "Take This Job and Shove
It." I was half way home before the song ended!
I began working in video
production at American Commercial Lines from 1982 through 2004 producing
and narrating training videos. I also produced and edited weekly TV show
"Let's Go Racing" for Louisville Motor Speedway from 1987-2000. I joined
WKJK-FM (Real Country 98.9) in 1994 as a weekend board operator. WKJK
switched to an Adult Standards format and later became Talk Radio WKJK
1080. Moved to 84WHAS in 2000 as a part-time producer and still work
there. I'm also employed full-time at the Louisville Water Company as the
Director for Organizational Effectiveness.
My real-name is Rick
Cruse, but on WLRS I was known as Cruiser. I worked there from
1981 through 1988(overnights 1981-1983, 10 p.m.-2 a.m. 1983-1985, and 6-10
p.m. 1985-1988). I did the voice over for the "World Famous" LRS 102
LRS was more than a group of
DJs. It was a family. Some of the best years of my life were spent in the
Turquoise Tower of Power!
I had the pleasure of being
at LRS during her hey-day. Working with B.C., Rusty Rodgers,
Rocky Knight, Lisa Lyons, Brad Hardin, Dave Lee,
Mark Starr and Pru Miller was awesome (and a hell of a lot
of fun). I loved all the fans. We always looked forward to mingling with
them during the "Bridge The Gap" Christmas telethon. Great times with good
LRS was was my only radio
gig. I left after I married and propagated, needing a job with "normal"
Today I'm an engineer with
an electronic component company.
I left Ohio in September
1987 for my first full-time radio job in Danville, Kentucky at WRNZ. When
I arrived the engineers informed me and Rod Willis that the station
wouldn't be ready for 'air' for another two weeks, so would we mind lying
beneath the building in the crawl space and run the wiring?
A year later I'd join Michael Lee Webb, Skip Grynn, Tighe
Barrett and Mark Summers (soon to be known as 'Officer Don
Evans') at WLFX (formerly WFMI) in Winchester. When I started at the
station in 1988 it was a 'Pop Hits' station, but once the station fell
into bankruptcy, we were encouraged to develop it into a more contemporary
direction. Thus it became WLFX 'X-100', Lexington's 12-in-a-row hit music
station. (It still makes me laugh to say it aloud.) At that time the
station was helmed by Jack Smith (formerly of WRFL) and later,
myself. Lee Cruse was part of the staff by this time.
By Fall 1992, the station was 'dark' and awaiting new ownership and a new
direction. Rather than risk hanging around for potential employment, I
packed my bags and left for Chattanooga where I programmed two stations.
My swansong came from Tony 'TNT' Tilford whom I had befriended at
various Rupp Arena concerts. Tony had told me that if he ever became
Program Director at WKQQ (the only radio job he'd ever held -- which was a
foreign concept to a nomad like myself) that he would hire me as his Music
Little did I know, three years later that TNT would hold his promise and
place the phone call that would bring me back to Lexington. It was
November 1, 1995 when my tenure at WKQQ would (finally!) begin.
In August 1997 I 'transferred' to Louisville to resurrect WLRS 'The
Walrus', which we successfully did. But back in Lexington, in the Spring
of 1999, Tony TNT Tilford was beginning to get offers that he couldn't
refuse. For the first time in his career he was off to another station,
seeking his replacement. I was eager to get back to the #1 Rock Station in
the Bluegrass, where I remain today as Program Director.
That's the humble story of 'Dead-Air Dennis' in a nutshell.
I am Charles Anthony
Edwards, Sr. On the air I went by Tony Edwards "The Young
One". This was a tag given me by Marvin of the Dells. I was the MC on
their 18th Anniversary Tour. We were sitting backstage talking in
Indianapolis. I just happened to mention the fact that they had been
together for 18 years and that I was only 18 years old. They were shocked
because I was being heard about all over the country in the business.
I worked at WLOU from March
of 1971 until November of 1971. When WLOU switched from a Rounsaville
station to Summers Broadcasting the first thing William "Bill" Summers
did was bring me from WTLC in Indianapolis. I came to Louisville on a
Sunday and was supposed to start on Wednesday. While touring the station
on Monday, Jim Dandy the PD suggested that I did the one hour from
1:00 until 2:00 p.m. This was the transitional time from gospel back to
R&B with Daddy Dee. Generally Jim Dandy would do it. After I went
on at 1:00 the switchboard was lit up the rest of the afternoon. Instead
of Wednesday I started on Tuesday.
Back then WAKY ruled the
mornings. I was just put on in the morning so WLOU had somebody there. The
sales manager told the station owner that the time I was there was the
most profitable period than any other period in the station's 22-year
history. We expanded the morning air shift from three hours to four hours.
They wanted to expand it to five, but I would only agree to four. They
wanted to cut down the gospel show. I did from 7 to 11 and then came back
at 1 until 2 in the afternoon. I also worked with Little David and
I adopted the women at Pee Wee Valley Women's Prison. Talk about playing
to a captive audience! In the nine months I was in Louisville I made
several trips to the prison. My first visit there the gentleman who led me
into the cafeteria where they had assembled whispered in my ear, "45% of
them are here for killing men." He then walked out. Well, if I was horny
before I wasn't anymore! We organized a March of Dimes march inside the
prison walls, and I marched with them. We got sponsors and they were able
to raise money. I wonder if that continued after I left.
I started in radio fresh out
of high school at WTLC in Indianapolis, in 1970. My dream was to be a
fireman. I met a fireman named Jon Rogers in Louisville who wanted
to be a disc jockey. I helped him to become Jon R "The Super Star." When I
learned you could be a fireman at 18 I left and came back home.
Unfortunately you had to be 21 in Indianapolis to be a fireman. I just did
odd jobs until WTLC heard that I was back in town. I was tricked back to
working there. The PD called me and told me that the "Misfits", a charity
fundraising basketball team that I helped form, was short a player. He
asked would I play with them. I said sure. While we were in the locker
room he mentioned he needed someone on the air that night and would I fill
in for him. I said sure and never discussed money, in fact I was surprised
when he gave me a check. This was in 1974 and I stayed until 1982. I
joined the fire department in 1975 and worked 31.5 years. I retired two
For the past two years I traveled for a while and now I'm doing nothing.
Since everything is "Old School" I've learned they are talking about me. I
guess the "Young One" isn't young anymore. I think about getting back into
radio because I don't like much of anything I hear on the radio. My wife
got so tired of hearing me complain that for Christmas she brought me XM
for my car and in my house and a year's subscription. Now my complaint is,
I can't get out of my car and make it to the house without missing
something. If we made "Old School" so great, then why don't they have "Old
School" jocks? A lot of the people they listen to were friends of mine.
I can be reached at email@example.com.
For your records, my air
name was Ted Foster, coined by my debate coach at Henry Clay HS using an
old childhood nickname. (I made it to the National Speech Tournament
where I got 3rd in Radio Broadcasting.)
I started my radio career mid-Junior
Achievement year as a high school junior when I switched from a company
making paper flowers to a JA radio company on WLAP-AM. I was brought in
by a friend of mine to be VP of sales; but I did very little on air work
for that show. I moved to the WVLK JA company the next year as
president. I recorded the promos.
I was on air weekends at WLAP from roughly May 1, 1970 to about August
31, 1970, when I left to go to college. I got hired because I walked
into the station 20 minutes after one of the weekend guys had given
notice. After three years of competitive speech and debate, I could
speak without stumbling and God blessed me with good pipes.
My shift was 3-midnight Saturday, 5-midnight Sunday. Except for the last
two hours I put NBC Monitor on the air, ran the board for local news,
ran local commercials and did weather updates. The format changed three
times that summer. It started out easy listening. Then the station
decided to make a run at WVLK’s domination of the college market – and
did so in June and July when school was out, doomed from the start. They
hired some guy who, looking back, I think was high where he did his
show. He was gone by August and we were back to a slightly more hip
version of the format, shifting from bubblegum music to rock and roll.
I did a little work on campus radio at UNC, but was squeezed out by the
folks actually majoring in communications. (Mine was History). In
1973-74 I helped put a new Chapel Hill station on the air and worked at
the transmitter before launch. I've forgotten the call letters. It was
sunrise to sunset, which meant my 3 hour show expanded to 4 by the end
of the spring semester. I also sold air time, wrote and taped
commercials, weather, about everything except manage. Left for law
school at UK and did some commercials for hire here for a year or two. I
graduated law school in 1977 and am just now returning to radio at a new
low power community station where I will be researching, writing,
hosting and producing a weekly show on Lexington’s history.
Foster Ockerman, Jr.
My first time on radio:
November 30th, 1980, on a WWKK (K-105 FM) show called "Sittin' In".
I remained part-time
(weekends and some weeknight fill-ins) till I went full-time on WSAC
1470 AM (K105's sister station) in August 1981. I did the 6-10 am
morning show for about one year, then went to middays 10 am-2 pm, then
shortly after did afternoons 2-6 pm.
July 1983: Went to
at WRKA while still remaining full-time at WSAC. (I left WRKA in March or
Became program director for WSAC (upon departure of PD Ron Davidson,
whose on air name was Ron David), and I once again went back to
mornings 6-10 am, on what was now a simulcast of both WWKK and WSAC on
FM and AM. (They simply called it "K105-15 SAC".) But at 10 am WWKK and
WSAC would split and go back to their own separate broadcasts for the
rest of the day and night.
April 1984: Bill
Walters and Mike Baldwin bought WSAC and WWKK and sold the AM
frequency, so now WWKK 105.5 was renamed "The All New WSAC
105-and-a-half FM". I asked, "Why not call it WSAC 105.5 FM, or WSAC
105 FM?" but was told by Bob Craft (the new PD at the time) that
they wanted to try and keep the identity away from sounding like it
might still be "K105 FM". Thus, they chose to use "one-oh-five-
and-a-half FM. I was kept on as assistant PD and to do the midday shift
11 am till 5 pm.
July 1984: While
still working full-time at the "all new WSAC", I was hired to do a
weekend shift at THE radio station I had always dreamed of working: 84
WHAS. I remained at both WSAC and 84 WHAS until the end of April 1985,
when I was hired to evenings (7 pm-12 midnight) at 79 WAKY. I really
hated to give up my 84 WHAS weekend gig, but the PD at 84 WHAS (Denny
Nugent) was very glad for me to have gotten the full-time gig at
WAKY, and he said that though he hated to lose me as an employee, I
could not work for the two competing radio stations (WAKY and WHAS) at
the same time. I certainly understand that!
May 1985: I worked
the evening shift on WAKY from May through July 1985, when I was asked
if I'd like to do afternoons on WVEZ, as they were going to now have
live morning and afternoon jocks. So, from August 1985 through March
1986, I was on what was then called "FM 107 WVEZ -- light and easy". At
the end of March 1986, WVEZ went to an automated format (it was called
Format 41), and I, along with several others, including former WSAC
newsman Sam Stephens, lost our jobs that day.
April 1986: Began
doing mornings (5:45 am-11 am) on 14 WIEL, and remained on mornings
until March 1987 (when Greg Laha left WIEL to join the Air
Force). I also became PD and moved to the afternoon shift, and Mark
Stahr was hired to do mornings.
May 1986: Went back
to work part-time at WRKA, while still remaining full-time at WIEL. I
left WRKA around July 1986 to concentrate on WIEL duties.
August 1986: While
I had sworn to myself that I would not work another part-time job at the
same time that I was employed full-time, 84 WHAS had another opening on
the weekend, and it was something I just could not pass up. I saw this
as an opportunity to get back on with the radio station that one day I
was determined I would be employed at full-time, and as I found out,
dreams do indeed come true! In September 1987, I was offered the job of
production director for 84 WHAS, and I remained there in that position
until the end of November 2007, when Clear Channel Radio had another
"reduction of work forces"...and that's okay. I firmly believe that when
one door closes, God always opens a better one!
I said it before, and I'll
say it again...my dream came true...I got to work for 84 WHAS for a
little over 21 years, and if I had it all to do over again, I would do
And now...I look eagerly
to what the future has in store. I currently still do TV and radio
commercial voiceovers, and I just know in addition that something
wonderful is straight ahead too!
Scott now is doing production at WQXE in
I was a disc jockey at WINN
from May of 1966 until February of 1967, working the 6-9 PM slot. Tom
Powers (Tom Parnell) did afternoon drive and Jerry Bright
was the morning man. The format was what we would now call soft rock.
The station was owned by Kentucky Central Life Insurance out of
Lexington, KY. Ron Nickell was Garvis Kincaid's son-in-law
and ran the station. Kincaid owned Kentucky Central Life Insurance.
I went to WCOL in Columbus, Ohio in February of '67 and then to WCAR in
Detroit and on to CKLW in Windsor, Ontario. Went to law school at
Detroit College of Law. I moved to LA and practiced law and was the
morning news anchor at KHTZ and KRLA, working with Charlie Tuna and The
Real Don Steele. My radio career ended in '88. I retired from law and
moved to Central Kentucky for retirement in 2009.
I worked at WXVW in
Jeffersonville, Indiana in 1984 and 1985 as a fill-in board op and
announcer mostly on weekends under my real name, Lou Kloufetos. For
whatever it is worth my real career as a part-timer didn't begin until
1995 when I worked for WXVW and WAVG when they were both in
Jeffersonville. Now there is only WAVG 1450. I was a board op and
announcer working weekends and running the board for sports. Also I was at
790 WWKY doing the same thing in 1997 and 1998, WRKA for about six months
in 1996 and WFIA AM-900 from 1998 to 2000 and worked Sunday mornings only.
I forgot to mention I worked at WLRS FM-102 from January to September 1997
as a board operator on Sunday mornings.
Jerry Leitzell and friend today
Hello everyone! I have much
enjoyed viewing, reading and listening to John Quincy's historic
data on LKYRadio.com. As John requested, here's some info on me, too.
I hold a bachelor's degree from St. Procopius College (now Illinois
Benedictine University) and a master's degree with a scholarship from
Loyola University Chicago.
Before joining WHAS News full-time in the summer of 1975, I served seven
years as an English professor at the University of Kentucky's
Elizabethtown Community College.
A few years ago, Kentucky's largest circulation weekly newspaper published
a profile of me that summarized my 1974 entry into broadcast news. Titled
"Former newsman [is] media contact for Knox schools," Turret staff writer
C.J. Gregory wrote:
Most parents are
likely familiar with the faculty members and administrators at the
Fort Knox Community Schools attended by their children.
But they probably
aren't familiar with the man who's in charge of all communication
involving the school system and varied on and off post organizations
Leitzell has been involved in the Fort Knox schools for more than a
decade, his career in the media began much earlier, quite by
Leitzell, who was
teaching English at Elizabethtown Community College at the time,
recalled that his news career began by simply listening to the
"I was listening to
the newscaster on the radio," he explained, noting how awful the
broadcast was. "It was full of errors, mainly mispronunciations."
He could have laughed
it off or turned the channel. But the erroneous newscast made such a
negative impression on Leitzell that he did what many people
wouldn't even think of -- he called the station and offered to do it
"I can do the news
better than that," he told the manager at WQXE in Elizabethtown.
Following a quick
audition, the station manager offered him the early morning and
late-night news broadcasts.
He parlayed his early
success into a stint as news manager at the station before moving on
to Louisville radio at powerful 50,000-watt clear channel WHAS.
At WHAS, from 1975-80, I
worked as a reporter, anchor, producer, and then managing editor.
Each year, stories produced by WHAS radio news staff, led by Director
Glen Bastin, drew national attention. Among them:
1975 - Major anti-busing
disturbances following federal court-ordered school desegregation in
Jefferson County, Kentucky.
1976 - Twin coal mine
explosions at the Scotia Mine in Letcher County, Oven Fork, Kentucky. 26
1977 - The Beverly Hills
Supper Club fire in Newport, Kentucky that killed 165 people and injured
1978 - The "Great
Blizzard" that struck the Ohio Valley.
1979 - Kentucky's coldest
winter, which produced freezing of the mighty Ohio River.
These stories, and many
others, WHAS radio news staff also aired on CBS, NBC (via WNNS-FM), and
other national news broadcast outlets.
I left WHAS in January 1980
to accept a new position as Director of Corporate Training in the Bingham
family-owned media companies.
In 1981, I resigned from the Bingham Companies to join Creative Video
Productions, working with two former WHAS executives (the General Manager
and a Sales Executive).
Later, I returned to radio news, re-joining Glen Bastin, then WAKY's News
Director. Glen recommended me for my next position as Humana's Corporate
Community Relations Manager.
On weekends, I also worked as producer of WLKY TV 32 News. (My most
memorable program led with the live remote broadcast at Louisville's
airport the day President Reagan fired the air traffic
For the past 16 years, I have held several supervisory positions within
the Fort Knox School System, including Director of Technology, Director of
Instruction, and Director of Communications. Currently, I am
Administrative Officer, representing the school system's interests with
faculty, staff, parents, the media, the military, and Headquarters.
- Air name used Ken MacHarg
- Real name (will be withheld
upon request) Same
- Years/months you worked at the
station WXVW 1978-approximately 1986 or 87
- What airshifts you did and the
positions you held there (like PD, ND, MD, etc.) Usually Sunday
evenings, but did a lot of fill-in on almost all other shifts. Also
did remote broadcasts, public service director for six months,
election returns, etc.
- Why you left I didn't want
to babysit automation.
- Where you worked in radio after
(even if it's after 1990) WHAS (fill-in for Stan Frager),
WDGS (several talk shows), HCJB in Ecuador
- What you're doing today and
where Allegedly retired! Living in Carrollton, GA, though we
spend up to six months a year abroad doing mission work.
Dave McCree today
I was on WHAS 84 in Louisville from 1970 to
1973. I had the overnight position for almost three years. Then, was moved
to 12p-3p position for about three months, until I gave an interview to a
Louisville Courier Journal writer for an article on my show. Program
Director, Hugh Barr, didn’t like it because I was quoted to say
"that I had to tiptoe through the tulips" while talking with the listeners
on the air.
I moved to Little Rock in May of 1973 to work as air personality and
program director of two stations (KMYO-AM and KMYO-FM). During my first
month on the air as a personality, I received a phone call from Dick
Marendt. He told me that he was previously working on the air at WAVE,
Louisville during the same years I was at WHAS radio. He had moved to
Little Rock one month before I did. He was employed by KARN radio, Little
Rock as Production Manager until the mid '70s and then opened a recording
studio with Clyde Snyder, now called A.R.C.A. Studios.
Since then, I’ve kept my hand in the media while doing
freelance radio and
TV commercials around the country. Plus, my friend Jim Davidson (a
nationally syndicated newspaper columnist) and I have had a five minute
syndicated motivational and personal development radio program called "How
To Plan Your Life" from 1977 until the present. However, now I make my
living as an account executive with Clear Channel Radio, Little Rock.
I graduated from Emerson College, Boston in
April 1967. Started at WHMP radio, Northampton, Mass. on May 1st, 1967 as
evening air personality. Moved on to WARE, Mass. in 1968 as air
personality. Then, in 1968 I moved to WCCW Traverse City, Michigan for the
coldest winter of my life (Nov.1 968 to April 1969 ...36 below zero when I
came in at 5 a.m. to turn the defrosters on the transmitter). Brrrr.
An opportunity opened at WOOD radio and TV
in Grand Rapids, Michigan in April '69, so I took it. I was the evening
radio 7-10 personality and also weekend weatherman on WOOD-TV. I had a
chance to go to WHAS Louisville in February 1970, and you know the rest
of the story.
I was originally hired in 1976 to monitor
the automation on the weekend overnight shifts. Eventually, WKQQ-FM
"Double Q" went live and I was given a chance to go on the air when one of
the original hires did not work out.
Above is a a photo of me in the tiny WKQQ
control room not long after it went live in early 1977. Check out
written by then program director Dick Hungate that laid out his
proposed budget for taking the station from automation to live.
Notice that he saves my job because I am a part-time college student who
makes minimum wage. Hungate's actual calculation of my annual earnings is
incorrect, but it still shows how cheaply a station could be run in that
WKQQ, which used the positioning phrase "Stereo Album Rock" at the time I
was there, was a great launch pad for me. I started out doing late night,
then evenings, then the morning show, then afternoon drive before tiring
I learned to use sound effects to make it seem as though I was cutting the
station's grass while the music played. I would tell the audience that the
boss was making all of us do multiple jobs so that we just didn't sit
around and actually "listen to that garbage we play on our station." So
I'd use a sound effect of a starting lawnmower, then segue into "Stairway
to Heaven" and as the song ended, I would fade up the sound of the
lawnmower winding down. Then I would breathlessly backsell the record,
make a snide comment about the cheap boss, and go to break.
My career was just taking off.
Alas, I hit a pay ceiling in 1980 and was told "that's all there is." I
opted to go to Indianapolis and help my brother run a grocery store for
about 3 months. I was miserable and missed being in broadcasting. Oddly
enough, I didn't miss being on the air, just being around the industry.
I called Louisa Henson at WLRS-FM in Louisville and begged for a
job. As luck would have it, the promotions director job was available and
I took it. My only request was that I not have to do airshifts any longer
because I felt they led to a professional dead end.
Naturally, when one of the WLRS deejays would call in drunk, I was
summoned to fill in for them. Then I was persuaded to take the afternoon
drive slot in 1981. Not long thereafter, Dan Burgess left to go to
WHAS Radio and left a vacancy for a co-host of the morning show with a
kind but soured-on-life jaded hippie named Ron Clay.
We formed the "Morning Sickness" show and it became a monstrous hit for
WLRS. It wasn't long before arch rival WQMF came calling in December 1982.
After a brief negotiation which jumped our salaries from $25,000 to
$32,000, we jumped ship.
WLRS filed a lawsuit claiming "verbal agreements" were in place to extend
work contracts for both announcers. The lawsuit was mostly dismissed by
the judge, thus, Ron Clay and Terry Meiners were allowed to switch to WQMF
with the stipulation that there'd be no transfer of the exact sketches or
any other intellectual property from the WLRS show to WQMF.
It was the only time the word "intellectual" was ever used in conjunction
with the careers of Ron Clay and/or Terry Meiners.
The judge also demanded that the duo not transfer the show's name, so the
new WQMF show was called "The Show With No Name." The new show commenced
in January 1983 and was a dominant player in Louisville radio until Terry
Meiners left to take the afternoon drive slot at WHAS Radio in June 1985.
A six month non-competition clause with WQMF kept Terry off of the new
station until "The Terry Meiners Show" debuted on December 2, 1985.
Now in its 25th year (as of 2009), The Terry Meiners Show is still a
dominant, prominent fixture in the Louisville media landscape.
I worked at WLAP AM-FM
from Jan. 1980 to Jan. 1982. Phil Miller was the news director. I was an
anchor/reporter. My first shift was 3:00-10:30 when news was expanded to
included evening newscasts. Before that, I worked at WLEX-TV as an
engineer and at WRSL AM-FM in Stanford for two years where I was an
on-air announcer. I always used my real name except for a brief stint
when I moonlighted in Frankfort under the name Tony Phillips. I was a
frequent guest panelist on Sue Wylie’s Your Government show on WLEX, so
when an opening developed there for an assignment editor, she encouraged
me to apply and I got the job. Sue was also instrumental in getting me
where I am today. She recommended that my old boss, Tommy Preston,
interview me. That was in 1985 and I’ve been here ever since and have
owned the firm since 1997. I’ve always joked that when I ever retire,
I’ll go back into radio somewhere because I loved it, but I couldn’t
make any money in news.
My most embarrassing moment happened on the 3:00-10:30 shift. I
prerecorded the FM news cast, which actually aired at 10:20. I cut out
right after the AM newscast. As is was driving home to Harrodsburg, I
heard the newscast; and then heard it again; and again. The deck wasn’t
reading the end cue on the cart. Before cell phones, so I can’t reach
the board operator. Someone must have finally called and got his
attention. Could have lost my job over that one.
Jack Shell in the WMHX Chestnut Center
I did mornings at WMHX in
Louisville from 1999-2001. Although my time at Mix 103.9 in Louisville
isn’t my favorite career memory, my time living in that amazing city is.
Still hold a special place in my heart for Louisville after all these
Chrissie Mueller, the WMHX promotions
director with Jack Shell at a Mix 103.9 event in J-Town
Wrecked the Mix 103.9 van
(pictured above) not once, but twice. Won big at my first ever Kentucky
Derby. Worked with some amazing talent at Cox Radio/Louisville like Jeff
Ramsey, Diane Williamson, John Ashton, Future Bob, and the late Larry
Miller, all of whom I liked a lot.
The Mix 103.9 airstaff: Terri Foxx, Jack
Shell, Ric Owen and Jennifer Tipton
WMHX was a short-lived
station that could have done more had it had better leadership and more
personality, but it was fun to live in Louisville for two years. I still
miss Hot Brown sandwiches, Moby Dick, and late nights on Bardstown Road.
What great memories.
Air name used
Real name Jack
What airshifts you
did and the positions you held there Morning Drive
Why you left
Where you worked in
radio before WXCL as well as WKZW in Peoria, IL (my hometown),
WWRM in Tampa, FL
Where you worked in
radio after WRQQ, WSM-FM as well as WKDF all in Nashville, TN
(ten years in Nashville), WYCD in Detroit, MI (almost five years in
What you're doing
today and where Middays/Asst Prog Dir, WYCD in Detroit (CBS)
The first time I caught the
radio "bug" was when the station engineer for a local rock station in my
home town, Huntington, WV, offered to let me come for a visit to the
studio of WWHY-AM. I was barely into High School, but I knew I wanted
I had never seen a broadcast console, professional grade turntables, or
anything else remotely connected with a broadcast studio before. "HY"
Radio made me "high" with a desire to learn everything there was to know
about the business, especially the technical particulars. I went,
immediately and secured my FCC 3rd Class license with Broadcast
endorsement, to be ready for any opportunity. Later I'd get the FCC 1st
Class license with Radar endorsement.
I wanted to hang around this station after school to learn from this
engineer, Bob Nixon. The owner of the station, however, wasn't keen on
having bothersome kids hanging around. Bob recommended that I try my luck
with the local school station at Marshall University…WMUL…the Marshall
University Labs station.
There, I met Ann Bauer, the station manager. She had volunteered
her time toward WMUL, aside from her real job, as Station Manager at
WVQM-FM, also in Huntington. She was very accommodating and found a spot
for me, even though, strictly speaking, only students at Marshall were
eligible for such spots.
Dan Steffen at WVQM in Huntington, WV
WMUL was a classical
station…I mean classical…Mozart, et al. I was a 60's rock fan and found
myself bored to tears playing LPs at night of classical music over the
stations booming 10 Watts. I think, on a good night, we had a range that
would cover about 5-miles. Still, it was my first gig, and I was proud to
be "on the air". Ann gave me an opportunity to do filler work during the
holidays at WVQM, as well.
Later, my fate sealed and under contract to move to Louisville KY to
attend the United Electronics Institute (actually in Shively), I was
granted a brief weekend spot on WWHY. I loved it….I was now playing the
Top 40….my music.
Ann Bauer, whom I regarded as a friend, by this time, provided me with a
letter of introduction to take with me to Louisville. It was this letter
that I presented to Dick Brabant at WLRS as part of convincing him
to hire me. I met him at the station, still at the So. 3rd Street
location, at that time, for an interview. He had me to man the controls to
see if I really knew what the heck I was doing, while he asked me the
salient questions about my background, in spite of my wet behind the ears
appearance. I presented him with my letter from Ann Bauer. He read it and
seemed pleased, but the real clincher was watching me cue records, load
the cart machine, and go through the motions of running the board for
about a half hour.
He hired me. My relationship with WLRS had begun. It was the fall of 1967.
Two really wonderful years followed, during which I met numerous great
In 1969, I was recruited by the Collins Radio Co. to move to Dallas and
work in their Broadcast Division. Eventually that division was sold to
Continental Electronics, by the new owner, Rockwell International. I wound
up in their thin film hybrid lab working on the nuclear warhead for the
Poseidon missile. Later I worked on the B-1 and the Space Shuttle. I had
been out of broadcasting for a few years.
I didn't mind, as I had gotten it into my mind that the only people who
make money in broadcast were the station owners….us flunky station
engineers and DJs would continue to be paid like, well….flunkies. Dallas
was a huge market, even then, but the air personalities still churned and
the turnover was great. I didn't want that lifestyle.
I made friends with a station engineer who worked for one of the biggest
stations in the area…KRLD-AM. A 50,000 watt "blowtorch". When I learned
what pay scale was available to that profession, I couldn't believe it.
Perhaps things are different by now, but then broadcast engineers were
I decided to pursue a four year degree. I did. I received my Bachelor's
degree in 1974. I returned to broadcasting during summer breaks to help
pay my tuition. Once more, Ann provided me with opportunities to fill-in
during the summer months, as the regular staff took their respective
vacation breaks. On one occasion, I filled in for nearly the entire summer
for a DJ who had developed some health issues and had taken a prolonged
sick-leave. I decided I didn't want to be a simple engineer, as they were
a dime a dozen. My degree was, therefore, in Solid State Physics…..I
wanted to do research. Never-the-less, my first job, and subsequent career
has all bee in engineering, and engineering management.
Now, I look back and realize that the money was never going to make me
rich, but my time in broadcasting was the most fun time of my life. Do you
suppose there's still room for a 60 year old rocker at some station? I
always thought that I might like to retire and find such a gig, when I
don't have to rely on the pay to actually live on. In October 2007, Radio
Magazine honored me with a picture (an old publicity shot) of 1973 vintage
on their "Sign Off" page at the end of the Oct '07 edition of their
magazine. It was bittersweet. I was honored….but for being a fossil.
Still, it meant a lot to me, even as John Quincy has honored me with a
spot on LKYRadio.com.
I was on the air at WXLN as a part-timer
back in the Summer of 1985. They promoted me a few months later to
full-time midday personality. While I was at WXLN I needed to supplement
my income (it was a commercial Christian music station, but they paid
their employees as if they were a charitable organization!) by doing
morning and afternoon traffic reports on WAVE radio before and after my
airshift at WXLN. On weekends I had shifts at both station so I was a busy
21-year-old! I was Diane Evans on WAVE radio so my full-time bosses
wouldn't get mad.
Eventually I quit WXLN because I thought my future was brighter at
WAVE. It was. One day while I was doing middays, the studio hotline rang.
It was not my PD, but the PD for WHAS radio, Gary Bruce. He'd been
listening and called me while I was on the air (still don't know how he
got the hotline number) to ask me to come talk to him that day about a job
at the "humongous grey eminence at the corner of 6th and Chestnut". It was
October 27, 1987. I got hired to work fulltime as a swing-shift/on-air
fill-in/production monkey. Basically, I did whatever needed to be done.
Gary said that since Liz Curtis had announced her retirement he'd been
scrambling to find a female voice to replace her on the station, which he
called "a bastion of male voices". Nobody could ever replace Liz Curtis,
and I knew that, but I was thrilled nonetheless! At the time I was the
youngest person anyone knew of working fulltime at Kentucky's most
prestigious radio station.
I stayed about 3 years and moved on to do middays at WVEZ in 1990 where I
enjoyed 8 wonderful years. WVEZ was followed by WRKA and finally WULV at 102.3. (That station became The Max
FM while I was
employed there). All in all I was able to remain on the air in Louisville
for over 15 years before my ticket was finally punched in 2001. Budget
cuts, of course. It was a fun ride!
I still do quite a lot of freelance voiceover work from my home studio in
Sellersburg, IN. My fulltime gig now is as Director of Sales at Eifler
Tower Crane and Construction Hoist Company. I know. Weird transition.
About Gary Bruce: he married and left Louisville in 1988 to pursue his
career. After stints in Miami, Cleveland, Cincinnati and Little Rock he
moved back to Louisville because his soon-to-be-ex-wife was a native and
they decided to raise their 2 children here. He called me while I was
still on the air at The Max. Thrilled, I thought it was because he had an
opening at some top ten market! Not quite. He didn't have any friends in
Louisville and when he heard me on the air he remembered that he'd hired
me way back in 1987 -- and thought I'd be someone who could help him get
back into the Louisville social scene.
I didn't quite accomplish that, but four years later we married -- on
October 27, 2005.
Air name used: Diane
Real name (will be
withheld upon request) Same as above. You can use it.
Years/months you worked at
the station: See above. It's a long story and I can barely remember my
birthday so I'm lucky to get the years right!
What airshifts you did and
the positions you held there (like PD, ND, MD, etc.): Pretty much stayed
Why you left: I was
always "poached" to come and work for the competition. Finally, The Max
(Blue Chip Broadcasting) fired me for budget reasons.
Where you worked in radio
before: See above.
Where you worked in radio
after (even if it's after 1990): See above. I always stayed here at home
What you're doing today
and where: I am "erection specialist". Somehow my boss won't let me put
that on my business card, however!
For more history about
Louisville on-air personnel, check out
Page and the
Did you work on the air in Louisville or Lexington before 1990?