Page updated August 23, 2016

 

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Louisville and Lexington DJ Page

For more history about Louisville on-air personnel, check out
 the 79WAKY.com DJs Page and the 1080WKLO.com DJs Page.

Did you work on the air in Louisville or Lexington before 1990?

Wes Alan

  • 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.) Weekends/swing/fill-in
  • 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)

Don Bader

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.

 Carl Blanton

WLRS-FM (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 threatening me.

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 company.

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.

Cruiser

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 Concert Line.

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 people!

LRS was was my only radio gig. I left after I married and propagated, needing a job with "normal" hours.

Today I'm an engineer with an electronic component company.

Dennis Dillon

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 Director.

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.

Tony Edwards

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 Prince Albert.

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 years ago.

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 mrroc31@att.net.

Ted Foster

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.
Lexington, Kentucky
February 2016

 Scott Goettel

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 work part-time
 at WRKA while still remaining full-time at WSAC. (I left WRKA in March or April 1984.) 

January 1984: 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 it!  

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 Elizabethtown.

Lou Henry

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.

Lou Kloufetos

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

Jerry Leitzell

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 and media.

Although Jerry Leitzell has been involved in the Fort Knox schools for more than a decade, his career in the media began much earlier, quite by accident.

Leitzell, who was teaching English at Elizabethtown Community College at the time, recalled that his news career began by simply listening to the radio.

"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 better.

"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 miners died.

  • 1977 - The Beverly Hills Supper Club fire in Newport, Kentucky that killed 165 people and injured scores more.

  • 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 controllers.)

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.

Ken MacHarg

  • 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

Dave McCree

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.

Terry Meiners

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 this memo 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 era.

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 of it.

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.

Phil Osborne

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


Jack Shell in the WMHX Chestnut Center studio

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 years.


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 Jack Shell

  • Real name Jack Shell

  • Years/months 1999-2001

  • What airshifts you did and the positions you held there Morning Drive

  • Why you left Format change

  • 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 Motown)

  • What you're doing today and where Middays/Asst Prog Dir, WYCD in Detroit (CBS)

Dan Steffen

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 more.

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 folks.

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 notoriously underpaid.

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.

Diane Williamson

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 Williamson

  • 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 in Middays. 

  • 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 in Louisville.  

  • 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
 the 79WAKY.com DJs Page and the 1080WKLO.com DJs Page.

Did you work on the air in Louisville or Lexington before 1990?

 

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