In this issue:  How did YOU get YOUR Radio Start?   -   Chattanooga Regional Meeting   -  A John "R" Audio Souvenir  

January 2014

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 WELCOME  TO  2014 !
  TnRHOF President Ralph Vaughn

Looking ahead for the New Year, my optimism includes getting more radio broadcasters, present and former, to join with us in helping preserve the legacy of what our industry means to the state; from one corner to the next.  Ask a question.  What would any community in Tennessee be without a radio station?  Owners, managers, sales, news, on-the-air personalities, engineers and others have been a unique part of the industry that we fell in love with; going back to when the first station in 1921 was signed on the air.  

I appeal to all our members to help spread the news; the Tennessee Radio Hall of Fame is important and needs everyone's support.  Our "Listening Tours" have been successful and we are doing more in 2014: Knoxville, Cookeville and Memphis.  

Please include membership renewal, and taking an active role in the Tennessee Radio Hall of Fame as one of your personal Resolutions in the New Year.

Ralph Vaughn 

 HOW DID YOU GET INTO RADIO?             Compiled by Melissa McDonald

The New Year is all about beginnings – 12 new months on a calendar, lots of New Year’s resolutions (even though some are quickly broken!) and the general sense of having a clean slate and starting anew. We thought it would be interesting to ask some of our members about when they were new to radio, and how they got their start in the business. We received a huge response and will feature a sampling of your stories over the next few issues. Here’s what we've learned from some of you:

Charlie Scott: "When I returned to Nashville in March 1953 from Army service during the Korean War, I went to see Ralph Emery, who was on the air at WNAH radio. Ralph had been a classmate at East High school in 1948. Ralph told me that he broke into radio by training at the Tennessee School of Broadcasting on West End, and he suggested I use my GI Bill funds to do the same. I took Ralph's advice, completed the course, and was hired when I auditioned for a spot on the staff of WSIX radio in downtown Nashville. Fifty-seven years later, in 2010, I retired from broadcasting."

Tom Britt: "I got into radio purely by accident. My plans were to attend college and become a teacher and basketball coach. But, during my senior year of high school, I started hanging around a friend who worked at a radio station. He let me cut some commercials and that radio bug got a hold of me. I found the Tennessee Institute Of Broadcasting in Nashville, run by a gentleman named Lee Buck, enrolled, got my Third Class and First Class radio licenses, cut some tapes and landed a job with the Dixie Radio Network's 1310 WDXI in Jackson in April of 1970. I should say thanks to Charlie Sims for giving a country boy from down on the farm a chance to do radio. And now, 42 years later, even though I'm doing TV, I still enjoy broadcasting games on the UT Martin Sports Network heard on stations owned by Paul Tinkle. Radio has been quite the ride that has allowed me to broadcast from cities all across the country. And for that I am thankful."

Doug Combs: "I was always interested in radio. At the age of 14, I built my own station in the basement of my parents’ home in Kentucky, and began broadcasting to the neighborhood at one-quarter of a watt. Shortly before my 16th birthday, my parents drove me to Nashville for one of the regional testing days held by the FCC. I passed the test, and after my 3rd Class “ticket” (with the broadcast endorsement) arrived, I scheduled an appointment with the manager of the local radio station. Arriving with an audition tape (7” reel) in one hand and my license in the other, I was ready for work. The manager suggested that they start me on the FM station (WGGC-FM/Bowling Green, KY), where a beginner like me could do no harm, since most of the audience listened to their AM. Sunday afternoons with Reds Baseball was my assignment for a couple of months. If the game finished early, I played country music until the next shift started. If I remember correctly, we had a lot of rain delays or double-headers that summer!


--- He keeps going, and going, and going... December 31st, 2013, is Luther Masingill's 73rd anniversary being on the air. David Carroll, Advisory Board Member, did a recent story on his website.

--- A committee has been formed to collect and purchase Tennessee radio memorabilia, including old microphones, on-air signage, transmitter parts, and anything related to TN radio stations.  If you have items you'd like to donate (or purchase on Ebay, Craigslist, etc.) please contact Nick Archer at . Nick also oversees the TRHOF Facebook page which now boasts over 790 members.

--- We are currently looking for TRHOF 2014 BANQUET sponsorships.  Please contact Chip Chapman at

--- Looking for a gig or have a spot to fill?  Post it HERE next month! 



Carlos Clemente

Vince Tapler


An upcoming joint meeting of the Board of Directors and the Advisory Board will be January 18th. Check "Events" on our website.

Know of a radio gig?  Share with us and we'll get the word out..full time, part time, vacation....we'll get the word out! 


Have a Valentine's Day radio story you'd like to share? We appreciate the tremendous response for your personal stories...we will showcase them in our newsletter throughout the coming months and encourage others to send us your stories, trivia, and news.. 

Email yours to                       


Any news related to our membership is greatly appreciated (along with an associated photo).  Please continue to send us "TRIVIA" about yourself, too!  Our next newsletter will be published February 1, 2014 with a content submission deadline of January 25th. Send your information to any of the newsletter committee members listed below.

Bradley "Slim" Williamson, father of Tennessee Radio Hall Of Fame Founding Board Member Cliff Williamson, passed away Christmas Day. He owned several radio stations in TN and GA, and made his mark in the music business with Chart Records. A more complete biography may be found here: .

WDIA/Memphis announcer Captain Curtis Lee - Video from WMC-TV

Our thoughts and condolences are with these Tennessee Radio Hall Of Fame members who have recently lost close family members: Melissa McDonald, Dave Nichols, Chip Chapman, Ralph Vaughn. 


On December 14, 2013, the Board of Directors of the Tennessee Radio Hall of Fame certified the election of the 2014 Inductees in the Career (living) and Legacy (posthumous) categories. A list of those winners is found here:


Johnny Pirkle and Ralph Vaughn chat with Craig Tyndall of Chattanooga. 

The 18th annual Veterans of Radio Wars luncheon was held December 5th in Chattanooga with 61 former and current radio broadcasters attending. For the Tennessee Radio Hall of Fame, it was an occasion to continue the series of "Listening Tours" across the state to promote the Hall. Representing the HOF Board of Directors were Doug Combs from Smyrna, Gary Beaty from Nashville, Johnny Pirkle from Knoxville, Chip Chapman and Garry Mac from Chattanooga and Ralph Vaughn from Murfreesboro. 

The three-hour event featured funny and interesting stories from the attendees. Radio and television personality
David Carroll opened the meeting and welcomed everyone. Garry Mac then passed the microphone around the room for introductions and "war stories".

The Hall of Fame will be on the road to Knoxville in February when Board member Johnny Pirkle will host a meeting with the East Tennessee area radio broadcasters. Other future meetings include Cookeville for the Upper Cumberland area and in Memphis prior to the May 3, 2014 Induction Ceremony in Murfreesboro.  


Radio hosts from time to time find themselves on vinyl. Tennessee's on-air talent is no exception. C'mon, we know the 45s still exist in someone's collection! If you have any, or can provide links to, custom record productions by Tennessee radio people or stations, we want to feature them here. Anything from Rufus Thomas' "Walkin' the Dog" to the WMAK DJs' 1963 "The Ballad of Copper Hill" can qualify.  Here's a rare find from Tennessee Radio HOF Legacy Inductee John "R"  Richbourg from the 50,000-watt night signal of 1510/WLAC. Look closely at the label. "Mo Jo Blues" was released through Mercury Records, and produced by Jerry Kennedy (Statler Brothers). Doesn't hurt to have contacts!  

CLICK TO LISTEN to "Mo Jo Blues" by John "R"


 Board members 
George Plaster, Buddy Sadler

On December 14, 2013, a joint meeting was held of both The Board and The Advisory Board of the Tennessee Radio Hall of Fame. The main order of business was to certify the election results for the 2014 class of inductees to the Hall.

Board member and Treasurer Sharon Kay

While others joined in via phone conference to complete our quorum, in attendance were Doug Combs, Gary Beaty, Nick Archer, Sharon Kay, George Plaster, Buddy Sadler, Charlie Scott, Mike Medley, Melissa McDonald, Skip Woolwine, and Ralph Vaughn.

Shh!  Board member and Secretary Chip Chapman about to announce the winners.

Remember that our monthly Board/Advisory Board meetings are usually open to our regular members. We have nothing to hide! Except our innate shyness. If you are already a member and have an interest in sitting in on one of our meetings, please let President Ralph Vaughn know in advance. We need a headcount to ensure a proper coffee-and-doughnut take-out order for Nick Archer en route.

 TECH TALK by Cathy Martindale
Local Radio heard over your smartphone!
There's an app from NextRadio® that's available on some smartphones (Sprint & Virgin) now that lets you get the FULL experience on local FM radio stations. It works with a smartphone that has an activated FM radio chip. By combining broadcast radio with the smartphone's data back channel, radio stations can provide an interactive experience to smartphone users. BASICALLY, if you can tune local FM radio into your car, you can tune it into your smartphone*. “Whether the station is large market, medium market, small market, commercial or non-commercial, this free service will provide listeners with a visual radio listening experience on the FM-enabled smartphone. Radio stations no longer have to add the cost of Internet Streaming to get local FM radio on a mobile device,” said Paul Brenner, Emmis’ Chief Technology Officer and President, NextRadio®, LLC.
Some of the features we love are:
1) When compared with streaming, NextRadio uses less of your battery because the audio is coming through your phone’s built-in FM tuner* instead of over the internet.
2) Stations are listed by logo, slogan, programming description, favorites, or use a traditional tuner. The "now playing" feature shows all visual content, like album covers and credits, and anything interactive that the radio station puts out there.
3) Call in or text the shows you love. NextRadio gives you the ability to send instant feedback to the station whenever and wherever you’re listening. Listeners can buy the song instantly, too, and can "like" or "dislike" the song and it'll send that instant feedback right to the radio station. How invaluable is that info for broadcasters?
Wow! Radio stations can include pictures of personalities, bio information, promotions and events, web and social media links and enhance advertising spots...To see a demonstration of the NextRadio® app, go to To sign your station up for this free service, visit
What's next for 2014? I guess HOLOGRAM radio has to be next on the list....Beam me up, Scotty!
    ~~ Cathy

  Newsletter staff:
Editor: Cathy Martindale   
Buddy Sadler
Melissa McDonald
Skip Woolwine
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