In this issue:   Crook & Chase To Host Induction Ceremony  -   Regional Meetings Announced   -  45 RPM WMAK Audio Souvenir  

February 2014

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 Cookeville, Knoxville

We are making good on our commitment to travel the state to meet broadcasters from all 3 grand divisions. High on our priority list is to recruit new members to bring a geographic balance to the organization's voting ranks, for the purpose of fairly honoring TN broadcasters from all market sizes and in all regions of the state.

Saturday, February 15th - Knoxville
(12:00 Noon Eastern Time) Johnny Pirkle welcomes us to the East Tennessee Tn RHOF Meet 'n' Greet at the famous Bearden Banquet Hall (Look for Buddy's Bar-B-Q).  Come meet your radio cousins and let's pump up our East TN membership!

Bearden Banquet Hall 
5806 Kingston Pike
Knoxville, TN 37919

Saturday, March 15th - Cookeville
Mike and Martin Medley of the historic WHUB/Cookeville family host a regional listening tour for the Tennessee Radio Hall of Fame. 

Crawdaddy's Grill 53 West Broad Street
Cookeville, TN  

Everyone is invited to come, but we ask that you RSVP to so we'll have a better idea of how many to plan for. We'll discuss the Tennessee Radio Hall of Fame and upcoming events. In order to have as many attendees as possible, please feel free to pass along the invitation to anyone who has worked in Tennessee radio for at least 2 years, in ANY capacity...whether still active in the industry, or not. There is no obligation (other than paying for your own lunch), so come meet your fellow broadcasters from around the state and enjoy an afternoon of swapping stories and learning about the Tennessee Radio Hall of Fame.


See if you can guess Who's Who among our Tennessee Radio Hall Of Fame membership. 
(Answers at the bottom)

1. He's authored 5 books and they're currently available on Amazon for as little as a penny and as much as $55!
2. Went to high school with Don Williams and graduated with Farrah Fawcett
3. A Memphis native who co-founded Nashville's first sports-talk radio program, "Sportsnuts," on WSIX in 1980

 A. Dave Nichols  B. CC McCartney  C. Ralph Emery

HOW DID YOU GET INTO RADIO? Compiled by Melissa McDonald

Steve Bowers - As a High School Senior Class Officer, I was sent to WHOS-AM / WDRM-FM in Decatur, Alabama to cut a PSA for our school's American Red Cross Blood Drive. It was late afternoon and the only person left when I arrived (other than the two on-air personalities) was the station's Sales Manager, Mr. Smith. He introduced himself and took me back to the production room and then inquired about my copy. I told him I did not have a script. With a roll of his eyes and the certainty that he was going to be stuck with me for an extended time, he asked how I knew what I was going to say and how I intended to time the spot. Not knowing any better, I informed him that I would just "watch my watch."  Skeptical, but ever polite, he demonstrated simultaneous "play" and "record" and left me to my work. Less than a minute later, and after one take, I opened the production room door and informed Mr. Smith that the spot was completed.
He rewound the tape, played the spot, and said, "Young man, that is fine. Very good. Appreciate you doing this."  With that, we parted with no expectation on my part of ever seeing Mr. Smith or WHOS-AM ever again (It was 1968; WHOS was a Country Station; and I was 18).  Apparently, Mr. Smith began a campaign on my behalf contending for anyone that would listen to the recorded PSA that "this kid" may have some kind of knack for this. He reminded the GM that there was always a need for weekend coverage, vacation fill-in during the summer and that I just might be the guy. Eventually the GM, Lewis Blizzard, asked my father, who owned a service station where I worked after school and weekends, if it would be OK if they trained me after school and made plans to send me to Atlanta to take the 3rd Class License Test. That completed, I spent my senior year and the following summer working weekends and vacation fill-ins. After that summer I left to attend college and never returned to WHOS / WDRM.  I attended college in Tennessee and Arkansas with a Major in Religion and Minor in Greek and began a career in the Ministry. With life changes, I left that work only to realize that my college work prepared me for nothing else. Despite degrees, I wasn't certified to teach, had no specific business related degrees or anything readily marketable. BUT, I did have a 3rd Class License and radio experience.  Without either of us realizing it, Mr. Smith changed my life! Radio is a 35-year career that I love and continue to this day.

Those are just a few stories from our members. If you share more with us, we’ll run more articles like this. Just email Melissa McDonald ( ) with your story.


We've had two Tennessee Radio Hall of Fame members on national TV within the past week:

 Gator Harrison Phil Valentine

Gator Harrison, works for WUSY-FM,  US101 in Chattanooga, was on ABC's "Nashville," playing (of all things) a country music DISC JOCKEY in Chattanooga!

TRHOF Advisory Board member Phil Valentine, a nationally syndicated personality out of Nashville, was featured on Fox News' "Stossel" this past week!

Congrats, Guys! Way to represent!



Pat Reilly
Kirk Harnack
Richard White
Cam Cornelius
Tom Rains
Marcia Campbell
Tom Hammett
Melissa McDonald
Larry Doxey
Dottie Hale
Dennis Thibodeaux
John Stracener


As you'll recall from last month's newsletter, we featured a 45 released through Mercury records, the artist of which was WLAC's nighttime R&B DJ John "R" Richbourg.  Radio hosts from time to time find themselves on vinyl. If you have any such discs in your collection, or can provide links to custom record productions by Tennessee radio people or stations, we want to feature them here. This month, let's listen to the WMAK(Nashville) DJs' 1963 "The Ballard of Copper Hill".Folks around Chattanooga might be familiar with the topic of the ditty: The state of Georgia claimed Copper Hill TN belonged to GA. Even today the interstate land spat lives on. But there's more to it.

There's a "rest-of-the-story" recording on its flipside by TNRHOF Inductee Noel Ball, the "Story Of The Ballard Of Copper Hill". (We want to know if the typo was intentional!)  Click the links to listen.

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



May 3, 2014 (5pm)
The Embassy Suites - Murfreesboro

It has just been confirmed that Nashville-based, nationally-syndicated radio and TV hosts Charlie Chase and Lorianne Crook will be the co-Masters of Ceremonies for the 3rd Annual Hall of Fame Banquet and Induction Ceremony. Chase was inducted to the Hall Of Fame last year.

Tickets to the Banquet and Ceremony will be on sale soon. This year, you will be able to go to the website to order using Paypal or a credit card. Tables of 10 can be purchased at a discount.  For a limited period of time before sales are opened to the general public, TNRHOF members will have first shot at ordering tickets and tables via the website.  We are running the final numbers now, and it won't be long. Keep watching your email's inbox for the "On Sale Now" announcement. So for now, save the date! 

And because you asked, a list of those 2014 HOF Induction winners is found here:

We're hearing that this years' inductee as Legendary Station, WIVK/Knoxville, is already running on-air promos as the award winner at the upcoming banquet.

Congratulations to a truly legendary radio station with a legacy that goes beyond the State of Tennessee.

Donna Brake -
WSM-FM Nashville, WSB-FM Atlanta, WMOT-FM and WMGS Murfreesboro

Alan Clark -
WDEF Chattanooga, WCDT Winchester, Vol Network

Karen Gerson Duncan -
WSM-FM, WLAC-FM Nashville, WSB-FM Atlanta

John Stracener

James Milliner
 On January 18, 2014, a joint meeting was held of both The Board and The Advisory Board of the Tennessee Radio Hall of Fame. 
 One of the main topics of interest was Ralph Vaughn's update on the status of the Organization's 501c3 application. He reported that the IRS says they have huge backlog of about a year more or less.
L-R Chip Chapman, John Young, Ralph Vaughn, Doug Combs

 While others joined in via phone conference to complete our quorum, in attendance were Doug Combs, Cathy Martindale, Gary Beaty, Nick Archer, Sharon Kay, Buddy Sadler, Mike Medley, Melissa McDonald, John Young, Skip Woolwine, Chip Chapman and Ralph Vaughn.

L-R Chip Chapman, Melissa McDonald, John Young

 Remember that our monthly Board/Advisory Board meetings are open to our regular members.  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. Our Next meeting is March 22, 2013. Check the website for more details.
L-R Melissa McDonald, Mike Medley, Buddy Sadler


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 March 1, 2014 with a content submission deadline of February 25th. Send your information to any of the newsletter committee members listed below.

1. C        2.B       3.A

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