WEKY Information Page
By David Cox
|The WEKY Information Page is starting to receive responses from former employees
and early listeners. WEKY was a spring-board for hundreds of young broadcasters
starting their careers, many of which have enjoyed a long tenure in broadcasting. Many
others have moved into other professions but still have fond memories of Richmond and
I still need all the help you can give me in order to capture the history. If you worked
at WEKY, no matter when or how long ago, please send your information to me. WEKY
has been around for a long time, starting in October of 1953. I need history, dates,
stories, pictures, audio etc.
I am also interested, in starting a history page for WKXO Berea. Any help would be
Send to: Coxde3@aol.com
To get us started, thanks to John Quincy, here are a few audio files:
Here are a few audio files from 1982 and a WEKY "Hot Wax Weekend".
Using the name Dave Madison, I did a few weekends in 82 for Bill Walters.
A very young John Quincy on his
17 birthday December 24, 1972 at
WEKY McKee Building studio in
I also worked for WEKY in 1965. I was 18 and did the 6 PM to Midnight shift
(sorry no audio, lucky you). As I recall, the station was owned by either
Henkin Inc. or Tinker Inc. Jim Kincer (see below) was the Station Manager.
Also working, at that time, was Buddy Kay (Kincer), Ralph Hacker, Ralph
Gabbard, the late Ron Statzer, and others. The station was located in the
McKee Building in downtown Richmond. I remember the large fire, just a block
up from the radio station at Jimmy's Restaurant. We ran microphone cable out
the front window to a news person on the sidewalk below. I also remember, via
AP wire service, covering the New York blackout on November 9, 1965. I
also remember Buddy and John Fox traveling to Northern Kentucky to give us
reports on a tragic air accident at the Cincinnati airport. I also remember the
EKU Homecoming weekend when I was scheduled to work three to midnight and
then be replaced by someone else. When he didn't make it, I worked until
Noon the next day. I have one picture of the old control room, on the second
floor of the McKee Building.
John's memories of WEKY
WEKY was a 24-hour Top 40 station in Richmond,
the home of Eastern Kentucky University -- and
other than the times I was on the air there,
sounded quite good for station in a town of its
size. The power was 1000 watts during the day,
250 watts at night. I worked two shifts each
weekend during my 2-month tenure there:
6:00-10:00 a.m. on Saturdays and 6:00 p.m. till
midnight on Sundays. I think I made $1.80 an
hour at WEKY. Moving on up!
WEKY didn't use any jingles on the air at this
time, but had these killer IDs voiced by Gary
Burbank (who was then at WAKY in Louisville).
WEKY had a Gates board that was so old that you
had to throw the mic key to the left to turn it on.
(On most boards the mic key is flipped to the
right.) Spots came from a 5-deck Spotmaster
Bill Purdom is now Creative Director at
the Cox Broadcasting in Orlando, Florida.
I am in the process of setting up a growing list of former WEKY
employees and some history of each. Jim Kincer has recently added
several names to my list but we need additional information on when
they were with WEKY and memories of the experience. Any help will
be greatly appreciated .
Jim Kincer (Jimmy "K") writes:
I just came across your (History) web pages for WEKY and WIRV
(impressive and brings back many memories). If you haven't already included
the names below on your list, you may want to add, so we can gather
information about each, if possible.
John Sullivan (Deceased)
Jim Brown (Somerset)
Ralph Gabbard (Deceased)
Bryan Crawford (Famous author Louisville)
Mark Neeley (Public Relations for City of Cincinnati, OH)
GC Kincer (Former of several radio stations in east KY and VA) (Retired)
Buddy Kincer (Buddy Kay)(retired in Chicago)
Icabod Powell (very early morning in the early 60's)
Dave Bratcher (Louisville)
Woody Stiles (Deceased)
Johnny Fox (Retired Daytona Beach, FL)
Dave Slack (Salesman)(Deceased)
Tinker (Fox) Slack (Daytona, FL) Namesake "Tinker, INC"
Robert "Bob" Spradlin (Mt Sterling last I knew)
Just my initial "memory" but more will come to mind.
Good Luck and I will be glad to help you (as best I can) with this effort.
Ray Cole writes:
My name is Ray Cole, I live in Lexington Ky. I have been a regular listener of
the Coyote for the last 4 years I enjoy it very much. When WEKY signed on in
1953 the studios were located in the McKee building corner of First and Main
streets. They would sign on the air at 6am and sign off at midnight daily. They
joined the Mutual broadcasting system for news, programming and baseball
games. The station manager was O.C.Halyard. The morning man was John
Sullivan, the newsman was Bob Doll, the country music was handled by Ichabod
Powell. They broadcast the EKU football and basketball games, also Madison
Central and Madison high football games. Later on came Charlie Masten and Bob
Spradling they broadcast the play by play games. If you would like more info
about the early days let me know.
I remember some names in the early days of WEKY. There was Don Stewart
who did the music till midnight show every evening, he played the pop music.
There was also Bob Hanger took over in 1955 after Bob Doll went to Mount
Sterling. The first WEKY engineer was Reed Anderson who went to WCYN in
Cynthiana. Then there was the very young Wayne Gregory and there was also a
guy named Ray Hooper. Some of the programing was the man on the street
program and a lot of the Mutual radio networks shows. When the station first
signed on it had 250 watts then went to 1,000 watts. Back in those days they
had great music like Dean Martin, Perry Como, Frank Sinatra and Rosemary
Dave,have a great evening Ray of Lexington
Thanks Ray of Lexington
Bill Buchanan writes::
GLAD TO REHASH! AS A BROADCASTER I HAVE NO SHORTAGE OF
STORIES TO TELL.. I WAS ONLY AT WEKY FOR A FEW MONTHS IN
1964 BUT MY MEMORIES EXTEND LONGER SINCE I WAS RAISED IN
RICHMOND. THAT WAS BACK IN THE EARLY DAYS OF O.C. HALYARD,
BOB DOLL, JOHN SULLIVAN, AL WEAVER, JIMMY AND BUDDY KINCER.
BEFORE GOING TO WORK THERE I HUNG AROUND THERE A BIT AND
REMEMBER WHEN THEY WENT FROM 250 WATTS TO 1000 THEY HAD
A SLOGAN THAT SAID: "1000 WATTS THAT SOUNDS LIKE A
MILLION" BEFORE I GOT MARRIED, I OCCASIONALLY WAS AT THE
STATION, WHILE IN COLLEGE, VISITING. JIMMY KINCER AKA
"JIMMY KAY". HE HAD A FABULOUS NEW PLYMOUTH FURY
CONVERTIBLE, EGGSHELL BLUE. HE WAS THE FIRST PERSON TO HIRE
ME IN RADIO. I HAD WORKED IN NEWSPAPER BUT THIS WAS WHAT
I WANTED TO DO.
WHEN I FIRST CAME ON BOARD I DID SALES WITH RALPH
HACKER - I DID MOST OF MY COMMERCIALS THAT I SOLD, THE MAN
ON THE STREET AND I WAS SANTA CLAUS - READING LETTERS
FROM KIDS TO THE JOLLY OLD ELF. I WAS TOLD TO GO OUT AND
FIND A SPONSOR FOR SANTA CLAUS - I DID AND WHEN I ASKED
WHO WAS SANTA CLAUS - JIMMY KINCER SAID, YOU SOLD IT -YOU
DO IT. GULP!!!! J..J.. NEWBERRY'S 5 & DIME WAS THE SPONSOR.
WHY DO I REMEMBER THESE THINGS? I CAME IN EITHER LATE
SEPTEMBER OR EARLY OCTOBER OF 1964 AND LEFT IN MARCH OR
APRIL OF 1965.
ONE OF THE FIRST THINGS I DID AT WEKY WAS TO GIVE RE-BIRTH
TO "THE MAN ON THE STREET" PROGRAM IT WAS AN INTERVIEW
PROGRAM WITH FOLKS WALKING BY THE STATION. WE DID IT IN
FRONT OF THE DOOR LEADING UPSTAIRS TO THE STATION IN
FRONT OF THE MCKEE BUILDING DOWNTOWN. MY VERY FIRST DAY I
WAS READING A COMMERCIAL FOR A USED CAR LOT, (BAD IDEA-
TOO MANY DISTRACTIONS) WHEN A DRUNK WALKED UP AND
STARTED TRYING TO TALK TO ME – SO, AS I READ, I TURNED IN A
SLOW CIRCLE TO GET AWAY FROM HIM... AS I TURNED I WRAPPED
THE MIC CABLE AROUND MY LEGS. FINALLY I FINISHED THE SPOT
AND IN ROOKIE BROADCAST BRILLIANCE I BLURTED OUT - WHO ARE
YOU.... THE DRUNK SAID "WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING".. NOT A
GOOD START. THE MAN ON THE STREET HAD BEEN DONE FOR YEARS
BY OC. HALYARD, BOB DOLL, BOB SPRADLIN AND OTHERS BUT HAD
BEEN DISCONTINUED UNTIL I RESTARTED IN 1964.
ANOTHER STORY: ONE DAY I GOT BACK FROM LUNCH TO FIND THAT
A GUY I HAD ONCE KNOWN FAIRLY WELL AS A GOOD BUDDY OF MY
BEST FRIEND AT EKU. HIS REAL NAME IS HARVEY YEARY - BUT HAD
MORE RECENTLY CHANGED IT TO LEE MAJORS WHEN HE WENT TO
HOLLYWOOD AND BECAME AN ACTOR. HE WAS AT WEKY TO DO AN
INTERVIEW WITH OUR TOP NAME OF THE DAY, JOHN SULLIVAN.
HARVEY HAD JUST SIGNED TO BE HEATH BARKLEY IN THE SOON TO
BE IMMENSELY POPULAR TV SERIES - BIG VALLEY. HE CAME OUT OF
THE CONTROL ROOM, AFTER THE INTERVIEW, AND REMEMBERED ME.
WE SHOOK HANDS AND SAID HE WANTED TO SHOW YOU MY NEW
CAR WE WENT TO THE FRONT WINDOW, LOOKED DOWN ON MAIN
STREET WHERE HE POINTED AT A DARK LIME COLORED CADILLAC
CONVERTIBLE. IT HAD A LIGHT TAN CONVERTIBLE TOP. MY GOD IT
WAS THE UGLIEST THING I HAD EVER SEEN, BUT BRAND NEW
HARVEY WANTED ME TO TELL HIM HOW BEAUTIFUL IT WAS - SO I
DID. IF I HAD KNOWN HE WOULD BE THE BIONIC MAN LATER I
WOULD HAVE BEEN MORE FLATTERING BUT I DID THE BEST I COULD.
SORRY ABOUT THIS ALL CAPS, I ACTUALLY DEVELOPED THE HABIT AT
WEKY WHERE JIMMY KINCER, THE STATION MANAGER TOLD US TO
TYPE IN ALL CAPS BECAUSE THE TYPE WAS TOO SMALL ON OUR
TYPEWRITERS. I HAVE NEVER BROKEN THE BAD HABIT. NOW YOU
KNOW WHAT THEY SAY ABOUT ALL CAPS ON EMAILS.
BOB DOLL WAS A BIG INFLUENCE IN MY EARLY RADIO LIFE. AFTER
LEAVING WEKY, I WORKED FOR BOB AT WMST AND HIS SMALL
STATION CHAIN AND CAN TELL YOU HE HUNG THE MOON. HE WAS
AT WEKY IN ITS EARLIEST DAYS AND WAS A GREAT TEACHER WHEN
I WORKED FOR HIM IN MT. STERLING AND DELAWARE OHIO.
WHATEVER IS GOOD ABOUT ME AND MY 44 YEAR CAREER BOB DOLL
GETS CREDIT FOR THE BROADCASTING PART. I WANTED TO
MANAGE A STATION SO EVENTUALLY LEFT FOR TEXAS IN 1969 TO
MANAGE KGTN IN GEORGETOWN. THERE I PUT THEIR FM ON THE
AIR. AFTER FIVE YEARS I WENT TO LOCKHART TEXAS TO MANAGE
AND GET A MINORITY OWNERSHIP. AFTER 3 1/2 YEARS THERE I
GOT CONTROLLING OWNERSHIP HERE IN LIBERTY IN 1977 AND
HAVE REMAINED HERE .
I DON'T KNOW IF YOU HAVE EVER HEARD OF SPLIT CHANNEL SPOTS
- BUT I DEVELOPED THAT. IT HAS BEEN WRITTEN UP IN SEVERAL
TRADES, PLUS READERS DIGEST, NEW YORK TIMES, AND SOME
OTHERS. IT IS STILL USED ON A FEW RADIO STATIONS AROUND
THERE WAS SOME REFERENCE TO WAYNE GREGORY AS BEING A
FORMER WEKY ANNOUNCER. HE AND I WERE CHILDHOOD, CHURCH
AND SCHOOL FRIENDS. I REMEMBER VERY WELL WHEN HE GOT INTO
RADIO. THAT WAS WELL BEFORE I DID. IN THOSE DAYS THERE
WERE A LOT OF LIVE COMMERCIALS DONE AND ON WAYNE'S SHIFT
THE LOG CALLED, EVERY DAY, FOR SOME BEER COMMERCIALS.
WAYNE, AS I RECALL, A FAITHFUL BAPTIST, CONCEDED HE WOULD
AIR THE COMMERCIALS IN HIS SHIFT BUT WOULD NOT
READ THEM. MANAGEMENT, AT THAT TIME, APPRECIATED HIS WAY
OF HANDLING IT AND HAD THOSE SPOTS RECORDED BY SOMEONE
ELSE. CLASSY BY BOTH, I THOUGHT. WAYNE WAS AN EXCELLENT
HAM RADIO ENTHUSIAST AND SEVERAL TIMES I SAT BESIDE
HIM, AT HIS HOUSE, AS HE COMMUNICATED WITH PEOPLE ALL
AROUND THE WORLD IN MORSE CODE. TO A JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOL
KID THAT WAS STUNNING.
THAT'S JUST A FEW STORIES - I SURE WOULD LIKE TO SEE YOUR
FINISHED WORK ON THE HISTORY OF A SUPER STATION IN A
WONDERFUL TOWN. GOOD LUCK.
Bob Doll writes:
I was the original program director at WEKY, arriving two weeks before it
went on the air on October 17, 1953. I was the first voice heard on the station
at 5:45 AM that morning with "My Old Kentucky Home" playing in the
background, I introduced O.C. Halyard, well known in the area as the Eastern
football and basketball play by play announcer, on WVLK and other stations on
the Ashland Oil Sports Network. O, C. welcomed the radio audience to the new
station and introduced his pastor, Dr. Poore from the First Baptist Church in
Richmond. I was the original morning disc jockey and did the local news at
Noon and 6:00 PM and most notably "The Man on the Street" program
sponsored by the Rogers Sausage Company of Richmond. I did the program
from in front of the Owen McKee Store on Main Street. WEKY was on the
second floor. The announcer on duty pitched the microphone to me for the
show, Lerman's Department Store became a co-sponsor, so the program was
moved a block up the street to their store. WEKY was my third stop in my
radio career after WDLB, Marshfield, Wisconsin and WCSI, Columbus,
Indiana. It was the most popular radio station of my early career. Before the
interstates were built it was pretty remote, although it was only 25 miles from
Lexington by "bad road." It was a fun, friendly town. It was a great stop in
my early radio career.
|After being out of broadcasting
for twenty-five years or so, here
are a few recent air-checks of
me having fun while filling in for
Ray White on WLFX FM
Please allow a few minutes for
the file to load.
Bob Hauck writes:
Came across your wonderful retrospective on WEKY, Richmond KY, and had to
add my name as an alumnus who went on to (hopefully) bigger and better things
in broadcasting. I was a part-time college student-newsman/DJ hired by the
newly-named manager, Cavin Barnette back in 1959. The previous manager, O.
C. Halyard, was promoted to the Garvice Kincaid station (WCMI) up in Ashland
KY. Staff consisted of John Sullivan and his "early bird," in the mornings,
George Wilcox (great pipes) and an assortment of semi-talent, including myself
in evenings. Also on board was Loretta Halyard, O.C.'s wife, Bob Spradlin in
sales, Charlie Mastin in sales and on EKSC sports, Jim Brown at nights.
Occasionally, when I worked the late shift, I'd sign off the station at 12M then
re-sign it on, clandestinely, and play perfectly anonymous smooth jazz directed
to a few co-ed friends at the college. Worked well until I was caught by Cavin
and appropriately reprimanded.
I was kind of responsible for bring Ralph Hacker on board, who went on to a
successful and varied career in sports play by play at UK and
management/ownership at WVLK, Lexington. By the way, that's all true about
Harvey Yeary (Lee Majors). We were football player/roomates, residing in
the infamous Hangar Stadium. He disappeared in 1960 and turned up next on
the Big Valley. Yeary is from Middlesboro KY.
I went on to a career in broadcasting ownership, with stations in NC, WCMI in
Ashland, as well as several in Florida. Now retired at age 69 and living in
Ocala FL and would love to hear from any other WEKY, WCMI, Bluegrass
Byron Crawford writes:
Stumbled across the WEKY/WIRV Website and remember both stations very
well. I can still see you sitting at the board at WIRV and I can well remember
my mornings at the old Gates board at WEKY in late 1965 and part of 1966. I
did mornings at WEKY and then handled the Man on the Street show (with a
mic cord run outside the window) often with my sidekick Buckhorn in tow. He
was the life of the on the street program, a real life Forrest Gump, who loved
the cameo role on the air and was a favorite with listeners.
I also worked as the color commentator on EKU football one season with Jim
Reardon doing play by play. Jimmy Kincer was the station manager,and owner,
I presume. Dwight Goins and G.C. Kincer were jocks, and Harry Minnich came
from Hazard maybe to do news. His future wife, Francis, was a secretary at
I left WEKY in October 1966 to take a job as a full time newsman at WAKY
in Louisville, where Ron Statzer, formerly of WEKY, had worked before
leaving for WCKY in Cincy. Then I took his place at CKY when he moved to
WLW. Ron was later killed in a hang glider accident while a reporter for a
Baltimore TV station.
Harry Minnich followed me to WAKY and then left to do TV news in Winston
Salem, NC. I returned from Cincinnati to WHAS Radio, then moved to WHAS
-TV and then to the Courier-Journal where I retired in Dec. 2008. It is
remarkable how my career path continued to cross many WEKY/WIRV former
employees---Dave Bratcher (Mason Lee Dixon) of KXOK and WAKY fame,
John Quincy, Ralph Gabbard, Ralph Hacker, Buddy and Jimmy Kincer and
others------including you, Mr. Cox----a credit to the profession and a long
time friend, though we have not seen each other for several years.
My best to you and to all of those who once spun records at WEKY and ad
libbed spots from advertisements clipped from the Richmond Register.
Bill Kelly writes:
Wow! This is great!
I was a DJ at WEKY in 1981-82 for Bill Walters and listening to the old Million
Dollar Hot Wax Weekend airchecks brought back a ton of memories.
Rob Ellis (Harkleroad) hired me after I dropped off my 'faked' aircheck.
That's the best word for it since I had never been on the air. I made it at home
using a cassette recorder and two sources for music! He called and said be here
at 5:30pm to undergo some training. After an hour and thirty minutes of
training, he promptly got up and said 'you're on!' My first break was horrible!
I remember trying to read the label as the record spun around 'cause I forgot
who was playing. I walked all over the record, finally blurting out "Gerry & The
Pacemakers on WEKY!" What a disaster, I thought, how could it have been any
worse! Then I blurted out the "F" word to myself, I thought. I pulled my
headphones off and wondered why I didn't hear any music from the studio
monitors. Yup. I cursed on the air in my very first break!
I remember working with Greg Stottlemyer, Gene Hardy, Rob Ellis and others
whose names escape me. Frank Ranicky, another former air personality, lives
here in Tallahassee and recently retired from WCTV-TV after several years as
anchorman. I've also connected with Vince Coakley who worked at WEKY back
in the early 80's. He's doing TV now as is Kirk Harnack who is a weatherman.
Rob Ellis left WEKY to work for WKQQ in Lexington and then on to work for a
record label. I saw him last in the Opryland Hotel for Country Radio Seminar
10-12 years ago. I went on to WFMI-FM in Lexington...KSTT-AM in the Quad
Cities...WJAD-FM in Albany, Georgia and then to WTNT-FM in Tallahassee. I
worked on air from 1986-2000 and then in the sales department through present
I have one old picture of me on the air flying around somewhere that I'll have to
|I am starting a collection of
WEKY Pictures. At this
time, I only have a few. If
you have pictures please
Click Here for WEKY
Dan Watts Writes:
I was on the air there for about two years from 1989-1991 while I was at school at
EKU. I did the night shift after classes as well as some weekend work. Some of the
people that I remember working with are: Dan McBride…I believe he was the PD; Vince
Coakly, on the air; a guy named Chris something was on the air late afternoons before
me; a crazy individual that called himself something insane like the Sunshine Superman
or something like that worked the overnight shift; Ron Boyd I believe was the owner
at the time; Kyle Sowers did a lot of the news stuff; Rob Ellis was doing sales; also
remember Webber Hamilton and Greg Stottlemeyer doing EKU ball games. That was a
long time ago for me, but those are about the only people I remember.
Since then I was on the air in Bowling Green and then got into the sales side in
Columbus OH, Wheeling WV, Scranton PA and now in Cincinnati.
A couple of incidents that I do remember. One is that I was working a long shift on
Christmas Day and one of the other jocks (can’t remember his name) brought some
leftovers from his family’s Christmas dinner to me at the studio. That was too cool
and I’ll never forget that guy remembering a poor lonely college student on Christmas.
Best wishes on developing the site!
G.C. Kincer Writes
My son Jason somehow ran across your site. What great memories you have brought
back for me. I worked as a DJ at WEKY beginning the fall of 1964 for my cousin
Jimmy Kincer. What great admiration I have for him this day and can never thank
him enough for taking care of me during those tender years of broadcasting. I worked
with greats like Byron Crawford, Ron Statzer, Harry Minix, Buddy K, Ralph Gabbard,
Ralph Hacker, Jan Fisher, Woody Styles, Dwight Goins, and so many more I can't
think of right now, but WOW, what an honor!!
After leaving WEKY, I then pulled 4 or 5 years with then WLAP Lexington. Had a
short stint with TV (I was terrible), returned to college and finished my degree in
Broadcasting. I then returned to the Mountains of Eastern Kentucky where I have
since owned five radio stations. As retirement approached I sold three of the
stations, leased one to K-LOVE, and just for giggles have resurrected the old station
in Neon, Kentucky where Jimmy, Buddy, and I began (in that order). It is a 5kw Day
timer, and have recently purchased a FM translator to give it its first opportunity in
the market since Jimmy and Buddy left over 50 years ago. Again I have loved every
second of Radio and thank my cousins for giving me such a great career..
One great story of many as we all have. One evening in Richmond Ralph Hacker ask
me to go along with him to the EKU game and he would teach me to do color. I said to
Ralph, "why do you keep fooling with that sports announcing, you know there's no money
Thank you for this web page, what a treat!,
AKA "Rick Karr"
Thanks to Ralph Hacker
for sending me some
additional WEKY pictures.
Thanks also to Jim Kincer
for sending pictures from
1933 - June 2010
Tyler Cox Writes:
Although we share the same last name, we also share common roots at The Sporty
1340, WEKY! I stumbled across your website today, and was amazed at some of the
names I saw posted there.I was a student at EKU from 69-73…and spent the last
year working at WEKY. How I first got on the air is a bizarre story.
In 1971 I was in the Sigma Nu fraternity, and across the hall was Richard “Duke”
Baxter, who had a jock shift on WEKY on weekends. One Sunday morning we were, I
think, all playing touch football and Duke broke his arm or shoulder. He couldn’t run
that huge old Gates board, much less flip the light-switch toggles to start the
turntables…or get the transmitter readings with the old phone dialer. He couldn’t find
the PD that weekend…”Dave Little”….so he asked me to do his show. I had been
messing around a bit at WEKU-FM, where I got to know John Sullivan. Anyway, I
went in with Duke at Noon, to do his 12-6 shift. His relief was to come on at 6pm
and work till 1am Monday. That guy didn’t show up. So my first time ever on the air
was 13 hours.
During the middle of the evening, the studio phone rang, and it was Dave Little….driving
back into town and found a pay phone as fast as he could….and said “Who the F--- are
YOU?” I handed the phone to Duke who explained. Dave then asked to speak to me
again….we talked a bit…..but it didn’t lead to anything at that point.
In 72 I got married between my Junior and Senior years…and was the first guy to do
the night shift on WCBR-FM. The AM daytimer just got an FM stick, and I was
cheap, so Phil Herald gave me the gig. I’d never listened to country music a day in my
life….which was apparent when I mispronounced Lefty Frizzell’s name. A caller on the
request line said “Yer new, ain’t ya boy?” I asked that listener to go over every name
on the 45’s in the record stack.
Finally got a full-time job at WEKY in the Fall of 72. I would do news in the morning,
do the mid-afternoon jock shift, then go cover news at night like Richmond City
Council. Had a blast. About that time Rich Gimmell was the PD, I can’t remember
the GM’s name, but his wife picked all the music. It was all written on a legal pad,
we played all the songs in order, then flipped back to the beginning and started over.
Great rotation. One day the GM was in the hospital, Rich went to Fred Hensley, the
owner, and said we needed to stop playing all that easy listening stuff and play rock….
we were in a college town, after all. Fred said sure. Rich walked back into the
studio, gave me a record, told me to fade out of Tony Bennett’s “I Left My Heart in
San Francisco”…to then scream as loud as I could “THIS IS THE ALL NEW WEKY”….
and kick it off with The Raspberries and “Go All The Way.” The GM and his wife
never came back.
A few years later, I had the chance to tell that story to Howard Hessman, who we all
know best as “Johnny Fever” from “WKRP in Cincinnati”, comparing it to the famous
first episode when Andy convinced Big Guy to change formats. Hessman said that
every time they thought the writers for the show had created something new, they
would find out something similar had actually happened in radio somewhere!
I also got to do “Man About Town” for a time. One day a female college student
called in (there was, of course, NO delay), who said she needed “someone to plow my
field.” We then tried to rig up a delay with the two Ampex reel-to-reel decks in the
rack….recording the show into the top one, dropping the tape down to the bottom deck,
and sending the playback to air. It worked for about 3 minutes until the top deck reel
speed got faster than the bottom one…so the audio dropped out. Another day my
brother-in-law driving into town was cracking up hearing me doing the swap shop thing,
so he tried to call in and list my car for sale. Greatness.
Career since WEKY includes stops at WVLK (very short), 10 years at the old WAVE
Radio in Louisville, then to WRNL/WRXL/Richmond, VA; KFBK/Sacramento (I got to be
Limbaugh’s PD!); WBZ/Boston; WWRC/Washington, DC….and now in Dallas/Fort Worth
for 18 years. I’m on my second tour of duty as PD at WBAP, after a brief (and very
ill-fated!) stint into station management. My oldest son has caught the radio bug, and
is the morning guy at an AC station in Brownwood, Texas.
John Quincy and I overlapped our time at WEKY briefly. In fact, John is in the
middle of transferring my old WEKY tapes to CD. I’m afraid to hear them! Bill
Purdom rocked it at night as only Bill could with that amazing voice. Woody Stiles was
our chief engineer….rest his soul. Once a snake got into the transmitter building, and
shorted out the transmitter. Took Woody forever to get us back on the air! When I
was there, we moved from the McKee Building downtown out to the ByPass. There was
something really cool about that old building downtown, but we didn’t know it at the
I could go on for pages….but I’ll spare you. Those years at WEKY are great
memories. So …. when did I get so dang old?!?!
WBAP NEWSTALK 820AM & 96.7FM
Terry Rice Writes:
Googled WEKY and found your site. WEKY was my first radio job. I
was attending EKU and bugged Ralph Gabbard until he GAVE ME a
shot. I was hired to do week-end overnights. I went in and watched the
evening jock, Mark Allen Porter, and was to set in with the regular
overnight guy to learn the board, etc. The overnight guy didn't show
and around 1:30 a.m. Mark called the P. D., Mike Morris, to see what to
do. Mike got me on the phone and asked if I thought I could play
records all night by myself. Not to be deterred I told him of course I
could. He said for me not to try and intro anything, just play records. I
agreed and promptly introed everything. The next morning Mike called
me in and hired me for overnights full time. While I was there a guy by
the name of Marshall Sidebottom (real name) became P.D. He was
great to work for. Also, while I was there a rival station in Richmond
started up, called WCBR, which we said meant "We Can't Beat Ralph."
(Gabbard) So many great memories have come flooding back from
that time. With your permission from time to time I'll email you with
other stories. Thanks for such a great site.
Terry Rice, Nashville, TN
p.s. I was at WEKY in 1969 and 1970. I left because I came down with
Hepatitis, and came back when I got over it. TR
Ike Smith writes:
Looking at your WEKY/WIRV website....My info should say worked at WIRV in
1969/70 while at EKU, then went to WVLK, WLAP, WAKY and WKLO. Anyway,
good to see the pictures and info on all.
By the way, I worked weekends... then overnights at WEKY in 1968 as "Colonel
Ike's All Night Music Machine"...played Top 40 from Midnight to three and
country from three to six. WOW!! Ron Boone was P.D.
Take care and tell my buddy Karl Shannon "hello" for me....
Robert Hanger writes:
David Cox: Just found the WEKY web-page & you may now call-off
the hounds, & close down the roadblocks; you have found me!
Yes, I was at WEKY & took Bob Doll's place the first of 1955. Bob Doll got me
the job at WEKY & I moved all the way from WWKY in Winchester; he must
have heard me on WWKY. I was first voice on the new Winchester station which
went on the air on October2, 1954.
I took over Bob's news duties, as well as "Man-On-Street: a live show from
downtown Richmond just a few doors up the street from the station located in
the McKee Building. The Man On Street broadcast was sponsored by "Pride of
Boyle" Meat Company over in Danville, Boyle County. I gave away coupons for
pounds of sausage & ham every day to visitors with whom I interviewed. Such
fun, & I never ran out of sausage at home, either!
GM was O. C. Halyard, who reportedly was married to daughter of Cam
Henderson, famed basketball coach at Marshall (then College) in my birth-city
of Huntington, West Virginia. The "Cam Henderson Center" at Marshall was
named for him. Cam Henderson was the storied basketball coach at Marshall, who
is said to have developed "the fast-break" in basketball!
John Sullivan was AM man; Reed Anderson was CE, who later opened his own
station, WCYN, in Cynthiana, & died there in 1989. Night DJ was Don Stewart,
who moved to Woodland Hills, CA. Found him on Internet again recently at age
near 73 in Woodland Hills, but we were never in contact again.
I recall going on several fire calls with then Chief Roy Montgomery & made real
friends with firefighter Milton Hall & wife. They later made trips to visit me in
Ohio & West Virginia. I was made Honorary ,member of Central Ky Fireman's
Assn & still have my card. I booked several speakers for their Kentucky
convention, & once personally drove my friend & Chief at Huntington, John
Gallagher, in his chief's car, all way to Richmond so he could give keynote
address. Later that same night, I drove him all way back to West VA.
The Richmond Fire Department was in old building behind Madison Co. Court
House. Police Chief, at that time, was Carl Farmer, & he made me Honorary
member of the FOP Lodge in Richmond; I still have his membership card too.
Before he left Richmond, Bob Doll took me to Kiwanis Club at Benault Inn &
proposed me for membership. I still have the card signed by G.L. Borders, who
had his insurance office in same McKee Bldg as WEKY. He started my Kiwanis
membership, lasting 20 years. We lived in town apt for first six months there (I
recall a big telephone strike) My first child, daughter Pam, was born at Clark
County Hospital, Winchester, May 23, 1955, & we moved to Blue Grass Homes
(single family home South of town. Her Doctor was in Winchester, so I used my
friend's ambulance at his new funeral home (Griggs) just up the street to
transport her. Those were fun days (no I-75) in Richmond; the news job was
rewarding and people were friendly, and WEKY well respected in the community.
Later, I spent 3 years on TV & total of 21 in broadcast industry. I left the
business in 1974, as my station was sold, & I had good offer in specialty
chemical industry, where I remained until I retired to Phoenix, Sept.1, 1994. I
was never without a day job though & finally really retired 7/22/10 in TX the
home of my wife. We do maintain a home in AZ, so we divide some time, plus
Houston, where we have a granddaughter. Life is good out here on the plains of
West Texas ,along the Butterfield Stage Line!
My stay in Richmond was most harmonious & adds to my treasure chest of
good memories. I will reply to anyone who contacts me & will tell a few more
stories of KY later.
Col. Robert Hanger, 822 E. Riverside Ave.,San Angelo, TX 76905.
Robert Writes on May 5, 2011
It is with pleasure that I announce that my name has been selected for
nomination into the West Virginia Broadcasting Hall of Fame. I was advised
today there are 20 nominees and 10 will be selected for induction within a few
weeks by the committee in Charleston, W. Va. Those selected will be inducted on
November 19, 2011 in Huntington, W. Va. I am pleased with this news and would
be honored to be selected for induction into the W.Va. Broadcasting Hall
of Fame. I will advise you of their decision in near future.
New! Don Stocker, who
worked for WEKY and
WKXO, WLAP and other
area stations, sends us
an Air Check from the late
See Don's comments
below and on the
Click Here for Don's
Don Stocker Writes:
Thanks for posting the air check I sent you. I read your page a lot just for the
history. The 70s were the good ole days of radio for me. I had several great job
offers in the 70's just from being on the air at WEKY, WKXO, and WLAP. I
forgot to mention the part time position at WLAP in the 70s. I also worked at
WAXU in Georgetown, WKDJ in Winchester, and WCBR in Richmond. In the 90's I
even tried working in radio again for WEKY doing mornings for Bob Spradlin. I
think all of us took a tour at each of the stations, some repeatedly. Good
I was a student at Eastern Ky. State College in 1953, when a friend and fellow
student, Don Schaefer, went on air at WEKY to play Santa Claus during WEKY's first
Christmas season. Schaefer was an Army veteran returning to study at EKSC -- he
was a Junior in school at the time -- and was from Bellevue, Ky. I remember going to
the studio with him a few times, and when I say he played Santa Claus, I mean that
he read aloud letters many Richmond-area children had written to Santa Claus. I seem
to remember he'd made arrangements with the Post Office for that purpose. At any
rate, Schaefer was nervous -- his hands trembled while reading the children's letters
on air -- and although I lost track of him the following year (when I entered military
service), I don't believe he made his career in radio broadcasting. Nonetheless, he
was a good reader, made a kind comment on each kid's letter, and tossed in an
occasional Ho-Ho-Ho. Schaefer read the letters on air for a half-hour each Saturday
morning for several weeks before Christmas and, if I'm not mistaken, read them during
a fifteen-minute slot on a few Sunday afternoons, as well. It was a novelty, a popular
show, and as a community service, it enhanced WEKY's good relations with its listeners.
I was a sophomore at Eastern during WEKY's first Christmas season (1953) and went
into military service the following summer. When I returned to Eastern in the fall of
'56, I became involved in theater on campus and wrote a good number of 10- and
30-second spots to promote forthcoming EKSC theater productions. WEKY broadcast
the spots as a community service. I didn't work for WEKY at any time, but I was in
and out of the studio so often that I feel like I did. It's a good feeling even now.
I really enjoy the work you've done on your website, and I thank you for the
opportunity to offer the above bit of history for your site's visitors. Judging from
what I saw of the studio's operations during the 1953 Christmas season, it was an
exciting, nerve-wracking, glorious time to be a part of WEKY radio.
Dave Cox and former boss Jim
Kincer (Jimmy K)
Jim Kincer, Ralph Hacker, Dave Cox
visit at the Reunion
EKU President Doug Whitlock, , Jim Kincer
and Dave Cox talk radio
Just ran across your site the other night and was immediately whisked away to
memory land. In reading through the readers comments, I saw so many names of
people that I knew during my involvement in radio in Richmond.
I was probably the shortest term "non employee" that WEKY ever had. I worked a
total of one shift and did not even get paid for that. There was another jock at
WEKY with the last name of Cox, besides you and Tyler. His name was Gary Cox
and he and I were roommates for about a year. I filled in for him one night for
some reason and the very following week I went to work at WCBR. He was working
at EKY and I was at CBR.. plus we were both student broadcasters at EKU. People
used to think I had some kind of "in" at WEKU because John Sullivan and I had the
same last name..no such luck for me. Back in those days Dan Mason did the only DJ
shift that WEKU had and it was considered "a plum" position. Dan went to work full
time at WEKY and I took over that shift and used to have to listen to John and Loy
Lee critique every show. Fun times...
I attended EKU from 69-73 and spent a hell of a lot of time either at the campus
station or above the Western Auto Building behind the jail. Phil Herald hired me way
back when. He had just started at WCBR as GM and Chuck Ham was PD and the
station was one week into transition from rock and roll to country western. J.T.
Parker had acquired majority share of the station. It was his second radio station,
his first being in Kingsport, TN, also a C&W station. It was a wild and crazy time
with all the changes going on and everybody moving in and out.
Back when I started there we were a dawn to dusk station. We thought we were
really something when we brought the FM online and simulcast, and was able to keep
the FM on the air till midnight... I remember Tyler Cox doing his "Willie the worm"
voice for Barry's Bait and Beer commercials, and how on Saturday nights, the guys
at Barry's would call up and request a song and once we played it a guy would show
up at the station with a cold six pack. Fun times. Used to have a blast doing the
remote broadcasts and basketball games, we covered Madison High basketball and
Berea College basketball...big time stuff...LOL I was actually PD for awhile after
Chuck Ham left and I finally left in 72 to go to WBLG in Lex. where I did a talk
show for awhile until I decided I was just not making enough money and left the
True story, I went off to college to become a broadcaster and I girl I knew in high
school and was a year behind me went off to college to major in political science and
she became a huge network star..Jane Pauley. I was class of 67 from Warren
Central High, Indianapolis. And she was class of 68..go figure...LOL
Lot of great guys around in those days, and despite the rivalry I was buddies with a
lot of the guys from WEKY. Even before I got in the business I used to hang around
the station and just watch and try and learn. Some good times.
Pctures from the recent Speck's EKU Alumni Reunion: See more at:
In the early 60s, the
WEKY studios were
used as a recording
several records for
The Maroons, Gary
Edwards, and the
first record recorded
by The Exiles.
Here is a link to
some of the Youtube