Terry Allen (Real
Name: Terrill Leff) - WTMA DJ from the mid 60s through the early 70s. He
also used the name "Dick Clark" for a short period of time. Now
retired in Charleston.
On December 20,
"Glad Danny Knox remembered me...He was my motivation to
become a DJ. I used to call and talk to him all night. I remember
one day he and I and Jim Diamond went to the movies in
downtown Charleston and he insisted we all sit with an empty seat
between us. Why I remember that, go figure. This was when Doug
Randall worked 6-9 am, I worked 9-12 noon, Jim worked 12-2 pm,
Charlie 'Byrd' Lindsey worked 2-6 pm, Jim came back and
worked 6-8 pm, and Danny Knox worked 8-12 midnight and signed off.
This was 1965.
"I remember going to
Fox music with Danny Knox (who was the Music Director) and buying a
copy of 'Save Your Heart For Me' by Gary Lewis & the Playboys
because for some reason TMA had not received a copy or needed a
fresh one. 'Cue Burn' was a real daily event at that time. I
remember our chief engineer Harold Kramer taking new styli
and making the points less sharp by using them in the production
studio to dull them a bit before putting them into the turntable
arms in main control.
"Not mentioned were the TMA evening request takers. There were two.
One was a guy named Gary Messenger and another whose name
presently escapes me. I think he was 'Paul Playboy.' I worked
with them for a short period before I took on the 9-12 noon slot in
approximately May of 1965.
"The station also had a taped program of music for Sunday Night
instead of a Jock for 8-12 and was called 'Silent Sam' -- music with
jingles used in between. I did that recording for awhile, as well."
Dick Anderson -
WTMA DJ in 1966 for 2 months and the News Director in 1973 for 1.5 months.
He's currently the Editor/CEO for
"Just a note
to say, 'Hi!' and to commend you guys on the great web site.
"Yes, I had a very brief career at WTMA, but it was loads of
fun. I don't even remember the name of the Station Manager
at the time, but I do remember that I burned every picture
of me at the the station, when he fired me after only two
months. He was an odd bird, and called me back after a week
to offer me a better job as production manager at a much
better salary. I remember telling him that he should do
something anatomically impossible, and hung up on him. He
said my spots had increased the revenue of WTMA, especially
a spot for Dixie Furniture Company ('Dixie'll do it, 'cause
Dixie don't care' - imitating George Kingfish Stevens,
played by the marvelous Tim Moore on the TV version of Amos
"Lots of stuff in between, including DJ'ing for WCSC with
Ken Crooke, TV news at WCBD with Red Evans from 1971-1975,
political PR, more TV news, etc., but I eventually retired
from and sold all my businesses, getting a terminal degree
in College Theatre Education.
"I now teach
acting, Theatre History, and theory of Film Culture as an
Adjunct Professor at USC Union, where we are growing a
respectable little Theatre Department.
"All of it has been a great ride, and I'll never forget my
days as 'DA the DJ' on WTMA!
"Best to All,
and ALWAYS: ROCK 'n' ROLL!"
Robert Wayne Anderson -
WTMA DJ circa 1970. Worked at WQSM in Fayetteville, North Carolina in 1974
and '75. Retired from radio in 1975. Later worked for the Postal Service,
and retired as a U.S. Postmaster in Fayetteville in 2001.
Dick Andert - WTMA DJ
1966-1968. He started out as "John Smith" but later switched to using his
own name on the air. Retired from the Los Angeles Police Department.
Warren Ashmore - News
Director in the mid 1980s. Also worked at WCSC Radio and in Columbia, SC. He's
retired from full-time ministry in the United Methodist Church.
Diane Beardslee -
News/traffic reporter between 1984 and 1987. Eventually became part of the
"Steve & Diane in the Morning" show with Steve King.
On June 24, 2005 Diane
writes: "In a nutshell, we had great times!
"I left WTMA for the South Carolina Educational Radio Network where
I became the first Producer/Senior News Director and was awarded
three AP awards for reporting.
"Then I went on to WOMG-FM
in Columbia (the Oldies station) where my life changed drastically.
Leo Windham and I did the morning show and I was given my own talk
show on the AM side. We did many interviews with state politicians
and several well-known guests such as Robby Benson, Burt Reynolds,
Hootie and the Blowfish, Roman Gabriel and many more.
"The best thing there
was I started 'Operation Mail Call' which was a very successful
fundraising event for the troops in Iraq during the first encounter.
I stated on the air that if someone couldn't afford a stamp, I would
gladly put one on so they could get mail to their loved ones! Well,
by the time I was off the air, the studio as been deluged with calls
and we were off and running. Volunteers popped up everywhere and we
did many events in and around Columbia to raise money for postage.
Many state senators were involved and helped me maneuver through red
tape to get events rolling. The volunteers and myself gave up
Christmas to be with the soldiers of Ft. Jackson because they
weren't getting a chance to go home for the holidays. We brought in
James Brown to entertain them. After this, former Governor Carroll
Campbell asked me to help put together a week-long event to welcome
home the troops from Iraq. So in conjunction with Ft. Jackson we did
so and entertained over 100K people, even had a parade!
"Then I married a soldier from Ft. Jackson and upon leaving was
given, from the Mayor of Columbia, a proclamation for 'Diane
Beardslee Day.' What an honor, especially since no newsperson had
ever received one! Only one since I left!
"Then on to Panama in Central America where I was the Public Affairs
Officer for the Navy and traveled throughout Central and South
America with Navy Seal Team 8 and Special Boat Unit 26. (4 years in
the jungle, that was interesting!)
"On my arrival home, I worked for the Boeing Company in Public
Relations. Then it was on to Washington, DC to become the Senior
Public Relations Administrator for the Missile Defense Agency at the
"I am now living in Kansas with the same soldier I married in
Columbia. He is now a Federal Officer - Bomb Tech - with the Bureau
of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.
"Today I consult locally for various companies for special events
but miss all the fun and on-site promos for the radio station."
Steve Bell (Real Name:
Steve Beckham) - WTMA-WPXI newsman between 1975 and 1978. A former
practicing attorney, he's now a Judicial Law Clerk for United States
Bankruptcy Judge Nicholas W. Whittenburg in Chattanooga, Tennessee. More...Audio Available!
70s alums Billy Smith and Ted Bell in 2005
Ted Bell (Real Name:
Clarence T. Bell)- WTMA DJ
from 1969-71 and 1979, as well as the first Operations Manager of WPXI-FM.
Ted spent most of the last years of his radio career doing middays at
Surf in the Myrtle Beach market. Died November 25, 2018 at the age of
71 due to complications from brain cancer. Audio
Clarence T. Bell
JANUARY 25, 1947 – NOVEMBER 25, 2018
Obituary of Clarence T. Bell
Clarence T. “Ted”
Bell, 71, died November 25, 2018 at Myrtle Beach Manor, Myrtle
Born on January 4, 1947 in Lynchburg, VA, he was the son of the late
Clarence Ayers and Juanita Moyer Bell.
Ted served his country proudly in the US Army from 1966 to 1968 and
received a Purple Heart. He began his career in radio in 1962 at the
age of 15 in Orangeburg, SC. His career spanned 56 years, with
multiple DJ of the Year Awards. Some of Ted’s other achievements
were Radio Show of the Year 2012 through 2017; FM Radio Personality
of the Year, 2010 through 2012 and 2014 through 2016; Industry
Appreciation Award 2012 for 50 Years in Radio; Who’s Who in
Broadcasting Industry 2002-2003 and Grand Marshal SOS Parade 2009.
He was a member of American Legion Post 0016 and Past Commander of
the American Legion Post in Blowing Rock, NC.
Survivors include his wife of 30 years, Angela “Lynne” Watson Bell;
two sons, Brian C. Bell (Terrilyn Groom), Randell M. Bell (Katy);
daughter, Lisa Bell Furr (Bobby Forsythe); stepson, Sherrill W.
Hayes (Jenny); and six grandchildren, Brandi Furr Puett, Douglas
Bell, Jordan Bell, Brady Bell, Olivia Hayes and Sam Hayes.
Funeral services will be held at 11 am on Thursday, November 29 at
Ocean Drive Presbyterian Church, 410 6th Avenue South, North Myrtle
Beach, SC 29582. The family will receive friends in the Fellowship
Hall following the service. Graveside services, with military
honors, will be in Woodlawn Memorial Gardens, Lenoir, NC on Friday,
November 30 at 1 pm.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Humane Society of North
Myrtle Beach, P.O. Box 3369, North Myrtle Beach, SC 29582. Per the
family’s request, although appreciated, no food is necessary at the
A guestbook is available at www.leefhandcrematory.com.
Lee Funeral Home & Crematory of Little River/North Myrtle Beach is
serving the family.
Thom Berry - WTMA
newsman in 1970 and 1971. He now works in the Division
of Media Relations at the South Carolina Department of Health and
Environmental Control in Columbia.Audio Available!
Big Mack (Real Name:
Connie McPhaul) - WTMA night jock in the early 1980s. On March 11, 2007 he
reports, "I now am the CEO of my own broadcasting operation called MBC
(McPhaul Broadcast Communications). We are the radio voice for all
breaking news, major sporting events, and entertainment in Las Vegas."
This article appeared in the Charleston Evening Post on July 17,
WTMA's 'Big Mack' Making A Name
By Anne Leland, Entertainment
"I was busted by the
Connie Neal McPhaul,
WTMA-AM Radio's "Big Mack," explains with pride this rather unusual
accomplishment. Growing up in Greensboro, N.C., he attended the
birthday anniversary party of a friend. "Back in those days, the
television station had a show called 'The Old Rebel Show.' Local
kids would be invited down and they'd have a party, be given a tour
of the station. It was live every day. I became fascinated with all
the lights and wires and dials and things.
"I was 9 years old, and
, from that moment on, I decided that was what I would like to do,"
he says, "I decided that I would like to get into broadcasting."
As a Cub Scout, a Boy
Scout and eventually an Explorer Scout, he studied basic
electricity. Sponsored by WFMY-TV, he started a project with the
encouragement of the chief engineer who spotted a talent for working
with electronics. "When I was 14," McPhaul says, "I began to build a
clandestine radio station. It had 75-foot tower. I was running 250
watts of power and I was broadcasting. Apparently the FCC found out
about it and they confiscated all my equipment. They were impressed
with what I had done," he adds. "I had built it out of old
television sets and I would knock out the stations within a half
mile of my house.
"They said they hated
to tear down my set-up, but it was interfering with the nearby radio
stations. They suggested that I pursue a radio career through
from Walter Hines Page High School and the University of North
Carolina at Chapel Hill, McPhaul was drafted in the Army in 1970.
Serving as a warrant officer he saw duty in Vietnam.
Leaving the Army in
1973, he traveled the countryside before settling in Atlanta and
operating an independent television and film production company, The
Film Factory. In 1975, he became the first black anchor at WRDW-TV
In August 1981, he
moved to Charleston as operations manager at WWWZ-FM Radio.
According to McPhaul, he left over a dispute with management. With
three or four job offers, he chose WTMA as "the station that would
offer me the most freedom. The mighty TMA is clearly the most
progressive station in Charleston," he said. "The music and
personalities make listening to the radio fun again.
"I really want to make
permanent mark in Charleston radio," he adds.
Jay Bond (Real Name:
Jeff Flanders) - WTMA midday DJ and production director between October of
1967 and March of 1969. He's retired from the Lexington County
(South Carolina) Sheriff's Office, has a successful second career as a
and is on the radio again at Z93.1 WZMJ "The Lake".
Buzz Bowman - Part of
the "C.J. & Buzz" morning show in the early 1980s. Last
worked in radio as Brand
Manager/Morning Host at Cumulus Broadcasting's 102.1 The Fox in
Florence, SC. Audio Available!
Brother Dave #1 (Real
Name: Paul Bicknell) - WTMA DJ in 1965 for about 6 months. He left WTMA
for WCOS in Columbia, SC. He then went to WPGC in DC using the
airname Davy Jones, and has been in major markets since then. (Calls
include WBZ, WMAL, WBAL and WBIG.) Now owns an Advertising - Audio - Video
production house in Baltimore:
Sound and Video.
Brother Dave #2 (Real
Name: Dave Vasser) - WTMA DJ in 1974 and 1975. Dave later lived in Badin, NC and retired from radio after a 13-year run at Charlotte's Magic 96.1 FM.
Was Assistant Director/Training Officer at the
Stanly County, North Carolina E-911 Communications Department, plus played
bass and sung in Kollection Band, a Beach/Classic Rock band based in Albemarle, NC.
Died in 2018 due to complications from cancer.
Charlie Brown (Real
Name: Charles Carawan) - Mid 60s
Went by the name "Charlie Byrd" after leaving WTMA. Died at the age of 60
on November 5, 2002. He was a radio broadcaster for over 40 years, best
known for the long-running beach music radio show, "The Charlie Byrd Beach
veterans John Burwell (DJ) and Al Kamhi (News)
reunite in the WTMA Control Room in January, 2005
Zeke Clements - WTMA
Passed away on June 4, 1994.
Andee Cleveland (Real
Name: Venyke Cleveland)-
Newsperson in the early 1980s. She came to WTMA from WSPA in Spartanburg,
South Carolina, her hometown. Previously worked in news for WTMA Radio
using her real name,
On December 15, 2008 Venyke Cleveland
"I left WTMA for my first job in television at WBTW-TV in
Florence, SC. From there I went on to work for the SC Dept of
Corrections as a Public Information Specialist. I married a Marine
in the late 80s, and moved to Jacksonville, NC where I was a street
reporter and anchor at WCTI-TV in New Bern, NC. I have a teenage son
and am now living in Cincinnati, OH where I work for the City as a
HR Analyst/Communicator. I also am host of a weekly television show
on the public access channel here called Career Connections.
"Thanks for the opportunity to share. I’ll always have fond memories
of WTMA Radio, CJ, Buzz, Bill Poston, Dan Stevens and the list goes
on. I still have the box that an ice cream cake from Baskin &
Robbins came in that was signed by all my WTMA pals at a going-away
party that Dan gave me when I left for WBTW. I also remember the
Hiney Wine bits."
On July 31, 2009 Dorothy Conflenti writes:
"I worked at WTMA
from 1989 (when the station first came on the air with a news/talk
format when Hugh Jett was the GM) through the end of 1990. While I
was there I was a Morning Drive News Anchor with Dan Moon, News
Director, Writer, and Producer (sort of a jack of all trades). We
had a very small news staff including Mike Robertson and Worth Waring
(plus a couple of part-timers).
WTMA, I worked in News and Promotions at WKZQ in Myrtle Beach, SC.
WTMA, I moved to Pittsburgh and got into Radio Sales. I have been in
Broadcast Sales ever since. I worked in Radio Sales in Pittsburgh at
Steel City Media and Infiniti Radio, and I worked in Radio Sales for
Clear Channel in Sarasota from about 1999-2004.
came to Comcast as Regional Account Executive in mid 2004, and
I have been at Comcast ever since."
On July 16, 2005 Bruce Cotton writes:
"I worked at TMA when John Lee was there, and Craig [Erickson] was
the program director.
"I moved from Charleston to Wilmington NC, and staffed and
programmed a very successful AC station, WGNI. From there, on to
Fayetteville, NC where I moved a Lumberton FM to Fayetteville, and
went through the upgrade/power change, staffing, etc. About a year
later, I opened a successful ad agency - and having been doing that
since. At one point, I was attempting to purchase an FM license in
the New Bern market - but ran into "Fast Eddie" as part of the
"I miss the old days of radio - I listen these days mostly to XM
Satellite, or NPR. Local stations have moved so far away from what
made them an important part of our lives...IMHO. You can find the
same canned sound all over the country. Ah well!
"Thanks for keeping the site up to date and current!! There were a
lot of wonderful folks in Charleston radio in those days....Remember
Randy Scott? Mike Labnon? Bill Grey - WHERE THE HELL ARE YOU BIG
"I also worked with Charlie Byrd Lindsey for a long time, as well as
Dave Loyd - and that DANG Bill Sharpe wrecked my wonderful little
Opal GT on a hot date! ( I don't loan the car out anymore....not
even to kids!) Billy Smith was a next door neighbor for years, and
our kids used to play together in the pool. Jerry Smith did a bit of
engineering for me later on...Remember George Wilson...and Terry
Allen from KTM days...
"Also think I worked with Dan Vallie in Savannah, while programming
WXLM and later WAEV.
"Oh geez...one more name...Gary Morgan!
"Last I heard, Gary was working in Charlotte. Best engineer I ever
worked with - because he had EARS! When I moved to Wilmington, I
took Gary with me! The station sounded better then, than it does
Beauregard Dean (Real
Name: Ken Nash) - WTMA weekender in 1974. Previously worked at WCSC.
On November 25, 2011
Ken Nash writes: "I was hired to run the 6:00 am to 12
noon shift on Sundays. I ran some church programs supplied
on tape, American Top 40 on record albums and had a little
time to play records and DJ. I also had to record the carts
for news and weather at WPXI for the 12 noon to 6:00 pm
window, after I finished my WTMA shift.
"Because my last name was Nash (no relation to Booby), I had
to use a different name. Being that this was Charleston, I
used my father's middle name and my middle name - hence,
"I worked with Gary London some, and filled in a few times
for him when he wanted the night off. The one I remember
most was New Year's Eve. I was a full-time college student
and also worked about 35 hours a week at a local stereo
store, and Sunday mornings at WTMA.
"One of the trademarks for years on TMA (long before I
worked there) was 'Name it and claim it'. It seems like at
first, you won the actual record that you identified. But
later, you won a certificate for a free 45 from Millers
Department Store, out on Highway 7 at Ashley Hall Road. When
I was in High School (Middleton), I worked at the Winn-Dixie
next to Millers.
"After graduation, I went to work for the Carolina Power &
Light Company in Southport NC. I had a technical position at
the Brunswick Plant, which is a 2 unit nuclear plant. I
stayed in the nuclear business until 1990, when I swapped
over to the Municipal Water and Wastewater Business.
"I currently am president of a small corporation that
specializes in Instrumentation & Controls for the Municipal
Water & Wastewater industry, and live near Charlotte NC."
Catherine Deans - WTMA
newsperson in the late 1970s. Married WTMA News Director Craig Walker
(Giesecke) in 1979 (divorced in 2004) who eventually co-owned a radio
station in West Texas with her.
She is living in Tallahassee,
Florida and is self-employed as a yoga instructor, after nearly three
decades in media work. She is the mother of three.
Bobby Dee (Real
Name: Robert Dowst) - WTMA DJ in the early 1960s. Born in Salem,
Massachusetts. Passed away on November 6, 2005 in Covina, California at
the age of 78. Audio Available!
On July 4, 2004 Bruce Bonner
writes: "I don't know where he is today but I can give you some information.
I'm assuming it's the same Bobby Dee because George Wilson was program
director when Bobby Dee came to WITH. Actually they came at the same
time. Bobby Dee came to WITH in Baltimore from WLCY in Tampa. He worked
at WITH here in Baltimore from June 1965 until August 1966 when WITH
changed its format. At some point in 1966 he called himself the Weird
Beard. He later worked at WYRE in Annapolis, MD and WINX in Washington,
DC. After that I don't know. He may have worked at WICE Providence,
Rhode Island before going to WTMA."
Jim Diamond (Real
Name: Robert J. Kight. Jr.) - WTMA DJ from March 1963 to June 1965 and
then again from August 1966 to March 1968. (In between he was at WMQM
radio in Memphis, Tennessee.) Later worked at WQSN and WCSC Radio in
Charleston, as well as WCSC-TV. While at WCSC-TV, he starred in the "Superguy"
children's TV show. Left broadcasting in 1977 to work at the Coastal
Center, where he retired from in 2000. Lives in
Summerville, SC. More...Audio Available!
Jay Donovan - Morning
drive DJ in 1985 and 1986.
He now lives in Watertown, NY where he does mornings at a Classic Hits FM,
plus does weather on the local ABC-TV affiliate.
John Dozier - News
Director in the late 70s.
He is retired, after managing
several public radio stations and being a university professor and
department head. He lives in Columbia, South Carolina where he imports
fine walnut for gunstocks and restores old French shotguns.
On April 16, 2005 Andy Moore
writes: "John Dozier left WTMA and moved to Clemson as News Director
of the SC Educational Radio Network station.
"In the late 70’s, he returned to
Charleston as the manager of SCERN’s WSCI-FM, and oversaw the
station’s move to new studios on the USS Yorktown. In the
mid-80’s, John was manager of an educational station in New
Orleans for a short while, but returned to WSCI for a second stint
"John and I would see each other
from time to time when he would come to Columbia on ERN business
when I was an engineer at the original WIS Radio (now WVOC) in the
80’s. John fell out of sight for a while. He called me in Columbia
in 1989 telling me he was in town and he would 'call soon for us
to get together.' My wife swore she saw him at a local grocery
store around 1991. I never heard from him again, but found out he
was working in a high-end stereo store in Columbia in the early
90’s. (John was a big audiophile.)
"John had a tremendous and
distinct voice and I hope he is doing well wherever he is."
Dick Drury - WTMA jock
1954-55, later going to KQV, Pittsburgh. Deceased.
Bill Edwards - WTMA
newsman and DJ in the mid 60s. Now in Savannah, Georgia doing mornings for
WTKS. Audio Available!
Craig Erickson - WTMA
morning man and program director 1981-1982. In the mid 1970s, Craig
published the "American Airchexx" audio magazine. After WTMA he co-founded
The Trapman Report (a radio station monitoring service that sold aired
song lists to other stations) with Jim Jones. Died in May 2009 in
Ft. Myers, Florida.
Andreas 'Red' Evans dies at 75 By Andy
The Post and Courier
Monday, January 14, 2008
Evans, a former WCBD-TV news director and anchorman who went to
Washington as an aide and lobbyist before finally settling down as
an antique dealer, fiction writer and blogger, died Sunday after an
extended illness. He was 75.
Evans spent 30 years in broadcasting, starting as "The Rockin'
Redhead," spinning Elvis and The Drifters records for several
Lowcountry radio stations before he joined Sen. Fritz Hollings'
congressional staff in Charleston in 1966.
He joined Channel 2 two years later, running the news department and
covering local events for a decade. Evans told The Post and Courier
in 1997 that his favorite part of his broadcasting career wasn't
anchoring the desk or being news director. "The most fun time of my
life was working on the street."
Marie Evans, Red's wife of 50 years, said her husband was still
recognized for his time on the air. Even in the last 38 days he
spent in the hospital, doctors and nurses noticed him, Marie said.
In 1978, Evans left television and joined U.S. Rep. Mendel J. Davis'
staff as his press secretary in Washington. He turned to lobbying in
the early 1980s and stayed in Washington until 1994, when he and
Marie decided to retire to his hometown of Charleston.
Evans wrote three books, including the humorous fiction book "On
Ice," published in September.
Marie said they had just received a call from his agent Sunday,
saying there was interest in publishing one of his three other
"Everybody gets a kick out of the books he wrote," Marie said.
His writing extended to his blog, also called "On Ice."
Evans is survived by Marie and their four children: Dorothy,
Herbert, Michael and David. They have 10 grandchildren and four
Arrangements will be announced by Stuhr's Funeral Home of Mount
Bill Evenson - WTMA
morning newsman in the mid-50s. Now retired in California. Audio Available!
Jack Gale - Popular
WTMA morning man 1954-1956. Joined the station from WSRS in Cleveland,
Ohio, where he did morning drive and a popular weekend R & B music show as
"The Hound Dog". (The show was offered for syndication on tape or
transcriptions.) Owned two "Hound Dog" record stores in Charleston while
at WTMA. Started his own record label (Jalo Records) which he ran out of
one of his stores.
Eventually settled in Palm City, Florida where he had a
successful voiceover career. Died January 23, 2018 at the age of 92. Audio Available!
Kelly - February 27th 2018
Jack Gale, a
popular morning host with the old WITH-AM radio station and
a record company owner and producer, died Jan. 24 2018 at
his home in Sebring, Fla. He was 92.
His daughter, Jeanne Gale Johnson, of
Northfield, Minn., attributed his death to natural causes.
Born in Baltimore and raised in Lower
Park Heights, he was the son of Abe Gale and his wife,
He was a 1943 graduate of Forest Park
High School and got into radio work at WBTM in Danville, Va.
"Jack paid his dues at stations in
Cumberland, Salisbury and Petersburg, Va., and did some
short stints at WCBM and WSID in Baltimore," said Robert
"Bob" Mathers of Hanover, Pa., a longtime friend.
"To supplement his income, he sold
insurance and drove overnights for the Belle Isle Cab
Company," said Mr. Mathers. "He was a hard worker."
By the 1950s he had radio programs in
Cleveland and Charleston, S.C., and returned to Baltimore at
WITH-AM 1230. Mr. Gale became one of Baltimore's best-known
morning hosts. Mayor Thomas J. D'Alesandro Jr. awarded him a
key to the city.
"His morning show was wild and
unpredictable," said Mr. Mathers, who later worked with him
at WITH-AM in the 1990s.
Mr. Mathers recalled his
"Jack would be live on air and prepare
for each one by lowering a 50-foot microphone cord out of
the third-story studio window at 7 East Lexington St. to the
sidewalk," Mr. Mathers recalled. "He would then yell down to
some unsuspecting passerby to grab the mic and answer a few
Mr. Mathers said Mr. Gale also took
liberties with his sponsors' commercials. He once sang along
with a spot for National Brewing Co.
"The ad agency for National called to
remind Mr. Gale that significant money was paid to the
singers who recorded the ad, and no help was needed in
accompanying them," said Mr. Mathers.
In March 1959, the radio station conducted a publicity stunt
that involved the "firing" of Jack Gale live, on air.
"It produced hundreds of phone calls to the station from
angry listeners," Mr. Mathers said. "Colts fullback and
restaurant owner Alan Ameche offered Gale a job as carhop,
while TV's Buddy Deane brought him on to his show to explain
"Three days later, a full-page ad in
the Baltimore News-Post announced the return of Jack Gale to
WITH," Mr. Mathers said.
In 1960, when a line dance, The
Madison, was popular in Baltimore, Mr. Gale recorded two
alternate versions. He called one the "Sloppy Madison," and
a parody he sang "The Medicine." Columbia Records released
his versions as a 45-rpm disc.
"He was one of the funniest people I
have ever worked with," said Jack Edwards, a veteran radio
host. "He was so witty. His material was never off-color.
His different voices were hysterical. Off the air, he was
quiet and shy."
In 1962, while still a leading disc
jockey and radio personality, he left the station to work at
a rival Top 40 station, WWIN, after being turned down for a
At this time Mr. Gale recorded local
music acts including Ronnie Dove, the Kings and the
Combonaires at the Biddle Street Studios.
He left Baltimore radio about 1963 and
worked for stations in Boston, Charlotte, N.C., and
He also owned and operated Playback
Records. He bought radio stations in California, Missouri
In 1996, Mr. Gale came back to
Baltimore to do mornings on WITH-AM after the station
flipped to an oldies format. His first words on the air
were: "It's good to be back here in Baltimore after being
gone for 33 years. Thanks to WITH for keeping the station
together while I was away."
"Jack's schtick was fast-paced bits
and one-liners," said Mr. Mathers. "Every day was 'his
birthday.' Morning drive listeners in Baltimore would arrive
late for work after sitting in their car to finish hearing
the latest installment of 'Life Can Be Miserable."
Leon Golnick's advertising agency
employed Mr. Gale as a national voice talent on radio and TV
commercials for more than 30 years. He continued to produce
commercial broadcasting projects until his death.
"He sounded just as good, at 92, as he
did at 22," said Mr. Mathers.
Mr. Gale's wife of 67 years, Lovey
Sahm, who worked alongside him, died in 2013.
In addition to his daughter, survivors
include two sons, Steve Gale of Pompano Beach, Fla., and
Gary Gale of Beverly Hills, Fla. A daughter, Ellen Gale,
died in 2011.
No funeral was
Glen Gaskins -
WTMA part-time DJ in the early 70s.
Reported in 2007 to be living in Mexico.
Al Gelford - WTMA
overnight jock in 1969 and 1970. Passed away February 14, 2021 at the age
Al writes on January 21,
2017: "John Trenton hired me in mid-1969 to become the first
overnight 12-6am jock when John decided to broadcast 24 hours a day.
John did the morning show 6-9; followed by Ted Bell 9-Noon; then Bob
Riley Noon-3; and then Booby Nash drive time 3-7. We had a few
7-midnight jocks back then including Terry Allen -- and of course
John hired this young guy with a big voice to do the news: Bill
Sharpe (who I hear went on to much bigger and better things in
broadcasting in Charleston). Back then we were called 'The Good Guys
of TMA.' We also used 'TMA' as an acronym for 'The Music Authority'.
"I left WTMA at the end of 1970 to
take a midday spot on WEEL in Fairfax, Virginia (in the D.C.
market). I am retired now, living in St. Petersburg, FL, but still
do a weekly financial radio broadcast on WWBA on Sunday mornings in
Tampa Bay. The show is now in its 30th year!"
H. 'Al' Gelford 74 of St. Petersburg passed away February 14, 2021.
He was raised in Suffern, New York and educated at American
University in Washington, D.C.
Following graduation from the school of radio and television, he was
employed as a radio disc jockey in Charleston, SC and Washington,
D.C. He managed BOA, a successful rock band. He later moved to St.
Petersburg where he worked as a bartender and eventually owned and
managed the popular 10 Beach Drive Restaurant. After an absence from
public life he reemerged as a financial advisor, and for many years
aired the popular "Money Doctor" call-in show on Sunday morning
radio. He was a successful and very grateful kidney transplant
recipient at Tampa General Hospital.
His big smile and hearty laugh will be missed.
He is survived by his sister Sandy Slomka and many loving family
Donations in memory would be appreciated to Congregation Bnai
Israel, or Gulf Coast Jewish Family and Community Services.
Bob Graham (Real Name:
Robert Gitlin) - Midday DJ
in the mid 1980s.
Now does mornings as "Rocky" at
WKRZ in the
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, PA market. Audio Available!
Bob Green - WTMA DJ in
the late 1960s, referred to by fellow jocks as "Greenie Bob". Deceased.
Michael Green - WTMA
overnight jock in the early 1980s.
Michael writes on May 7,
2008: "I stared my radio career in Jacksonville, Florida at WIVY
(Y103) between 1977-1979, and then WQIK in Jacksonville from
1979-1980 when I was hired at The Mighty TMA.
"After doing overnights at WTMA in
1980 and 1981, I went over to WKTM from 1982 to 1984. In 1985 WKTM
became country-formatted WXLY (Y102) and I became Assistant PD and
Music Director. In 1987 I went to work for rock station WAVF
(96WAVE) rock where I remained until 1990. I moved on to WEZL from
"During my radio career in
Charleston, I owned a very successful limousine service from
1985-1998. After I sold it I moved to Albany, Georgia and went to
work for WKAK (K-COUNTRY 104) doing afternoons until 2004. I did
some part time work for WDEN in Macon, Georgia. in 2006.
"Now I'm General Manager of a hotel
in Atlanta, Georgia."
T.J. Griffin (Real
Name: Tad Griffin) - Worked at WMC-FM and WHBQ in Memphis before coming
to WTMA in 1980. Moved over to WSSX where he was production directory
and midday jock before leaving for WCCO in Minneapolis, MN. Later worked
at KELT, McAllen/Brownsville, TX; WKHK in Richmond, VA; and WSOC in
Charlotte, NC. Deceased. Audio Available!
Tad, passed away on Thursday, September 20, 2012, in
Richmond, Va., after losing his battle with cancer. While
Tad was born in Vicksburg, Miss., on March 19, 1958, he grew
up in Memphis, Tenn., where he found a passion for golf and
a love of music. This love began a career in radio at WHBQ.
Tad married Kathy and together they traveled the country as
he rose in the radio ranks. In Richmond, Tad left radio and
worked for a short time for Prevent Blindness before turning
to his passion for golf into a new career when he started
his Golf Tournament Supply Company, GolfPaper.com. In
addition to this, he has written several books on the
subject. A Patriotic American, stand-up guy and a
compassionate human being, Tad, was loved by everyone. A
loving husband and father, Tad is survived by his wife,
Kathy; and three sons Reid, Patrick and Chris; his
daughter-in-law, Rhianna; and grandson, Keller; also his
brother, Lowry; and sisters, Lynda Anders and Donna Puckett.
Memorial Service will be Thursday, September 27, 2012, at
Sunday Park in Brandermill, at 2 p.m. In honor of Tad, dress
code is casual. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, or the charity of
Richmond Times-Dispatch from September 23 to September 25,
Frank writes on
2016: "Was hired by Ray Campbell and John Trenton. I recall Ted Turner
owned the station almost the whole time I was there. I
shared an apartment for about a year with Wayne Anderson. As
I recall, he didn't stay long.
"A couple of really fond memories: One day, I recall, Turner
was in the building. For some reason I got asked into a
programming meeting (who knows why as I was very much an
underling). Some folks from Dolly Holiday (they were
syndicating overnight elevator music programming sponsored
by Holiday Inns) were 'pitching' Ted and John on replacing
our current overnight format. Turner looked at them and
said, 'Look, when people turn on this station, I want them
to be able to trust exactly what they will hear.' That was
the end of the meeting.
"I also recall one night I was working late in the news
dept. and the overnight guy was sick, Terry Allen (who I
recall was doing weekends) couldn't come in and fill in and
there wasn't anybody who really could/wanted to work it so I
volunteered. I had NEVER run the board in the control room
at TMA. I hadn't been on the air as a DJ since leaving
campus radio at North Carolina. It was not pretty. I will
never forget Ted Bell came walking in about 2a.m. with his
wife at the time just to see how I was doing, give me a
little moral support, etc. I never forgot it...really nice
thing to do.
"I don't have any old airchecks or anything but do have
great memories of Ted, Uncle Boob, John Trenton and Bob
Riley (who left right after I did to move to Tennessee)."
Steve Harrigan (Real Name: Harry Gindhart) - WTMA PD and DJ in the
early 80s. Other radio gigs included WSBF-FM, Clemson; KSBK, Naha Okinawa;
WWMC-FM, Moncks Corner; WCSC, Charleston; WINH AM/FM, Georgetown; WBML,
Macon; WGMB-FM, Myrtle Beach; WDXY, Sumter; and WGCA, Charleston. He also
worked brief periods at WWWZ, Summerville, and at Charleston stations
WQSN, WNCG, WFXR and WXLY-FM. Following radio he had a 20-year career in
the construction business, with his last position as President of Dolphin
Building Systems, a division of Dolphin Architects/Builders in Charleston.
Became a United Methodist Minister (BS from Charleston
Southern University 1973; Master of Divinity from Emory University Atlanta
2006). Now retired in Charleston, SC. Other airnames included Harrigan Hart, Harrigan, Ron Gindy, and
Steve Harrigan.Audio Available!
Brad Harris - WTMA
News Director in the early 1980s. Previously worked at WHBQ in Memphis.
Post & Courier
Harris HANAHAN - Mr. Bradley P. Harris, 55, beloved husband
of Debra Padgett Harris, and loving father of Bradley S.
Harris and Breanna P. Harris entered into eternal rest on
Thursday, July 28, 2011 in Charleston, SC. The relatives and
friends of Mr. Bradley P. Harris and those of his family are
invited to attend his memorial service on Wednesday, August
3, 2011 at 10:00 a.m. at CAROLINA MEMORIAL FUNERAL HOME.
Interment will be private at a later date. Mr. Harris was
the son of the late John C. Harris II and Bettie P. Harris,
and the brother of the late John C. Harris III. Mr. Harris'
careers included serving as the News Director for WTMA Radio
in the early 1980s, then going on to restaurant and hotel
management with various restaurants and hotels throughout
the Southeast. Above all, Mr. Harris was a devoted family
man who adored his wife and children. surviving are his
wife, Debra P. Harris of Hanahan, SC, his son Bradley S.
Harris and his daughter Breanna P. Harris of Hanahan, SC and
his loving dog, Nina. He is also survived by his
mother-in-law, Patricia P. Singleton of Hanahan, SC,
sisters-in-law Teresa M. Mills (Hoyt) of North Charleston,
SC and Judy P. Driggers (Frank) of Hanahan, SC,
brother-in-law James F. Padgett of Hanahan, SC, nephew
Thomas W. Parson, Jr. (Jennifer) of Hanahan, SC, nieces
Jacki Harris and Stacy Harris-Powell (Joe) of Louisiana,
Jennifer P. Hollensteiner (Kurt) of Summerville, SC, Kaitlyn
N. Driggers of Hanahan, SC and several great-nieces and
great-nephews. Funeral services are provided by CAROLINA
MEMORIAL FUNERAL HOME.
Frank O. Hunt - WTMA
newsman/news director between 1971 and 1974. After many years in TV
journalism in Charleston (including WCIV-TV) plus a stint as Chief
Investigator in the 9th Circuit Solicitors Office, Frank is semi-retired.
Bob James (Real Name:
Lamar Boyd) -
Lamar is in Wichita, Kansas and is retired. (He formerly worked as the manager of his wife's dental
C.J. Jones -
WTMA GM in the early 1980s, plus part of the "C.J. & Buzz" morning
team during the same period. Was also DJ "Johnny Prince" at WTMA in
1964. Managed and/or owned radio stations in North and South Carolina,
Georgia, Philadelphia, and Iceland. Formerly Managing Partner, Chief Executive Officer and WLHH Morning
Man at Low Country Radio, LLC/Partners Broadcast Group, LLC (104.9
The Surf) in Hilton Head, SC. Died January 29, 2019 at the age of of
76. Audio Available!
Mike Justin (Real Name:
Michael Labnon) -
Overnight DJ in the early 70s. Also worked at WAPE in Jacksonville (where
he was Jay Thomas' roommate) as well as at Charleston's WKTM and
Q107. After leaving radio he was an audio engineer and director for many
years at WCSC-TV. Now living in the Charleston area.
Al Kamhi, Gery London, John Quincy and Booby
Al Kamhi - Newsman
between 1974 and 1977. He now lives in Lakewood, Florida where he's has
retired from being the President
and General Manager of
Motorsports. Audio Available!
Chris Kelley (Real
Name: Larry Jones) - WTMA DJ in 1986-1987.
Chris/Larry writes on
January 26, 2005: "I too worked at WTMA with Steve King back in
86-87. My airname that Steve King picked for me was Chris Kelley. I
started part-time on the weekend, then replaced Scott Young at
night, then moved to middays to replace Bob Graham, then was the
last morning show before they took it automated Country. Currently still
in Charleston, I'm President/COO and co-owner of the Advertising Service
Maureen Kennedy -
WTMA/WSSX newsperson in the early 1980s. Known as "Laura" when she did
morning traffic reports during the CJ & Buzz era.
Do you know where she is today?
Steve King - PD and DJ
between 1984 and 1987. During the last part of his TMA stint, the station was "Classic Rock, Roll & Soul".
Was Program Director of Cumulus Media's Classic Hits
in Indianapolis using the name "Steve Cannon" until March 2013.
Danny Knox - Mid 60s
DJ. He left Charleston in 1966 to attend college in Fort Lauderdale, then
worked for WFUN 790 in Miami using the airname Johnny Summer. In 1967 he
moved over to WQAM 560 in Miami as Johnny Knox. He left WQAM for a short
time in 1969 for WIBG in Philadelphia. Danny returned to Miami and WQAM
through 1971. Other gigs included WIOD 610 Miami, then WINZ 940 Miami as
afternoons and then program director with WINZ-FM 94.9 added. His final
radio job was at WMYQ 96.9 in Miami, He left radio for
Dania Jai-Alai in
1976 where he's Vice President and General Manager. Danny lives in Fort
Lauderdale and still has family in Charleston and the Low Country.
Danny writes on February 25,
2005: "Enjoyed seeing the stuff about the guys I worked with:
Deputy Doug, Charlie Bird Lindsey, Jim Diamond, Bob Mitchell,
Terry....I even saw a mention of Harold the engineer. I used to also do
football color on the FM, we carried Summerville Green Wave on FM.
That was a trip. Chuck Smith was the owner: Atlantic Coast
"Bob Mitchell hired me from WAZS,
Summerville -- my first station. There was a tall thin kid that went
to TMA, he was working at WBER in Moncks Corner. While at TMA, he
convinced me to take the job...and I can't remember his name to save
me. He went with Bob down to WMBR, our new station in Jacksonville.
"TMA was fun, I was a senior at Charleston High School and did
nights on TMA. I couldn't even go to my graduation....I was on the
air. There was another TMA guy during 64-66: Johnny Long. He came
down here to Miami and recently retired from the Metro-Dade police
after working on radio down here for many moons.
"I worked with Dan Moon at WAZS in Summerville -- 1963?
"Remember the old 'good night boys' sign off?"
This article appeared in the Charleston newspaper on January 20,
'Good Guy Danny' Finds Radio Is
By Sally Zalkin
Many of Charleston's
teen-agers spend every night from eight to twelve with "Good Guy
Danny Knox on the Mighty 'TMA."
Danny, a senior at Charleston High School, is the youngest disc
jockey to ever work at the local radio station. He has been "fooling
with radio" since he was 10 years old.
"Radio fascinates me," he said. "It always has. I love to mess
around with anything electronic."
When Danny was 13, there was a radio station in the bottom of the
building in which he lived in Memphis, Tenn. He spent much time
around the station and was encouraged by the local disc jockeys.
Shortly afterwards, he came to Charleston, and here he built his own
recording station. Danny recorded commercials for local stations. At
15, he began working as a disc jockey at WAZS in Summerville.
Because his father is a construction engineer, the family often
moves from city to city, and Danny found a new position at a radio
station in his new home -- Fort Lauderdale , Fla.
He returned to Charleston in June and went back to work at WAZS. In
August Doug Randall of WTMA heard Danny's program and offered him
the night shift.
"I love working at 'TMA," Danny said. "A disc jockey has to be on
his toes all the time. We queue records, cut commercials, and in
addition, each announcer has to fill out complete program logs.
"I love my work because I enjoy talking to people. I've always had a
After graduation this year, Danny plans to go into radio full time.
"It's the work I love," he said. "There's nothing else I want to
Arthur Kornicky -
Newsman in the early '70s. Deceased.
John Lee -
Midday DJ 1983/84. Previously worked at WOCB-AM on Cape Cod. Left WTMA to
do mornings and PD duties at North Charleston's
WKTM. After leaving WKTM, John became one-third owner of WIXR in Mt.
Pleasant. Later did radio work in Lexington, KY (WVLK-AM) and Tampa, FL. Now lives in Massachusetts where he owns a hearing conservation company
with his wife. Still does some part-time radio (weekends and fill-in)
for WNBP-AM in
Newburyport, MA. [Real name: John Grant]
Robert E. Lee
- WTMA night jock in 1975. Came to WTMA from
WKLO in Louisville,
Kentucky. Departed WTMA to do afternoons at WCSC as Scott Ashley. Left
Charleston to go to KITE in San Antonio. Later worked at Charleston's WKQB
and WKTM as well as Z100 in Charlotte
in the early 80s as Panama Jack. Today he's a
consultant based out of California. [Real name: Gerry Cunningham]
Charlie "Byrd" Lindsey
- WTMA DJ between 1963 and 1965. Now living in Charleston, retired from
radio. Audio Available!
Gery London (Real
Name: Christopher M. Pinckney) - DJ at WTMA in the 1970s. Passed away
August 26, 2013 at the age of 61. Gery London Page
Gery writes on June 8,
2009: "I started at my hometown radio station (WALD AM/FM in
Walterboro) at the age of 14. During my college years I worked
weekends at WSPA-TV and later WORD-AM in Spartanburg.
"After graduation I did afternoons at a 10 kilowatt AM station (I
forgot the calls) in Richmond, VA, then jocked at WLEE in Richmond
for a short while, working with PD and close friend Pen Payton.
"I returned to Charleston and was hired at WTMA in 1973 do
overnights. I only did overnights for about a month, and then Keith
Nichols and I split middays (me 9a-12pm, Keith 12p-3p). JJ Scott was
the WTMA PD. (He replaced John Trenton who moved to the GM spot.)
"I left WTMA shortly in 1973-74 (can't remember the exact date) to
do afternoons at Q-104 in Norfolk, VA. I worked there just a month
when JJ Scott and Bill Dudley brought me back to Charleston to do AM
Drive at WKTM, which had just switched to Top 40. WTMA rehired me in
a manner of months, after Booby Nash left to go to WKTM. I then did
afternoon drive at WTMA
until late 1978.
"I was hired as operations manager and afternoons at Q-107 in St.
George. I stayed at Q-107 (after driving the ratings to #1 12+ the
first book in late 1979 - double digits again) and went from
Operations Manager to Sales Exec around 1985 and did very well until
I quit on the eve of Hurricane Hugo over a disagreement to sell adds
on the eve of such a tragic storm.
"I left Charleston and was hired the day after Hugo at the new 100
kilowatt FM, 99.7 WHTK. Even though it was licensed to Hilton Head,
it put out a city-grade signal over Charleston and Savannah. I did
afternoons there for a couple of years. (I pulled a 8 share in
Charleston and Savannah.)
"I returned to Walterboro to run WALD AM/FM in 1991/92. I stayed
there until my good friend and GM of WSSX and WSUY hired me to do
Pillow Talk on WSUY (dates unclear). I was very successful with the
Pillow Talk program. I pulled a 14 share and TSL was out the roof -
almost 4 hours - this was 7pm to midnight to boot!
"From there I disappeared from the public eye while doing some
specialized work. Oh yeah, I did own Gery London Productions, a
production house that did commercials, v/o work for WCBD TV 2 and
other TV and Radio Stations plus other clients. I also had a music
company that did dances at local schools all through the '70s
through the Q-107 days. Plus I was President of Pinckney and Stone
Advertising Company (in the '80s while still in radio). We had a
dozen car dealers and our biggest national account was Glassic
Pickles (I swear!) -- talk about a conflict of interest. No one at
the station really protested since I did buy a lot of radio.
"I resurfaced in the latter '90s as MIS Director for Dorchester
County then in late 2000 exited and went to work for the DOD, DOJ,
Marines and consulted the Canada Air Force as a Senior Systems
Engineer in the C4I Division.
"In late 2003, when I was diagnosed with rare form of Parkinson's, I
was forced to retire.
"My happiest days in radio was the best part of a decade I spent at
WTMA in the 70s. Without a doubt we had the most talented jocks, the
best commercials, the hottest jingles, the right music rotations,
the best music, the highest ratings in the history of Charleston
radio -- even topping national ratings in some day parts -- but most
importantly -- we loved what we did and more importantly we loved
every single person who owned a radio - because nearly 75% of them
were tuned to WTMA. (That included me as a kid with my transistor
radio growing up in Walterboro. I listened to 1250 WTMA day &
"I'm currently building a home recording studio and own a dormant
concert sound and lighting company. I have two grown sons (Tyler and
Justin), a stepdaughter and two grandsons. Oh yeah, can't forget
about my wife, Melody who still puts up with my foolishness! I love
each and everyone so much.
"WTMA is more that just a set of call letters of some radio station.
Those four letters W T M A stand for all the talented people that
came before, during and after me through today with Richard Todd and
"WTMA was and is all the voices behind the mic and the listeners who
still have transistors in their radios. One of my favorite things to
do is walk on the sandy beaches of Edisto on those long August
evenings watching the sunset and reminiscing about it all. Life has
ST. GEORGE -
Christopher Michael Pinckney, 61, husband of Melody May Pinckney, of
470 Old St. George Road, St. George, entered into eternal rest on
Monday, August 26, 2013, at his residence. A Memorial Service will
be held 4:00 PM Friday, August 30, 2013, at Bryant Funeral Home
Chapel with the Reverend Jackie Walters. The family will receive
friends following the service. Chris was born on December 20, 1951,
in Walterboro, SC, a son of the late, Jack Avery and Jacqueline
Thompson Pinckney. He was a graduate of Walterboro High School and
attended Clemson University. He worked in the computer industry and
his love was being a DJ on the radio. He began his career in
Walterboro at WALD and spent most of his time at WTMA in Charleston
as "Gery London." Surviving is his wife, Melody M. Pinckney, St.
George; two sons, Tyler O'Neal Pinckney, Grover Justin Cotesworth (Lauren) Pinckney, Charleston; a step-daughter, Jennifer
P. (Derrick) Messex; grandchildren, Jackson Pinckney, Landon and
Owen Messex; sister, Ruthie P. (Doug) Mixson, Lodge; a niece,
Caroline Mixson and a nephew, Doug (Jennifer) Mixson, Jr. Memorials
may be made to Parkinson Foundation, 1501 North West 9th Ave.,
Miami, FL 33136 or charity of one's choice.
Published in the Charleston Post & Courier on August 28, 2013
Johnny Long -
WTMA 7 p.m.-12 midnight jock in 1964 and 1965.
Johnny writes on February 26,
2005: "Thanks for the great website on TMA.
"I moved to Charleston to work at WQSN (then top 40) but quickly
moved over to WTMA where I worked the 7p-12a shift at WTMA in
'64/'65. I left to work at the old WSAI in Cincinnati. I used my own
name, Johnny Long, at these stations.
"Since that time I worked at a number of stations including: Used
Air name - Stephen W. Morgan WQXI - Atlanta; WFUN - Miami; WQAM -
Miami; WMYQ (FM) - Miami; WIOD - Miami; and WTPZ (FM) - Fort
"What am I doing now? Well I'm semi-retired. I have moved from South
Florida to your old state of Kentucky. I have a book out, 'The Human
Legacy,' and am working on two others which I hope to have completed
and released before the end of the year.
"Keep up the good work and remember - as I always said - 'Live it up
high, but don't live it up so high that you can't live it down.'"
Wayne Long -
WTMA newsman for approximately four years starting in 1965. Left WTMA for
a job in New Jersey, then returned to Charleston radio to do news at WQSN
for about four years. Next gig was as US Representative Mendel Davis'
press secretary for 10 years. Then he took a job with the National Fire
Academy. Now retired in the Braddock Heights, Maryland, a small community
outside of Frederick.
Wayne writes on
June 18, 2009: "'TMA was a real experience for a young guy fresh out
of the Navy and AFRTS with a wife and two boys. I was the 'new kid
on the block' and had to compete with people like Ned Webb, Ken
Klyce, Red Evans and Graham Smith who had been there forever. Tom
Mannion was at WNCG and Bob Smith at WCSC. Of course the ever
popular Harry Weaver owned and operated WOKE. After a couple of
years there wasn't much we ever got skunked on.
"We didn't have much money and
worked our little butts to the bone, but I swear we had the best
time and made some of the most dear friends that I am still
privileged to know."
Dave Loyd - Mid 60s
DJ and Operations Manager.
Later worked at Charleston's WQSN, Winston-Salem's WTOB and Atlanta's WPLO.
Returned to WTMA as PD/Morning DJ for WTMA for a few months in 1980.
Moved back to Atlanta after his second stint at WTMA.
Do you know where he is today?
Val McGinness from
Columbus, Georgia writes on August 3, 2011: "I
worked with Dave Loyd, who I guess would be in his mid to
late 60s now. In 1969 I worked with him at WQSN-AM, where a
few guys who'd worked at WTMA, started WQSN with the intent
of starting what they called 'Countrypolitan'. The GM was
Doug Randall, Dave was PD (as well as a mentor of mine), and
I was a combination night jock, MD, and afternoon news
reader/newsman. I was there when the Southern Christian
Leadership Conference was supporting the infamous hospital
strike, and I got hit with a brick while trying to call in a
news story (with alligator clips) at a pay phone.
"I last saw Dave years ago
when he was music director for WGST-AM which later switched
to news due to ratings. Don't know where Dave is now, but I
do know that he was originally from Opelika, AL. I doubt
he's in radio, if there, because I'm there often, and I
haven't heard that powerful clean voice of his that I would
"I remember that Dave heard
me on WBER-AM in Moncks Corner, and called me just about 15
minutes after I thought to myself, 'I wish someone would
hear me in Charleston, and kick start my career.' He asked
me how long I'd been in radio. I told him 6 months, and he
said, 'Well, I'm glad to hear that it's just been 6 months,
because maybe, maybe, I can do something with you. You are
terrible! Oh, by the way, would you like to work overnights
for $450.00 a month?' I said no, but he called a few weeks
later, and offered me a better job with better pay.
"That guy had a big voice.
His morning show cartoon character was Chesney Beemish,
which he did with expertise, back and forth with himself,
live, in real time.
"Others who worked there
[WQSN] were Joe Lawler, Frank Hunt, Wayne Moon, R.J. Kight
(Jim Diamond), Doc Holliday, and Tom Bootle."
in the Charleston News & Courier on September 20, 1980
Lures Loyd Back By Anne Barnes, Entertainment Editor
is home and radio is his first love. David L. Loyd, program
director at WTMA-AM, has bounced around from Birmingham to
Atlanta to Winston-Salem, but keeps coming back to
Charleston. And this time, he says, he's here to stay.
Going to high school in Oneonta, Ala., a small town just
northeast of Birmingham, curiosity lead him to the local
radio station. "One day after school, I rode my bicycle past
the radio station and stopped in just to see what it was
like. There was a guy there getting ready to go back to
college and the station manager asked if I'd like to be a
disc jockey. I said 'nope.' Then he called my dad and he
said 'no.' I just wasn't interested.
"But I started going by after school - I was only 15 - and
pretty soon I was doing a two-hour all-request show. I did
the 5'clock news and when the station went off the air at
sundown, cleaned up. They paid me $2 a day.
"I found out how much fun radio is and started putting a lot
of time in."
Attending Auburn University where he studied business
administration, Loyd worked part time at WJHO in Opelika.
After serving as program director at WAQY in Birmingham, he
made his first foray to Charleston as program director at
WTMA in 1966.
Other Charleston stints were with WQSN "when they were a
country station" and WNCG-WKTM, sandwiched between time
spent in Winston-Salem and two sojourns to Atlanta. "We're
an itinerant bunch," says Loyd. Asked about plans to move to
a bigger market, Loyd explains. "I've done that. Atlanta is
the big time of the Southeast. I thoroughly enjoy radio, but
I love Charleston. There's something about this city. I keep
going away, but I keep coming back.
"Radio in this market has become very, very vibrant. For so
many years, one radio station dominated this market and that
station was WTMA. Technology has fragmented the market and
there are a lot of good stations here. The competitive
spirit here has increased - and that's healthy."
Describing his radio style, Loyd shrugs, "I'm just me.
Sometimes I'm serious, sometimes I'm a wild-and-crazy guy.
Hardly, if ever, do disc jockeys look the way the listeners
envision them. I've had people tell me I sound literally
tall, dark and handsome. I've also had them tell me they
thought I'd be shorter and fatter. Some are disappointed,
and some are not. I met my wife after she'd heard me on the
radio and, fortunately, she wasn't disappointed.
"Disc jockeys can be whatever people want them to be, sort
of a semifantasy. People used to think you shouldn't let the
jocks go out and let people see them, so the mystique could
continue. Now we want our people to get out where people can
see them and know they are real people - people with wives
and children and dogs and houses and house payments."
Loyd lives west of the Ashley with his wife Vickie and
daughters Sheila, 15, and Kay, 14. A new family member is
expected in December. He is on the air 6-10 a.m. weekdays.
John Martin (Real
Name: John Martin Williams) - Evening
announcer between late 1980 and mid 1981. Died August 6, 2009.
John writes in May of 2006:
"I left WQSN to do evenings at 'TMA. Shortly after I came on board,
they started running a sports talk format from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. I
went back to WQSN for several years until leaving the business.
"At WTMA Ken Moore was doing
afternoons and I came on after him. There was also a John Hane
who followed me. This sports thing didn't last that long. It was a
satellite feed and we inserted spots and weather. Local advertisers
were not too wild about it and I remember a lot of negative phone
calls. It worked out well because WQSN needed a full timer when I
looked into going back. I ended up outlasting about 3 owners, 5 GMs,
and 50 or more staffers if my memory serves me correctly. How I
stayed there for 9 years is a mystery!
"I left WQSN (aka WGCA) in '84, worked for WXLY for about a year (I
was part of the crew that took them from Country to Oldies) and made
my final stand in the business as part of Baker Broadcasting/The
Breeze Network from 1995 to 2000 where I was one of the last deejays
heard before they went dark.
"I might mention here that I first decided I wanted to one day be a
deejay when Booby Nash first came to WTMA in the '60s. We
would later work together at WQSN when he did an overnight
Contemporary Christian show for a local ministry."
This was published in Charleston Post & Courier on August 7, 2009
Martin Williams CHARLESTON - John (Johnny) Martin Williams, of
Charleston, SC, entered into eternal rest on the morning of August
6, 2009. The relatives and friends are invited to attend his funeral
services Saturday, August 8, 2009, at one o'clock in J. HENRY STUHR,
INC., DOWNTOWN CHAPEL. Entombment, Magnolia Cemetery. Friends may
call Saturday at Stuhr between eleven and one o'clock. Mr. Williams
was born April 17, 1954, in Orangeburg, SC, the son of Eugene Mood
Williams, Jr. and Sarah Sauls Williams. He attended the College of
Charleston and was a former Disc Jockey with WTMA and The Breeze,
known as J. Martin. He was a member of North Charleston United
Methodist Church. He is survived by his Mother of Summerville, SC;
one sister: Sally Williams Thackston of Charleston, SC; one brother:
E. Mood Williams, III of Summerville, SC; five nephews: Christopher
B. Thackston of Charleston, SC, Eric M. Thackston (Rachel) of
Huntsville, AL, Bryan J. Thackston of Charlotte, NC, Michael M.
Williams (Lori) of Mt. Pleasant, SC and E. Park Williams (Tricia)
Charlotte, NC. Memorials may be made to The American Diabetes
Association , Memorial & Honor Program, 2711 Middleburg Drive, Suite
108-B, Columbia, SC 29204.
Scott Maxwell - WTMA
announcer/production director in the early and mid 80s.
From Georgetown, SC. Now lives in Murrells Inlet, SC.
Paul Mayer - WTMA
and Morning DJ in 1980. He's now selling real estate in Delaware. Audio Available!
Charlie McGraw (Real Name: Charles Hosmer) - WTMA
DJ in 1981. Now in Las Vegas, NV where he's been the head of programming
for the City of Las Vegas government TV channel since 2000. Audio Available!
David Michaels (Real
Name: David Michael Anderson) - Began as a part-timer at WTMA while still
in high school in March 1979 while working as a board operator at public
radio station WSCI. Later did local stints at WSSX, WKTM, WKQB, WAVF, WMGL
and WYBB. David writes in June of 2019: "I retired from radio back in 2013
after 23 years at WFYV-FM (Rock 105) in Jacksonville. The format was
changed when management decided to move News/Talk WOKV AM 690 to FM.
Also, could you please include my e-mail address (firstname.lastname@example.org)
in case anyone would like to contact me?" Audio Available!
Greg Michaels (Real
Name: Greg Meloche) - Overnight jock in the early 70s. Later did
7-midnight at WKTM. Now does audio post production at
Kinetic Post in
Bob Mitchell (Real
Name: Lonnie Matherne III) - WTMA PD
and DJ in the early 1960s. Joined WTMA in early 1963 from KAOK in Lake
Charles, Louisiana. Went on to a long radio career in his hometown
of New Orleans, including stints at WTIX, Lite 105 and WTKL (Kool 95.7).
Hosted an evening show on
WWL AM & FM in the Crescent
Dan Moon - WTMA
DJ and Program Director during WTMA's days as a country station in the
late 1980s. He successfully made the transition when the station flipped
to a news/talk format in June of 1989 and remained with WTMA until the
Fall of 2003. Dan was the morning host at WSCC-FM in Charleston through
September 1, 2006. Later worked as Public Information Officer for the Berkeley County Sheriff's Office.
Died November 26, 2019 after battling pancreatic cancer; he was 78.
Ken Moore - WTMA
DJ in the early 1980s. Deceased.
Don "Mad Dog" Morgan
(Real Name: Don Hanzlik) - WTMA DJ in 1976. Currently is news editor and
correspondent with Metro Radio Networks, Silver Spring, MD.
Update Don writes on December 16, 2008: "In August of 2006 I left
Metro Networks to take the position of Program Director of WDMV-AM 700, a
business and financial talk station. I was later promoted to Operations
Manager and eventually General Manager. With these new experiences under
my belt I am hoping to return to Coastal South Carolina in the very near
future. While radio remains high on my list of career choices along with
TV or Print newsroom management, I am hoping to be able to reinvent myself
in the field of Media Relations. After all, who better knows how to feed
the News Monster than someone who has been on the Monster’s side for over
two decades? I have had experience here in a volunteer setting and as an
Earned Media Consultant to a Virginia political campaign. I am open to
corporate, non-profit and government agency opportunities. Readers are
invited to review my profile
An email link is there as well." Another Update "In 2011 we
abandoned plans to retire at Hilton Head choosing instead Florida's Gulf
Coast so we can spend more time on our boat. We are now in Palmetto
where Tampa Bay meets the Manatee River and Gulf of Mexico.
Coincidentally, the city was so-named in 1868 by Samuel Sparks Lamb, who
is called the "Father of Palmetto", saying it reminded him of his home
state, South Carolina). While making the 14-hundred mile trip from
northern Virginia to Florida aboard All Hanz On Deck we had the
opportunity to meet up with C.J. Jones and John Magliola at Hilton
Philip Myer - Was a
TMA Tape Jockey in the 70s. He now owns an insurance agency in Charleston.
in January, 2005 during an interview about his WTMA days
Bob (Booby) Nash - One
of WTMA's most popular DJs in the mid '60s through most of the '70s.
Originally from New York state. Came to WTMA to do a couple of weeks of vacation relief
in the summer of 1966 and was asked to stay on full-time. Left WTMA several times, going to
Charleston's WKTM, and stations in Niagara Falls, NY and Jacksonville,
Florida. However he always came back to WTMA until leaving for WCSC radio around 1980.
Worked at WCSC-AM until 1986 when he became a full-time minister, pastoring a church on James Island. Died January 18, 2017 at the age of
77 after a brief illness. Booby Nash Page
Charleston Post & Courier - January 20, 2017
"Bob" "Booby" Nash, 77, of Charleston and husband of Raetta
Nash, passed away Wednesday, January 18, 2017.
Bob was born on May 30, 1939 in Buffalo, NY to the late Karl
Emerson Nash and Dorothy Evoy Nash. He came to Charleston in
1966 to work at WTMA radio and stayed in the business for
many years. He founded and pastored Living Word Church on
James Island in 1984 and then went into missionary ministry.
As much as he loved making Charleston laugh, radio, his
family and his church, he loved his Jesus most of all and
now he’s in His presence.
The family would like to express a special thank you to the
staff at MUSC.
In addition to his wife of 45 years, survivors include his
daughter, Lisa Nash Toxey; grandson, Tyler Toxey; his
sister, Sandy Mascia and many other family members.
A Celebration of Bob’s Life will be held at 12 Noon on
Saturday, January 21, 2017 at McAlister-Smith Funeral Home,
James Island Chapel.
The family will receive friends 2 hours prior to the service
from 10 AM – 12 PM at the chapel.
Arrangements entrusted to McALISTER-SMITH FUNERAL HOME,
JAMES ISLAND CHAPEL, 347 Folly Road, Charleston, SC 29412,
Keith Nichols - Did
two stints at WTMA. In the late '60s he was a newsman; in the early and mid
he was a DJ and Production Director. Also worked at WNOK-AM and WUSC-AM in
Columbia, South Carolina while in college. Left WTMA to go to work at
Charleston's WCIV-TV until 1979, when he went to Omaha, Nebraska's KMTV to
take the News Director's position. Keith returned to Charleston in 1985
where he began a 20-year stint as a morning weatherman on
Keith passed away on January 27, 2008 after losing a battle with cancer.
Keith Nichols Page
Charleston Post & Courier - January 29, 2008
Keith Lewis Nichols, age 57, died peacefully in his sleep,
Sunday, January 27, at Roper Hospital. The family will
receive friends this Wednesday afternoon, January 30, 2008
from 5 until 7 o'clock at J. HENRY STUHR, INC., WEST ASHLEY
CHAPEL, 3360 Glenn McConnell Pkwy., Charleston, SC 29414.
Relatives and friends are invited to attend 11 a.m.
Graveside Services on Thursday, January 31, in Charleston at
Live Oak Memorial Gardens (Hwy. 61) and a Memorial Service
at 3 p.m. at Lutheran Church of the Redeemer. He is survived
by his wife, Elizabeth (Beth) Roddey Nichols, his daughter,
Kristen Nichols Voyer (Bryon), and his parents Lewis and
Norma Nichols of Mt. Pleasant. Nichols was born in Newberry,
SC, where he earned his Eagle Scout badge in 1965. He
graduated from Newberry High School in 1968 and earned
degrees in Journalism from the University of South Carolina
in 1972 and in Meteorology from Mississippi State in 1994.
His broadcasting career began at WKDK in Newberry during his
high school years. He worked as an announcer at WNOK AM and
WUSC AM in Columbia while in college. Upon graduation, he
joined the staff of WTMA in Charleston and eventually became
an anchor, producer and Assistant News Director at WCIV.
Nichols moved to Omaha, NE, in 1979, and served as News
Director of KMTV. He returned to Charleston in 1985 and was
Morning Weather anchor at WCSC-TV, where his featured series
You Gotta Eat was popular throughout the Low Country. A
long-time supporter of Gamecock athletics, Nichols spent
some of his happiest moments in Williams Brice Stadium and
on the campus of his beloved Carolina. Nichols' favorite
charities were March of Dimes and Muscular Dystrophy
Association. He hosted the MDA Telethon for a number of
years. He had also served on the Church Council of Lutheran
Church of the Redeemer and was active in the South Carolina
Via de Cristo. In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to
Lutheran Church of the Redeemer, 714 Riverdale Drive,
Charleston, SC 29407; South Carolina Via de Cristo, 1000
Johnny Dodds Boulevard, Suite 103-1001, Mt. Pleasant, SC
29464; and the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, 300 West Coleman
Boulevard, Suite 206, Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464.
Bill Quinn (Real Name:
Leon Chisolm) -
Night-time DJ in the early and mid 1980s. Left WTMA to go to WXTU in
Philadelphia to do overnights. Spent 14 years at WXTU before returning to
Charleston, where he lives today in retirement.
Doug Randall (Real
Name: Douglas Randolph Clements) - Charleston native who became a WTMA DJ
in the early 60s, eventually moving into management. Later joined
Charleston's WQSN and North Charleston's WNCG/WKTM, before leaving the
area to work at stations in Nebraska, Iowa and Maryland. Died January
1988 in Salisbury, MD. More about Doug Randall
Lee Richards (Real
Name: Richard Booth) - Lee was a WTMA PD and jock from late 1973 through
the Fall of 1977.
Now living in Victoria, British Columbia.
Lee writes on March 31, 2006:
"Was surfing around the Web and came across your Web site. Great information and brought back a lot of memories - was wondering what
had happened to a lot of the folks.
"Before WTMA I worked at KSTP in
Minneapolis, Minnesota, WAMS in Wilmington, Delaware, WRNC in Raleigh,
North Carolina, and KNAK in Salt Lake City, Utah.
"I left to pursue a totally different career in direct sales, but
ended up back in radio, but this time in news-radio as a morning
news anchor at KWMS and KDYL in Salt Lake City, and KRNN, WOAI, KTSA and
KENS in San Antonio, Texas.
"I am still in San Antonio where I owned and operated a
photography/video studio for 15 years. I retired last year."
Bob Riley (Real Name:
Daryl Riley) - WTMA DJ between 1968 and 1973. He left Charleston in 1973
for Chattanooga, TN where in 1980 he became station
manager and engineer of educational FM station WAWL.
Died on November 28, 2006. Audio Available!
This article appeared at Chattanoogan.com on November 29,
Riley, Bob Daryl Christopher
Broadcaster Was Initial Director Of WAWL At Chat State
Christopher Riley died on Tuesday, November 28, 2006.
He was born on Feb. 23, 1946 in Cary, N.C. Bob began a radio career
at the early age of 15 in Fuquay, N.C. Two years later he moved to
the Fort Bragg market and then became the #1 disk jockey at WTMA in
the Charleston, S.C. market. From there he brought his family to the
Chattanooga area where he put the first computerized radio station
on the air for Turner Broadcasting.
In 1980, Bob began what he believed was his true calling. He served
Chattanooga State Technical Community College as the initial
Director of Radio WAWL as well as teaching at the School of
Broadcasting, Chattanooga State Community College. Many of the
students Bob mentored at that school have been successful in the
area of broadcasting. All who knew Bob appreciated his wry sense of
humor and his gifted intelligence.
Bob is survived by his children, Michael, Jonathan, and Amanda, all
of Chattanooga; his parents, Robert E. and Frances J. Riley of Cary,
N.C., and four siblings, April, Mary-Michael, Barry and Kevin;
numerous nieces and nephews and a host of friends, including a
special friend, Angie.
A memorial service will be held at 4 p.m. on Friday at Christ United
Methodist Church at 8645 East Brainerd Rd. in Chattanooga. The
family will gather with friends following the service at the church.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Bob
(Daryl) Riley School of Broadcasting Memorial Scholarship, in care
of the Chattanooga State Foundation, 4501 Amnicola Hwy.,
Chattanooga, TN 37406.
Steve Russell - Steve
was a DJ at WTMA in the early-to-mid 70s. He lives in Hollywood, SC where
he operates a DJ/Karaoke
business that serves the greater Charleston area.
Bob Scott (Real Name:
Robert Hogan) -
WTMA DJ between 1961 and 1967. Audio Available!
Bob writes on
February 15, 2007: "My name is Bob Hogan but my air names at
WTMA were Bob Scott and for a short time, Steve Canyon
(that's a long, funny story). I was doing two shows during the same
period of time using both air names. The owner of the station was
Mr. Chuck Smith and our studios were located on the second floor
of the old Dock Street Theater building.
"Prior to moving to Charleston, SC, I worked the radio market in
Norfolk, VA and was friends with Bob Calvert, who at the
time, worked at WGH in Newport News, VA. I was never aware that Bob
Calvert worked at WTMA until reading your article.
"While working at WTMA, I was in the Air Force assigned to the
Charleston Air Force Base. I was actually working two full time jobs
but it was such fun.
"I worked at WTMA for approximately five years and had a very strong
following. Besides working drive time slots, I hosted the Saturday
Night All Request Show which was sponsored by Pepsi-Cola.
1960s WTMA DJs Jim Diamond and Bob
Scott (May 2007)
"I can remember signing off the station Saturday night at midnight,
sleeping on the sofa in the room directly outside of the broadcast
and production studios and then signing on at 6 AM Sunday morning.
"Bob Mitchell was hired as program director after I joined
WTMA. Prior to that, Doug Randall was the acting program
director. I worked with Doug Randall (Clements), now deceased. I
understand that Doug left radio and went into the ministry before
"I also worked with Jim Diamond and Charlie Lindsey
who will remember me well. Harold Kramer was the
"After completing my Air Force tour of duty in 1966, I continued
working at WTMA full time. A nasty rumor surfaced that the station
was involved in a fraud case involving a WTMA employee (cannot
remember his name) and there was a possibility that Chuck Smith
could lose the station. During this same period, I was offered a
position with the General Electric Company in Chesapeake, VA and
decided to accept it. I worked there for eleven years until that
"I am now retired and live in a suburb of Fort Lauderdale, FL
"I will be thrilled if you would add any or all of this memo to your
WTMA web site. Please tell the guys with whom I worked that I think
about them often and the good times that we shared at the 'Mighty
J.J. Scott (a.k.a. Jon
Scott - Real Name: Bill Towery) - Early 70s WTMA DJ and Program Director.
(Replaced John Trenton as PD; succeeded by Lee Richards in December 1973.)
Randy Scott -
Mid 70s WTMA DJ. Randy died in an airplane crash while working as a
traffic reporter for WCSC-AM in the early 1980s. Audio Available!
Bill Sharpe - WTMA
newsman in the early 1970s. Now the lead anchorman at
WCSC-TV in Charleston.
Mark Shipman -
Weekend board-op and overnight DJ in the 70s, also known as Mark
Mark writes on
November 17, 2008: "I began an exciting but short career at
WTMA/WPXI in 1974 reporting high school sports scores via the 'hot
line' (556-4301) to WTMA and John Burwell and others just to
get air time for my high school. As a reward of sorts John made a
studio tour possible for me and encouraged me to get a third class
FCC ticket with a broadcast endorsement, and he said he might be
able to get me some weekend board work with TMA. So, I got the
license in Savannah, GA at the ripe old age of 15!
"True to his word John
got me a part-time job on the weekends running the "God Squad" tapes
and AT40. Keith Nichols was my 12 noon relief man and then I
would return later that evening to rerun the AT40 and then a 2-hour
live show, finally shutting down the station at midnight Sunday for
"After some months of
doing this, Lee Richards offered me the all night show (while
still doing weekends) as well as the board work for remote
broadcasts for Gery London and many others. There are so many
memories of those who taught me!
"In August of 1977 I
left for college for broadcast journalism at USC Columbia and a job
at WNOK AM/FM/TV later to return to WTMA/WPXI as Mark O'Brien
until January 1979.
"Now, I'm employed by
Kapstone Paper (Westvaco). I'm an instrument/electrical
technician/union president for 30 years."
Lee "Baby" Simms
(Real name: Gilmore LaMar Simms)-
Quit school at the age of 16 to become a WTMA DJ in 1961 (and according to George Wilson, was WTMA's first
Lee e-mailed us on February 4, 2005 to report: "Lee Baby is retired and
lives high on a hill overlooking San Francisco bay. He is happy."
Died January 28, 2015.
Billy Smith - WTMA DJ
in the early 70s. Died September 7, 2009. Audio
Notices: The Post & Courier - Charleston, SC - September 8, 2009
NORTH MYRTLE BEACH - William M.
"Billy" Smith, 67, passed away Monday, September 7, 2009 at Grand
Strand Regional Medical Center peacefully following an extended
Billy Smith was born
in Marion, SC, the middle of five children. He enjoyed the
small-town atmosphere of his childhood, when "downtown" held most
opportunities for activity. Billy's family saw every new movie that
came to town, and he credits this experience with his love for the
movies today. His mother would take the kids to nearby Myrtle Beach
on Sundays after church. The pavilion and boardwalk hold special
memories for him. After all, it was there that he was first charmed
by rhythm and blues music. These early records, played on jukeboxes
up and down the boardwalk, caught not only his ear but his intrigue
as well. He never heard this kind of music on the radio back home in
Marion, and he wondered why.
The local record store
in Marion became a favorite after-school activity for Billy. He
saved and spent every dime he made from his paper route on records
by R & B Doo-Wop groups such as the Cadillacs, Flamingos, and the
Five Satins. Today, of course, this music is credited as the
precluder to "beach music". Billy also started hanging out at the
local radio station, WATP-AM. He was fascinated by Scott Simms, one
of the broadcasters. The folks at the station recognized his
interest was genuine and allowed him to have a Saturday morning
slot. Calls poured in from listeners..."What IS this music he's
playing? Why doesn't he play any music by white artists?" After all,
they were used to Elvis, Pat Boone, and Perry Como. His
controversial career in radio was off to a running start!
Billy's dad, a
building contractor, built a miniature radio studio on top of The
Dairyette, a local diner in Marion; and Billy began broadcasting his
own show, "The Dairyette Show" on Sunday afternoons. Just like a
scene from "Happy Days", teens would ride by in their Chevys and
hang out in the parking lot. His love for broadcasting was cemented!
In 1964, Billy left
Marion for Wilmington, NC and accepted a position at WGNI. A year
later he moved to Myrtle Beach and worked at WTGR (Tiger Radio),
where he remained for the next six years. He was thrilled when he
received an offer to move to Charleston to work at WTMA. It was the
largest radio station in South Carolina, and Billy had listened to
it for years. Ironically, one of his fellow broadcasters at WTMA
would later reemerge as a coworker in another setting...Ted Bell!
Returning to the Grand Strand in 1973,
Billy has remained at Myrtle Beach and North Myrtle Beach ever
since. He went to work for Bill Norman at WNMB (yes, it's the same
building 94.9 the Surf is in today!) where he remained for the next
15 years. He has worked at Power 98, which became Mix 97.7, where
his longtime friend Terri Springs was his co-host.
After a 2-year stint
at Cool 104.9, Billy joined 94.9 the Surf in 2002. Billy loves his
morning slot on 94.9 almost as much as he loves all the lady
listeners telling him that they enjoy "waking up" with him every
morning! He perhaps laughs the loudest at his comedy bits. As with
all the broadcasters at the Surf, he cherishes the phone calls and
emails from our servicemen all over the world. He knows how blessed
he is to love his work and play the music that captured his
attention and heart half a century ago.
In addition to Scott
Simms at WATP in Marion who gave him his first professional
opportunity, Billy credits "Clarence the Whip" as his mentor.
Clarence worked in the 50's at WYNN in Florence. An African-American
broadcaster, Clarence used "hip talk" such as "hey baby" and other
Ebonic expressions that Billy has incorporated into his own personal
style of broadcasting.
Among his favorite
interviews are conversations with Jackie Wilson, Marvin Gaye, Martha
Reeves, and Billy Stewart. He's still waiting for the one he admires
and loves most of all...Smokey Robinson.
The recipient of many
accolades over the years, Billy received "Beach Music DJ of the
Year" award in 1981, the first year of the Beach Music Awards Show,
which set the stage for the Cammys (now CBMA). He was selected for
this honor again as "FM DJ of the Year" in 2005 by the CBMA. He was
inducted into the prestigious SC R&B/Beach Music Hall of Fame by
Governor Jim Hodges in 2001. Seems he's not only a legend in his own
mind after all.
In his spare time, Billy enjoys meeting his friends for their "Music
Club" where they scour the satellite jukebox for old, obscure music.
He also enjoys reading and going to movies. He considers life on the
Intracoastal Waterway at North Myrtle Beach as "Paradise" and has
little desire to travel elsewhere. He and Kay soak in the sunset
with their new puppy, Bo Diddley, and watch the boats go by,
cherishing each day. "Hello Stranger" by Barbara Lewis remains his
all-time favorite beach music song.
Surviving are his
daughter, Kimberly P. Longwell (Brian) of Summerville, SC; five
brothers and sisters, Betty (Frankie) Johnson of Georgetown, SC,
Richard (Jean) Smith of Murrells Inlet, SC, Donald (Cathy) Smith of
Murrells Inlet, SC, Levoy Smith of Mullins, SC and Eugene (Lena)
Smith of Mississippi; Kay V. Maddox, his girlfriend, with whom he
made his home; Bo Diddley his beloved pet; and numerous other
relatives. Billy was preceded in death by his parents, Rhedin and
Maude Richardson Smith and a sister, Bobbie Smith Ricks.
The family will
receive friends from 6:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. Thursday, September
10, 2009 at McMillan-Small Funeral Home. Private family services
will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers the family request
memorials be made to the Humane Society North Myrtle Beach, PO Box
3369, North Myrtle Beach, SC 29582. Kay requests that if anyone has
special memories of Billy, please mail them to 94.9 The Surf, PO Box
3689, North Myrtle Beach, SC 29582 so a Memory Book can be made for
his daughter, Kimberly.
Jerry Smith - WTMA DJ
and engineer in the 1970s. He's now doing engineering work in
Jacksonville, Florida. More...
John Smith (Real Name:
Dick Andert) - WTMA DJ 1966-1968. He started out as "John Smith" but later
switched to using his own name on the air. He's now a sergeant for the Los Angeles Police Department.
Patrice Smith -
Newsperson in the 1970s and early 1980s. Was an anchor/reporter for
Charleston's WCIV-TV 1994-2009.
Gerry Spinn - WTMA
jock in 1954, leaving the station late that year for WTBO in Cumberland,
Maryland. Later went to WIXY, Cleveland. Died in 2003 in Summerville,
Tim St. George (Real
Name: Tim Trombitas)- WTMA night jock in the mid '70s, who did
comedy and characters like "Weird Willie". When Tim left Charleston, he
went to Wilmington, DE for a bit and then travelled to Rochester, NY
where he developed a children's TV show called The Buckaroo Club where
he played a character called Ranger Bob. Tim was in Rochester for many
years. He then created a kids show (Gina D's Kids Club, seen on cable
Christian TV channels) that he starred in as different costumed
characters. Tim now lives in Orlando, where he works at Disney World,
and has become an ordained priest with the Anglican Church of North
in the Charleston News & Courier in 1978
Consistency – Tim St. George’s Trademark By
Do you know
what Weird Willie, Granny Grits, Chico, Inspector Crusoe
(pronounced with a French accent) and Seymour Butts all have
in common? Easy, they are all friends of Tim St. George,
disc jockey at WTMA radio.
Those who are
regular fans of the Tim St. George show, aired nightly from
7-12 p.m., have learned to love the crazy antics of Tim’s
zany friends who drop in and out of the studio at odd
It does not
matter whether he is doing the weather, news, the latest Top
40 hit or just resting between songs, he seems to have no
peace from the help that his crazy “friends” give him
throughout the show. Tim, a warm, likeable person is
extremely funny himself, so it is no wonder that he attracts
a broad range of characters.
Tim feels that
everyone should have a good time; he does, and he likes to
do crazy comedy. He says that his air time is never planned.
“It’s spontaneous. I never know what’s going to happen.”
visitor on the show is Weird Willie, Tim’s example of the
nice but very dumb neighborhood bore. He thinks everybody
loves him and that he’s famous already. When asked about an
interview he replied, “I knew stardom was just around the
Chico is the
Goose Creek comedian with a Puerto Rican accent to whom no
one in Goose Creek is sacred “but who is very cool, man.”
Granny Grits is the 60-year-old grand-mother that everybody
would like to have. She has the mind of a 20-year old and
likes to disco. There is also an occasional visitor named
Cletus McCloud, a reporter who has crashed more helicopters
than anyone living. And finally there is Seymour Butts, who
knows all the news that no one else ever thought about
The result is
a brand of comedy that Tim labels as “highly controversial,
but never offensive.” He dreams about doing late-night
comedy, a la “Saturday Night Live,” where people can see him
and relate to the antics as well as the jokes.
songs he gets the most requests for he said that it varies
according to the audience. Lately there are requests for
music from the movies “Grease” and “Saturday Night Fever” as
well as Andy Gibb songs. Mixed in are Led Zeppelin and Rick
Derringer for the 18-34-year-old crowd. He says he tries to
play what people want to hear but there is a system of
rotation of music to prevent songs from being played too
On the serious
side of radio, Tim says there a lot of lonely people who
tune in. There are regulars who call every night and a vast
number of people that listen and never say a word. His
philosophy about radio is that “even if there’s only one
person listening, that person deserves to be entertained.”
he does. He says that WTMA makes it easy to be crazy because
the “jocks” have a lot of creative freedom. Although each is
professional, each is zany in his own way, contributing to a
kind of crazy consistency that is a trademark of the
station. It must work because WTMA is one of the most
popular AM stations in the Charleston area.
Fans of the
Tim St. George show often wonder if Tim does all the voices.
He isn’t telling. When you hear Weird Willie and Granny
Grits walk in and carry on a conversation, you begin to
wonder – who are those people?
Dan Stevens (Real
Name: Howard Daniel Folk, Jr.) - WTMA DJ in the late 70s through the early 80s. After
a career selling exotic birds in Ravenel, he became a professional
photographer specializing in traditional & same-sex portraits and
weddings, and male imagery.
- Howard Daniel "Danny" Folk, Jr., 60, passed away September
28, 2017 in Hartwell, Georgia as a result of a vehicle
Danny was born in Orangeburg County, a son of the late
Howard D. Folk and Janie Kizer Folk. He graduated from Holly
Hill Academy. He was the director of First National Bank of
South Carolina, a photographer and a member of Holly Hill
United Methodist Church.
He is survived by his partner, Texas Spicer, a stepmother,
Elsie Folk of Holly Hill; an aunt, Emma Jean Reid of
Summerville; and a number of cousins.
A memorial service will be held at 11 am Thursday, October
5, 2017 at Holly Hill United Methodist Church with the Rev.
Cooper Stonestreet officiating. Interment will follow in the
Holly Hill Cemetery. Family will receive friends following
the interment at the cemetery.
Bob Townsend - WTMA DJ
in 1960 and 1961. He worked for other radio stations in South Carolina
including WCSC, plus did TV work at Charleston's Channels 4 and 5. Retired
from the Air Force Reserve in the '90s as a Lieutenant Colonel. Lives in
Charleston, where he is the Wing Commander for the South Carolina Civil
Bob writes on
February 18, 2008: "I will always have a soft spot in my heart
for WTMA because it was my first job in commercial radio after I was
discharged from the Air Force in 1960. George Wilson hired me
as a staff disc jockey. Bouncing Bob Townsend, I used to call
"Ever since I was in high school and doing half time announcements
at Charleston High School football games for the Charleston Rebel
Band, I knew I wanted to be on the radio. I enlisted in the Air
Force in 1957 and was assigned to Korea where I discovered the Armed
Forces Korea Network (AFKN). I took an audition and was accepted as
a staff announcer. I was stationed in Korea at AFKN for a year
before going over to Japan for two years at the Far East Network
(FEN). There our audience included privates, generals, and the
foreign population, so the announcing style was pretty laid back and
kind of monotone.
"I got out of the Air
Force in 1960 and came back home to Charleston wanting to get a
'real' job in commercial broadcasting but having no idea of what to
expect. At that time WTMA was a 'ROCK' station. George heard my
audition tape and decided to hire me anyway. But the best advice he
gave me was 'turn the mic level way down and yell.' That got rid of
my monotone style of announcing. With modification, that advice
served me well during my 20-year broadcast career. I will always
remember and appreciate what George Wilson taught me.
"After leaving WTMA, I kicked around South Carolina for twenty years
winding up at Channel 4 television WFBC in Greenville, SC as a
combination on the air anchor and news reporter. I got out of the
business in 1981 to go back on active duty with the Air Force and
never looked back.
"I had a great time and a lot of fond memories of my time in the
broadcast business but the pay wasn’t that great back in the '60s.
"Congratulations on the site and thanks for taking the time and
energy to put it together."
Rick Tracy (Real Name:
Michael J. McKay) - WTMA PM Drive DJ 1978-1980. Also worked at
Charleston's WKTM and was the voice of
Derriere's commercials in the '80s. After leaving Charleston, Rick spent many years at Rock 105 in
Jacksonville, Florida. John Thomas Anderson of
Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida wrote in October of 2004: "Rick Tracy is no
longer in the radio business. He underwent a liver transplant several
years ago, was married for a time, and now lives in Orlando, Florida."
In March of 2005 Rick contacted us to say he's "an independent salesman for a
road show company and I travel a lot." Rick passed away at home in
Jacksonville, Florida on October 18, 2008 after a battle with lung cancer.
Notices: The Times-Union - Jacksonville, Florida - November 15, 2008
the First Coast and the radio world lost an iconic classic. Rick
Tracy was born on March 12, 1953 in Buffalo, NY, grew up in
Rochester, NY and by 1976 had become a constant fixture on radio
stations from coast to coast collecting awards and devoted listeners
along the way.
In 1983, Rick came to Jacksonville, FL and for the next 18 years
held number one ratings for 'afternoon drive' at the classic rock
station WFYV (Rock 105). An avid golfer, motorcycle enthusiast, Rick
was best known for his honesty, intellect and dry wit, traits that
will endear him to the broadcasting community for years to come.
He is survived by his wife of 14 years, Elizabeth (Liz), his
parents, David and Dorothy McKay, two sisters, Susan Stephens and
Kathleen Brandt, along with a host of other family, friends and
Memorial contributions can be made to Heartland Hospice, 8130
Baymeadows Way West, Suite 201, Jacksonville, Florida 32256 in honor
Arrangements by GREENLAWN FUNERAL HOME, 4300 Beach Blvd.
John Trenton - Former
WTMA DJ, PD and GM. Came to WTMA from Winston-Salem, North Carolina in
1967. Sometimes called himself "Honest John Trenton" when doing mornings at WTMA.
Moved from Program Director to General Manager in the early 1970s, with
John J. Scott taking over PD and AM drive duties. Continued as WTMA's
GM until Sconnix Broadcasting bought the station from Chuck Smith in 1980
and replaced him with Claire Shaffner. John remained in Charleston
except for a short time in the 1990s when he worked with former WTMA
salesman Rudi Gresham at a radio station in Central Florida. John was in a serious automobile accident
in 1995, which led to his retirement. He passed away in Charleston on
November 15, 2011 after a long illness. He was 69. John Trenton Page
Dan Vallie (Real Name:
Dan Hill) - WTMA night jock in the Spring of 1976. He's now a
programming consultant. Dan writes: "I did work at WTMA as a hot
rockin' flame throwin' night jock. It was 1976. I was there for just the
spring book that year; the station went down...I went up at night --
exciting for me. I had moved from WSGA to WTMA...then to Columbia,
Nashville, Pittsburgh and to DC." Audio Available!
Kirk Varner - WTMA
part-time DJ in the early-to-mid 70s. He's now the News Director of
TV station KSTP in Minneapolis, MN. More...Audio Available!
Craig Walker (Real
Name: Craig Giesecke) - News Director in 1978 and 1979. Replaced John
Dozier. Craig writes on November 2, 2008:
"I was WTMA's news director from
spring of 1978 until October 1979. I did mornings with Booby Nash and also
did the news for John Burwell, Rick Tracy, Jack Lundy and others. The
other half of our news staff was Catherine Deans, whom I married in
Charleston in June 1979. We were married for 25 years until we split in
2004. I was in the media until 2004, the last 14 years as Florida
Broadcast Editor for the AP in Tallahassee. Along the way, Catherine and I
owned a radio station in West Texas, I did news at a radio station in
Beaumont TX and I also worked a few years at the South Carolina Radio
Network in Columbia. I joined UPI in Columbia in 1986, transferred to
Miami and then to Tallahassee, where I jumped to the AP in 1990. I now own
a restaurant in New
Bill Walton - WTMA
He worked in Columbia in the late 70s/early 80s doing nights at WSCQ-FM.
Bill Walton, WSCQ-FM's "Big
Band Man" who was celebrating his 50th year in broadcasting, died
early Tuesday. He was 67. Walton was admitted to Providence Hospital
late last week after doctors told his family that complications from
lung problems had worsened. He also had been hospitalized in
January. Walton's wife, Elaine, and his son, Bill Jr., were at his
bedside when doctors pronounced him dead around 12:20 a.m. Tuesday.
He is also survived by another son, Steve. Source: YON LAMBERT,
Staff Writer. Published on February 26, 1997, Page B1, State, The
Mike West (Real
Name: Franklin G. West) - Part-time DJ in the early 60s. Now lives in
Cainhoy, SC and works for Titan National Security Solutions in North
George Wilson (Real
Name: George Wilson Crowell) - The PD that switched WTMA to Top 40 in the
early 60s. He later served as an executive for Bartell Broadcasting and
Starr Broadcasting. George also programmed WOKY in Milwaukee, managed
WDRQ in Detroit, and eventually became the GM at KIQQ in Los Angeles. George
passed away April 10, 2013. Audio Available!
Bob Witkin -
WTMA News Director in 1973. Originally from Boston. Left WTMA for WKDA
AM/FM in Nashville. Also anchored in Miami and Hartford, Connecticut.
Became a CNNRadio Network anchor and editor in 1987, based in CNN's
Atlanta headquarters. Now retired.
Scott Young (Real Name: Francis S.
Washburn, Jr. but goes by "Doc" Washburn) -
Night-time DJ in 1985 and 1986.
Doc writes from Little Rock, AR in February 2021: "I did morning talk
radio in Panama City, Florida from 2001 to 2004 (Talk Radio 101) and
2009-2011 (94.5 WFLA). I did late nights at the legendary WBT/Charlotte
in 2013. I have been doing PM Drive at KARN-FM/ Little Rock since 2014,
a market where they like a good Bill Clinton impersonation! Somehow by
the grace of God, I have also become a frequent guest host for the
nationally syndicated Mark Levin show!"