The Great Big-K Pumpkin

10/21/2009

Big-K was a department store located where Big Lots is now in Kingsport. In the 70’s, we did live broadcasts….pretty much every week there on WKIN….it was our biggest account! (Another Ken
Maness deal/closed on the golf course!) They would often call and want to “buy ALL our unsold commercial time.” We would jokingly announce the time as “15 Big-K’s after 3 O’Clock!
Anyway, one year they thought it would be fun to construct a large plywood Halloween pumpkin on the roof of the store and have us broadcast from it! We were up there for a straight week. Reggie Jordan, Bill Meade, George “John-Boy” Carter, Oscar Harris and myself….looking through the jagged smile of this big-ass Jack-o-lantern. There were always at least 2-3 guys in the pumpkin at a time. The premise was….a great eye-catching gimmick where we would throw candy down to the kids…etc. The reality was the coldest, rain-mixed-with-everything imaginable-most miserable weather we could possibly have. We sat there, day after day….freezing to death, trying to talk on the radio through chattering teeth! I don’t know who actually brought the “anti-freeze,” but toward the end of the pumpkin fiasco, we could all care less about the cold, the pumpkin, the kids, Ken Maness or his golf course! I don’t think there are tapes or pictures surviving the event (thank God,) but I’ve been told it was some of the funniest, best radio ever broadcast in the Tri-Cities!

Interviewing Billy Carter in the 70’s!