Bob’s Blog

  • Niswonger Children’s Hospital Radiothon November 1, 2017

    I am very pleased and proud to be associated with the Niswonger Children’s Hospital Radiothon, an annual affair to raise money and awareness for the hospital, which is the only children’s hospital in the region. We held a press conference yesterday to kick off the 2018 campaign. A wonderful couple, appropriately named the Christians, kicked things off with a $100,000 donation! Years ago when I worked for a different radio group (under Don Raines,  Read More »
  • Mike Padgett October 24, 2017

    I lost a good friend, former co-worker and wonderful human being today. I met Mike Padgett in the mid 70’s. We were direct competitors as he was on the air at WKPT the same time I was on WKIN. We got to be good friends and use to hang out together. Fast forward several decades and I got the chance to work with Mike at Holston Valley Broadcasting. Mike had moved on to sales,  Read More »
  • College time

    August 15, 2017-It’s a bitter-sweet time for us. We spent yesterday moving our daughter into her college dorm. With her dual enrollment credits she has been officially listed as a sophomore! Today is her 18th birthday….happy adulthood baby girl! I know you will thrive and excel in your new environment. Although Mom & I will miss you dearly, I know it’s time to spread your wings and soar. I spent all day Sunday building bed risers so she could have storage in her dorm.  Read More »
  • Graduation time

    May 17, 2017 Congratulations to all graduating seniors of the Class of 2017, but please permit a proud Dad to brag! I can’t believe my daughter Miranda is getting ready to graduate high school. It’s been a long road….From T-ball, through County ball & Parks & Rec to 5 years of varsity high school and travel ball. Through all of it, your parents have watched you thrive as your grit,  Read More »
  • 529 College Fund

    May 16, 2017 My daughter is graduating high school next week. It’s hard to believe but she will be starting college soon. Since she was born I have been contributing to a 529 college fund for her, which we will be tapping into soon. A 529 plan is a wonderful way to save for college. I had the opportunity to interview Mary Morris, the CEO of Virginia’s 529 program. She explains how it works.  Read More »
  • Funfest

    10/21/2009 For the first 20 years or so of Kingsport’s Funfest celebration, I remember being on stage, introducing bands. In the early years, the “stage” was nothing more than a flatbed trailer. I introduced Knoxville’s Con Hunley as the featured act on one of those first concerts. They’ve come a long way, and I met some great artists over the years since the festival’s beginning in 1980. One of the more memorable performers was Willie Nelson.  Read More »
  • Have Disco, Will Travel

    10/21/2009 I actually survived the “Disco era” in the late 70’s & early 80’s. I did the polyester leisure suits, The Hustle, The Bump and lived through the “Saturday Night Fever” years. Bill Meade & I had a mobile sound & light system, and cashed in on the craze. We had some great gigs, including some memorable Christmas parties at the old Ramada Inn in Kingsport. I’m pretty sure we actually invented the “YMCA” audience participation dance!  Read More »
  • Play by Play

    10/21/2009 My first experience doing sports play-by-play was in the 70’s as color commentator with Bill Meade broadcasting Gate City football & basketball games on WGAT-FM. Man did we do some driving along the back roads to such Southwest Virginia towns as Tazewell, Lebanon, Appalachia, Bluefield, Richlands, Big Stone Gap & Grundy. I remember seeing a lot of Cadillacs…covered in coal dust! Anyway, I really enjoyed doing those game broadcasts. Both coach Vickers of the basketball team and Harry Fry with football always produced great teams…and we got to be a part of some …Read More »
  • Bristol Motor Speedway

    10/21/2009 How cool is it to have “The World’s Fastest Half Mile” NASCAR race track right here in Bristol? Before Bruton Smith and 160,000 seats, I remember going to Sunday races in the 70’s. It was Bill Meade & I, his late father Art, a couple of coolers and a bucket of chicken. We pretty much had the whole bleacher row to ourselves. Cale Yarborough seemed to win every race back then. Fast-forward to the 80’s,  Read More »
  • Liquor by the Drink

    10/21/2009 In the early 70’s, Johnson City was in the middle of its second (or maybe third?) Liquor by the Drink referendum campaign. The populace had voted it down at least twice before. During this fierce campaign, I was working my regular Sunday morning shift at WJSO, running the usual fare of live and recorded religious programs. This one Sunday, one of the “live” preachers spent his entire program extolling on the evils of alcohol,  Read More »
  • 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!  Read More »
  • Elvis & the Hound Dog Puppies

    10/21/2009 I can’t remember if it was the first or second time Elvis Presley came to Freedom Hall in the mid 70’s. They were some of the last concerts he did. Both times he came to Johnson City, they sold out of tickets quickly and scheduled a second show the next night. At WKIN, Bill Meade and I came up with the idea of acquiring some “stray-mutt” dogs from the local animal shelter.  Read More »
  • Ace The Janitor

    10/21/2009 I’m not sure of the Janitor’s real name at WFHG, but we all called him “Ace.” Ace was Polish, and did not speak a word of English. He cleaned the building at night while I was on the air, and we always feuded over the level of my music in the studio, and him running the vacuum cleaner at the wrong times! We would have world class shouting matches, him cussing me (I guess) in Polish and me ranting in English.  Read More »