Liquor by the Drink


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, and how the city should vote against the referendum. Well, about the time the preacher left the studio, my brother Bill stormed in. He had a liquor store at the time, and after realizing that he missed the preacher (I don’t know what he would have actually said to him,) he told me to get my boss on the phone. I did, and my brother proceeded to demand 30 minutes of political airtime charged to him at religious rates! A difference of hundreds of dollars at the time. I don’t know if he ever got it, but Johnson City finally voted in liquor by the drink and became Restaurant City.

WJSO, 1974