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Author Topic:   The Oldest all Country Radio Station, (WCMS)
John Floyd

From: Somewhere between Camden County , NC and Saluda S.C.

posted 01 December 2003 04:21 AM     profile     
Takes a Hit

Going back to 1050 AM Where they Started in 1954. They are now playing Rock on 100.5 FM.

In recent months they had said they had a new format, playing classic country, but it appeared they had just engineered a way of recycling Garth Brooks, Tim Mc Graw, Shania Twain. Not a lot of classic country was played lately. As bad as they were becoming, I still hate to see them go down the tubes.

Claim that they are playing Real classic country now, that remains to be seen or heard.

WCMS Historical Events

* July 1, 1954: WCMS Radio signs on as an all-country radio station. DJ Teddy Crutchfield plays Bill Monroe’s “Blue Moon of Kentucky” as the first Song on WCMS, which was broadcasting from sunrise to sunset on AM 1050.

* “Sheriff” Tex Davis is named the first WCMS Station Manager, assembling an air staff in the Helena Building in downtown Norfolk.

* In July of 1954, WCMS presents its first live concerts as Jimmy Dean and his band, The Texas Wildcats, perform on a flatbed truck at local shopping centers.

* In August of 1954, WCMS follows radio tradition at the time by establishing a daily 30-minute program of live music, broadcast from the studio. The first house band, named “The Virginians,” were actually from the state of Maine.

* WCMS begins its Sunday afternoon “Hillbilly Concert Hall” in the summer of 1954. Live music is performed in 30-minute sets by various bands, one of the more popular being the first to play, the locally well-known Phelps Brothers.

* May 5, 1955 was the historic date of the first WCMS stage show at the Norfolk Arena. Hank Snow’s All-Star Jamboree comes to town with a little-known Memphis singer on the bill who creates quite a stir: Elvis Presley.

* At a stage show on September 1, 1955 at Norfolk Arena, another first: WCMS headlines the return to town of Elvis Presley with sold-out shows featuring screaming crowds. An unhappy Hank Snow is an opening act for Elvis. A newspaper ad for the concert misspells Presley’s name.

* November 1, 1955 is the first day of work for a new DJ on the WCMS air staff, a young fellow named Joe Hoppel.

* March 12, 1956 in the WCMS studio, a demo is recorded for a local Navy singer. Gene Vincent and the Bluecaps’ recording of “Be Bop A Lula” and other songs led to a recording contract with Capitol Records in Nashville.

* June 5, 1957 marks the date of the first WCMS wild promotion. All the DJs are ordered to grow beards as part of a listener “Beard Growing Contest.”

* In another great publicity stunt, WCMS plays the Turkish song “Pacalafaca” continuously all day on November 24, 1959. The first national headlines are made when Joe Hoppel and the entire air staff stage a phony protest of their inability to get payola money. All the announcers are fired, but reinstated a couple of days later.

* On April 27, 1961, it is announced that WCMS Radio had been purchased by an executive with the founding company. George and Marjorie Crump move from Washington, D.C. to Norfolk to begin local ownership of WCMS. The first WCMS Editorial airs soon after.

* On July 20, 1961, the first WCMS Cruiser appears on the streets of Tidewater. Accompanied by medic-garbed drivers, this fully-equipped ambulance proclaimed WCMS’ marketing mission: We Cure Sick Businesses.

* November 1, 1961 was the day Sheriff Tex Davis rejoined the WCMS air staff, anchoring the renowned “Four Horsemen”: “Hopalong” Joe Hoppel, George Dale, and a former butcher and fresh graduate of the WCMS School of Broadcasting, “Carolina” Charlie Wiggs.

* On November 12, 1961 WCMS returned to the forefront of presenting live music in Tidewater, with a big country show at the Alan B. Shephard Convention Center in Virginia Beach. 4,000 people jammed the room to see the first local appearances by Ray Price, Patsy Cline and an unknown writer-singer named Willie Nelson.

* WCMS received its first News Award early in 1962, as United Press International recognized WCMS News with a Certificate of Merit for daily military news reports.

* In May of 1962, WCMS, now dubbed “The Radio Ranch,” launches a listener contest to guess the Opry star headlining the next “Country Style U.S.A” show at the Norfolk Arena. 5,000 people turn out to see Don Gibson and other stars. A series of Norfolk Arena concerts that year featured such stars as Kitty Wells, Porter Waganner, Bill Anderson and Skeeter Davis.

* On August 5, 1962, a national survey discovers that WCMS is “America’s Number One Country Music Radio Station” with a larger audience, per capita, than any other station in the U.S. specializing in country and folk music.

* July 1, 1964 is WCMS’ Tenth Anniversary. The company celebrates by launching a new station on the brand-new FM dial. WCMS-FM, at 100.5, became the area’s first 24-hour country radio station.

* June 20, 1965 is the planned date of the first appearance by Roger Miller at a WCMS concert in the Virginia Beach Dome. Unfortunately, Miller missed a plane out of Nashville and never showed up here. WCMS had to refund sales of tickets and made national headlines by suing Roger Miller for one million dollars.

* January of 1966, the first Traffic Reports air WCMS from the ‘Go Patrol giving listeners a reading on the crowded streets and highways.

* August 15, 1966 was the first day of a 5-day horse-riding marathon by Joe Hoppel. Joe had to stay in the saddle around the clock, and rode from Virginia Beach through Norfolk and Nansemond counties to the Peninsula. Of course, a listener contest was involved, to guess when Joe’s ride would end. Joe hasn’t wanted to go near a horse since.

* On January 31, 1967, WCMS played its One Millionth Record. Mrs. W.C. Eliot of Chesapeake a brand new color television for having the best guess of when it would happen. The song? “Where Does The Good Times Go” by Buck Owens, which Capitol Records promptly gold plated and presented to the station.

* In April of 1967, an offer of lunch for listeners drew such a crowd at Wayside Park in Norfolk that a traffic jam occurred. The stunt prompted a tradition and the first appearance of the WCMS Goody Wagon.

* June 17, 1967 was the celebration day of the WCMS birthday that year, with the first Annual WCMS Day at Ocean View Amusement Park in Norfolk. Thousands of listeners lined up for free sandwiches and drinks.

* In February of 1968, singer Jimmy Dean is again on hand to throw the switch for the new transmitter operating center off Military Highway which included a power increase for WCMS-AM to 5,000 watts. Three new towers are erected on the banks of the Elizabeth River’s Eastern Branch.

* On July 4, 1969, WCMS, along with Nashville guest Minnie Pearl dedicates the Norfolk Memorial to Judge George D. Hay, the founder of the Grand Ole Opry. Judge Hay is buried in Norfolk’s Forest Lawn cemetery.

* October 31, 1969, is the first mention of WCMS in the U.S. Congressional Record, as remarks by Congressman William Whitehurst on “Country Music in Tidewater” were given to the 91st Congress.

* February 14, 1970, was the introductory date of a new slogan for the third decade of operation for WCMS: ‘Where Country Music Swings!”

* The first appearance of the often imitated WCMS Wheel of Fortune was in April of 1973.

* On November 17, 1973, WCMS receives its first CMA Award as the Country Music Association proclaims WCMS the Number One Radio Station promoting country music in the United States, large market category.

* In 1975, at a WCMS Goody Wagon stop, the WCMS Green Gremlin first appeared.

* Early in 1976, WCMS-FM at 100.5 upgraded to a 50,000-watt facility, reaching from the Eastern Shore to Richmond to the Outer Banks.

* Norfolk celebrates the nation’s Bicentennial in June of 1976 with the first Harborfest. WCMS is the only radio station involved, presenting a live music stage show starring singer Bobby Bare.

* In 1977, WCMS first began asking its listeners to “Write It Down” and another famous contest was born.

* In 1981, the movie “Urban Cowboy” starring John Travolta ignites a huge surge in popularity for country music, prompting the opening of several new country nightclubs in the area.

* Another first on September 11, 1983, as WCMS presented a huge country star in concert for free: Ronnie Milsap performed to a full house.

* June 4, 1983 was the date of the first appearance of Lee Greenwood in Hampton Roads. His patriotic rendering of “God Bless The U.S.A” sent flags waving throughout the crowd.

* WCMS held its first Country Fair in Hampton Coliseum on October 26, 1985. For a reduced ticket price, WCMS presented the Judds, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, the Forester Sisters and a Cajun sensation at the time, Rockin’ Sidney.

* A lot of attention came WCMS’ way on May 2, 1985 when actor Howard Hesseman joined the WCMS air staff for a 3-day promotion.

* November 1, 1985 was celebrated as Joe Hoppel’s 30th anniversary with WCMS. A large newspaper ad printed to announce the fact read, “Sorry Joe—the money we were going to give you for your anniversary was spent on this

* On October 16, 1987, President/General Manager of WCMS, Marjorie Crump, was named Large Market General Manager of the Year by the Country Music Association.

* On March 18, 1988, Joe Hoppel was the overwhelming winner in the Virginian Pilot/Ledger Star’s contest for Hampton Roads #1 Morning Disc Jockey.

* September, 1988: WCMS DJ's Eric Stevens and Chris Michaels, vacationing with their wives in Cozumel, Mexico, are stranded for several days by Hurricane Gilbert, one of the strongest hurricanes ever recorded.

* April 16, 1989 was the first WCMS Day at Met Park in Norfolk, when WCMS bought all the seats in the park and gave them away, opening the home season for the Tidewater Tides.

* WCMS presented its first Satellite Broadcast on May 1, 1989, as Joe Hoppel and the Morning Team broadcast from Disney World in Orlando, Florida.

* The 35th Anniversary of WCMS is celebrated on July 9, 1989 with a free concert by Lee Greenwood. It was the first WCMS-sponsored event at Town Point Park in Norfolk.

* October 9, 1989 was noted for the first WCMS satellite broadcast from Nashville, CMA week, with over 80 stars doing on-air interviews over 5 days.

* The first WCMS Night at Langley Raceway was April 14, 1990, as WCMS became the radio voice for the only NASCAR track in the area.

* On November 13, 1990, the Newport News Daily Press names Joe Hoppel “King of Country Radio,” celebrating Joe’s 35th year at the station.

* On April 5, 1991, WCMS promotes the “Yellow Ribbon” concert, sponsored by the USO, to celebrate the military homecoming after the Persian Gulf War. The free concert at Scope for military families features Kathy Mattea and the first Hampton Roads appearance by Garth Brooks.

* 3,000 volunteers join WCMS on the first “Paint Your Heart Out Chesapeake” day on May 18, 1991. Over 75 homes owned by handicapped and elderly Chesapeake residents were painted and repaired.

* A Newport News Daily Press readers poll, released March 13, 1992, selects the WCMS Morning Team with Joe Hoppel, Cheri Bass and Denis Reidy Number One in popularity with 672 votes. The second-place station receives 148 votes!

* A sudden severe storm, on March 19, 1992, visited Hampton Roads with reports of waterspouts on the Elizabeth River. High winds toppled three WCMS towers. WCMS-FM resumes broadcasts in just 6 hours.

* The news media reported on August 12, 1992 that WCMS christened its new broadcast towers. The multi-million dollar construction project included new AM & FM transmitters, giving WCMS the most modern broadcasting facility in Hampton Roads.

* September 13, 1992, was the day of the largest crowd on a Sunday in Hampton Bay Days’ history! WCMS presented the Charlie Daniels Band as we returned to this great Peninsula festival.

* April 14, 1993 is the date of the first game at Norfolk’s new Harbor Park. WCMS inaugurates its luxury skybox over home plate with listeners and clients getting an up-close look at the new Norfolk Tides.

* History was made on May 21, 1993, when WCMS presented the first country music concert with exclusively African-American performers, as Cleve Francis and Charlie Pride performed to a huge crowd at the 1993 Chesapeake Jubilee.

* July 1st, 1994: WCMS celebrates 40 years on the air by burying a time capsule outside the WCMS studios. Governor George Allen declares "WCMS Day" in Virginia.

* November 1st, 1995: WCMS celebrates Joe Hoppel's 40th anniversary by inviting several of his former co-hosts to the station. Years later, Joe would recall that day as one of his favorite moments in radio.

* May 15th, 1996: WCMS newsman Jim Long reports live from opening night of the Virginia Beach Amphitheater. Williamsburg's Bruce Hornsby is the venue's very first performer.

* April 3rd, 2000: WCMS begins broadcasting from the headquarters of its new corporate owners, Barnstable Broadcasting. Joe, Jen and Jim (Joe Hoppel, Jennifer Roberts and Jim Long) work together as a team for the first time.

* February 25th, 2001: One week after the death of NASCAR legend Dale Earnhardt, thousands of WCMS fans gather at Mount Trashmore in Virginia Beach to create a living tribute. The enormous "3" depicted on the side of Mount Trashmore is shown on CNN.

* June 27th, 2002: Joe Hoppel is inducted into the Country Music DJ Hall of Fame.

[This message was edited by John Floyd on 07 December 2003 at 07:18 AM.]

Kenny Dail

From: Kinston, N.C. 28504

posted 01 December 2003 07:56 PM     profile     
They probably gave or threw away their "old" and "classic" country discs to make room for the new music format (the stuff that has now run them out of business). Carolina Charlie was the best kept secret in country music before they changed formats. Now they don't have much to select from because of their depleted library.

kd...and the beat goes on...

[This message was edited by Kenny Dail on 01 December 2003 at 07:59 PM.]

John Floyd

From: Somewhere between Camden County , NC and Saluda S.C.

posted 02 December 2003 01:05 AM     profile     
Its a day later and I listened to them to and from work yesterday. They actually are playing classic country music.
This is good news in spite of them losing their FM station. I can deal with this if they keep it up. All new Personalties except for Joe Hoppel who came on WCMS about one year after they first went on the air in 1954.


John Floyd

From: Somewhere between Camden County , NC and Saluda S.C.

posted 03 December 2003 03:11 AM     profile     
Article in The Virginian Pilot Newspaper.

Joe Hoppel
Listeners are responding with surprise to a change in format at WCMS-FM that ended a 40-year tradition in Hampton Roads radio. On Sunday, WCMS-FM dropped country music in favor of “mainstream rock.”
As “100.5 Classic Country” evolved into “100.5 Max FM,” longtime WCMS-FM personality Joe Hoppel saw his morning show move from a strong FM signal to a weaker one on the AM band.
The plan is for WCMS-FM, the station’s call letters since July 1, 1964, to eventually give way to WXMM-FM.
Doris Guthrie, a food service worker who lives in Norfolk, and a WCMS-FM listener for more than 30 years, said she was stunned when she first heard the new rocking 100.5.
“I said to myself, 'What in the world is going on? What’s all this racket? I can’t believe what I’m hearing.”
Retiree John Cumbey in Southampton County had a similar reaction. As has been his custom for years, Cumbey tuned to 100.5 to hear Hoppel’s morning show while he worked out on his treadmill. Suddenly, there’s no Hoppel on 100.5.
“What in the heck is going on?” Cumbey asked.
What’s going on is a full-scale radio revolution not only at WCMS-FM but at WFOG (1050 AM), too.
The changes at WCMS-FM have had a direct impact on WFOG, which like WCMS-FM, is part of the Hampton Roads Radio Group. WFOG had been airing “music of your life” featuring such artists as Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett and Perry Como.
When WCMS-FM converted to its new programming on Sunday at 3 p.m. by announcing, “United we stand, united we rock,” the classic country sound shifted to WFOG, which has been renamed WCMS 1050 AM.
Sinatra, Bennett, Como and their nostalgic sounds that resonated with listeners 55 and older are heard no more at 1050.
In moving his show to 1050, Hoppel returns to the “radio ranch” where he started in 1955. He is heard weekdays from 5:30 until 9 a.m. He’ll also bring his 8 to 9 a.m. Sunday bluegrass music program from FM to 1050.
“I wish it hadn’t happened. I’m sorry to see it go,” Hoppel said of the remaking of WCMS-FM. “But that’s show biz.” Gone along with the country classics format are two WCMS-FM disc jockeys — Karen West and Jack Prater.
With the departure of Hoppel and the others from WCMS-FM, Joel Rubin of Rubin Cawley & Associates in Virginia Beach sees it as an erosion of personality radio.
“For many in this community, WCMS-FM has been part of their lives for years,’’ Rubin said. ``For them, the change in format means a real loss. The station has been a local institution that is also respected nationally.’’
George A. Crump introduced the WCMS country sound to this market in July 1954 when there were fewer than 200 country stations in the United States. Today, there are more than 2,000. As the popularity of country music grew, WCMS grew along with it, adding an FM station 10 years later.
“There is something solid and lasting about the country sound,” Crump said in 1985 in “Write It Down,” a history of country music and country radio in Hampton Roads.
Doug Smith in Virginia Beach said he was jolted to find the format changed. “I’ve listened to WCMS-FM for so long that it felt like family. The change is a life-altering experience.”
The Hampton Roads Radio Group, part of Barnstable Broadcasting based in Newton, Mass., still has a powerful country music voice in this market in WGH-FM (97.3) which finished No. 10 among listeners 12 and above in the latest Arbitrons. WCMS-FM was sixth with 5.3 percent of the listenership.
Why change the programming and soon, the call letters, of WCMS-FM, a station that has served its audience well for almost 40 years? It had decent overall ratings and was No. 10 among listeners 25 to 54. Two words explain the makeover: Market research.
“The market research we have conducted over the past few months has revealed an unmet need among men 18 to 40 for a wide-spectrum, hard-charging rock station in this market,” said Andy L. Graham, president and general manager of the Hampton Roads Radio Group.
“We’ll deliver the best of today’s rock along with some of the killer stuff from the 1970s, ’80s and ’90s without the talk and silly hype that has overwhelmed other FM music stations,” Graham said.
Other stations, indeed. Graham brings more rock music to a market that already has several stations committed to that kind of programming, including WNOR-FM (98.7) and its sister station, WAFX-FM (106.9).
Graham said the change in format at WCMS-FM makes sense from the business point of view because his company was operating two stations (WCMS-FM and WGH-FM) in the same market that were programming to the same country music audience.
“Our two country stations were beating up on each other,” he said.
David H. Paulus, who runs WNOR-FM and WAFX-FM, said he was stunned to learn that Graham has tossed WCMS-FM into the crowded rock mix. He said he welcomes the competition.
“We’re ready for it,” he said. Paulus also presides over WJOI (1230), which plays music that’s similar to the “music of your life” ditched by Graham — only slightly hipper. That programming will continue, said Paulus, when WJOI concludes its 24-hour-a-day holiday music after Christmas.
Preceding the WCMS-FM switch to “maximum rock,” the station played an AC/DC song again and again.
It was “You Shook Me All Night Long.” The title was most appropriate. The format changes at WCMS-FM and WFOG have left more than a few listeners shaken.


[This message was edited by John Floyd on 04 December 2003 at 08:15 AM.]

John Floyd

From: Somewhere between Camden County , NC and Saluda S.C.

posted 07 December 2003 07:14 AM     profile     
The Story goes even Further, New Developments in the Tidewater VA Radio War

The Coast radio station switches to country music

Alan Jackson's ''Gone Country'' kicked off the new format.

By LARRY BONKO, The Virginian-Pilot
© December 3, 2003 | Last updated 10:55 AM Dec. 4

NORFOLK — It’s back! Less than four days after WCMS-FM jettisoned the country-music format that it had played for nearly 40 years, that sound popped up Wednesday at a new spot on the FM dial.
At 4 p.m., The Coast, WKOC-FM (93.7), shifted from an adult-album alternative format to country music.
“We’ve jumped in,” said Lisa Sinclair, general manager of Sinclair Communications, which runs WKOC-FM, WROX-FM (96.1) and AM stations WNIS (790) and WTAR (850).
The new sound on WKOC-FM, which Sinclair re-labeled 93.7 Kick FM, was ushered in by Alan Jackson singing “Gone Country.” “He’s gone country. Look at them boots. He’s gone country. Back to his roots.”
The song was followed by this announcement: “A brand new kickin’ country station is coming to 93.7.”
The precise country format on 93.7 – classic or today’s country – has yet to be determined. Also coming are new call letters for WKOC-FM.
Upon hearing that the Hampton Roads Radio Group had chucked country music on WCMS-FM in favor of “mainstream rock,” Sinclair moved quickly to bring the sound to her station.
“The 93.7 Kick FM format will fill the void left by the demise of country music on WCMS-FM, which leaves many listeners unhappy. Our 100,000-watt signal will supply super service to the country-music listeners,” she said.
Sinclair also announced that Jack Prater, formerly of WCMS-FM (100.5), will join the new WKOC-FM as program manager. A syndicated program that originates in Charlotte, N.C., “The John Boy and Billy Big Show” with Billy James and John Isley, will be heard on WKOC-FM from 6 to 10 a.m.
The change in format at WCMS-FM, which the owners say was dictated by market research, sent dominoes falling in local radio. The classic-country format on WCMS-FM was shifted to AM (WFOG at 1050), which meant that “the music of your life” programming on that station was history.
No sooner had listeners digested the news of those changes when Sinclair came forward Wednesday to announce the birth of the new, countrified WKOC-FM.
“We are aware of the good ratings the former WCMS-FM enjoyed, and we feel that we can attract a large portion of the people who listened to that station, as well as those who aren’t totally happy with 97.3 Eagle.”
That station, WGH-FM, is also operated by the Hampton Roads Radio Group and features today’s country music.

Now I'm hearing that WKOC is actively pursuing Joe Hoppel and Joe was not on WCMS AM 1050 Friday Morning. The other development is that WKOC is playing NCS, No Classic Country Here

[This message was edited by John Floyd on 07 December 2003 at 07:21 AM.]

Theresa Galbraith

From: Goodlettsville,Tn. USA

posted 07 December 2003 10:59 AM     profile     
"Gone Country" is classic to many now.
Maybe we all should stand still?

[This message was edited by Theresa Galbraith on 08 December 2003 at 05:20 AM.]

John Floyd

From: Somewhere between Camden County , NC and Saluda S.C.

posted 07 December 2003 04:42 PM     profile     
I don't think we have seen the end to it yet.

WCMS was the FIRST FULL TIME Country Station in this country.

I think this will have a domino effect across the Country.

WCMS AM 1050 has changed its call Letters to WXMM. The WCMS Website WCMS.Com is Gone.

Its Official, WCMS is dead & gone after 49 Years 5 months and 6 Days. Took exactly one week to kill it.

[This message was edited by John Floyd on 08 December 2003 at 10:49 AM.]

Terry Wendt

From: Nashville, TN, USA

posted 14 December 2003 01:53 AM     profile     

* History was made on May 21, 1993, when WCMS presented the first country music concert with exclusively African-American performers, as Cleve Francis and Charlie Pride performed to a huge crowd at the 1993 Chesapeake Jubilee.

...and what a show it was. I was working with Cleve and we had a wonderful turnout for the show that eve.

Shame about the current state of affairs.

Terry Wendt

------------------ Magazine

and appearing
Jimmy Crawford/Russ Hicks... and Buddy Emmons on Bass!

George Duncan Sypert

From: Colo Spgs, Co, USA

posted 14 December 2003 06:50 PM     profile     
John I know you are sorry to lose your Radio station that you have had all of these years. It is sad to see the state of country music in general across these United States these days.
If you will do a search on Pappy Dave Stone you find that he started the first All Time Country Music Station in America on Sept 19, 1953, KDAV, in Lubbock Texas. That may make your station the second oldest full time Country Music station.
I worked for Pappy Dave here at KPIK and he truly loved Country Music and the Radio Business. I believe that he still lives here in Colo Spgs but has long retired from the business. He had and has many fine stories to tell about the Artist of the 50's and into the late 70's.
I hope you find a suitable replacement for your station in the near future. We sure do need one here.

[This message was edited by George Duncan Sypert on 14 December 2003 at 06:51 PM.]

John Floyd

From: Somewhere between Camden County , NC and Saluda S.C.

posted 15 December 2003 02:27 AM     profile     
WCMS AM 1050 has changed its call Letters to WXMM. The WCMS Website WCMS.Com is Gone.

May have been a little premature about this, Some times they ID themselves as WXMM and Sometimes it WCMS. Its like they can't make up their minds who they are.

One things for sure, Joe Hoppel bailed out after 4 days on AM 1050 and has moved to the 93.7 FM Station which is playing NCS.

AM 1050 or whatever its name is these days is playing Pure classic country, something we haven't had in a long time in The South Hampton Roads Area. It doesn't come in that well down here across the border, but I get a couple of miles closer on the way to work and its okay.


Tom Kaufman

From: Denton, Maryland, USA

posted 16 December 2003 07:01 PM     profile     
Hi John: I don't live in the Norfolk area. However I have listened on and off to WCMS over the past..probably thirty-five years or so; I have fond memories of listening to that statin, starting around late 1967-1968; they had some really good DJs..including the previousley mentioned, Carolina Charlie! This almost hits me about as hard as if WSM were to leave..which it may do someday. But one of the things I wanted to say, here, is how much I enjoyed reading about the history of WCMS. However, there were some things that were said in there that seem to differ from what I remember. For instance, I thought that they were using that "Where Country Music Swings" slogan when I first really started listening to them in late 67-earlyy 68. But I could be mistaken. I always thought that it was the neatest thingback then; a country station, programming country music 24 hours a day, seven days a week! What used to make me so sad was that, back then, I couldn't pick up the "FM"..unless the air was just right. That got better when they went fifty thousand watts..which, here again..I seem to think that it was much earlier than what was said in the history. I would have thought that Joe Hoppel would have worked out fine back on the AM station; I would figure he'd like to play those country the way..I thought that, in the past recent months..while WCMS-FM..calling thereself a "classic country" station was a joke! But getting back to Joe..I figure maybe he wasnt getting the money he thought he ought to get. Anyway..I'm sorry to see what's happened to the ole station. And John..if It's okay..I'd like to email you sometime and see if you know whatever happened to some of the folks that were on WCMS in the mid-late 60's; I did hear that ?Carolina Charlie passed away a few years ago. I aggree with Kenny..he really was a goodon!
John Floyd

From: Somewhere between Camden County , NC and Saluda S.C.

posted 17 December 2003 01:11 AM     profile     
Tex Davis, I'm not sure if he is still alive now or not, he was a few years ago and living in Hendersonville Tenn. He has a son who is a Forum Member. The rest of them I really don't know about.


Tom Kaufman

From: Denton, Maryland, USA

posted 17 December 2003 01:01 PM     profile     
One point of interest concerning WCMS's history: This may have led to me becoming attracted to that station; it was in late December of 1967; they were having something called "The WCMS PICK-A-LING", where they had this DJ named Johnny Summer; he was supposed to play non-stop; don't remember how long he was able to go. There may have been a contest involved, where if a listener guessed how long Johnny would play, they'd win a prize. Not possitive about that part. that I think about it, the date could have been early 1968. I do remember that Johnny Summer was on during mid days from 10:30 AM..and was on until two in the afternoon; that's when Carolina Charlie would take over. Boy! It would be neat to get a hold of some tapes from that time period! I do have a few things from WCM

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