As far back as I can remember, my dad owned a fish bait store and also had his own delivery route.  I called it the cricket route.

When I was about 4 years old, I started going with him on the route. We traveled around Alabama selling fish bait to stores. We went to Montgomery, Tuscaloosa, Wetumpka, Tallassee and other towns around the state.

As we traveled in my dad’s station wagon, we always had the radio playing. It was usually tuned to WBAM in Montgomery, Alabama; they had a strong signal that came in pretty good everywhere. I can still remember listening to a DJ named Joe Rumore.

We always stopped to eat at restaurants that had a jukebox with plenty of country songs on it. My dad would always drop some coins in and play my two favorite songs.

My two favorites were “Wolverton Mountain” by Claude King and “The Battle of New Orleans” by Johnny Horton.

At the time I was only four years old, and had never heard of Shreveport, Louisiana, the Louisiana Hayride or KWKH. And, I surely didn't know that I would end up living in the same town that both of those singers are from.

Claude King - "Wolverton Mountain"

Johnny Horton - "The Battle of New Orleans" (Lyrics)


Nor did I know that I would work at KWKH, the very radio station that carried the Louisiana Hayride show where Claude King and Johnny Horton both performed frequently on the same stage with Elvis Presley, Tex Ritter, Johnny Cash, Hank Williams, Webb Pierce, Kitty Wells, Jimmie Davis, Slim Whitman, Faron Young, Jim Reeves, George Jones and Lefty Frizzell.

I feel like one of the luckiest guys in the world to be here at KWKH. I've been here since 1990, but I never planned or set any goals to end up here, it just kind of fell in my lap.

The last sentence makes it sound like it was easy, but it wasn't. After the radio bug bit me, it did take some effort and loss of sleep to make it happen. I'll cover that in an upcoming post.

To be continued...