Monday, June 8, 2009

The GRHOF Revs It Up

Many of us bemoan what’s happened to our favorite medium under consolidated ownership. We reminisce about the fun of radio back in the day. Well, the Georgia Radio Hall of Fame is proving that while enthusiasm for radio might have waned, enthusiasm for yesterday’s radio is very much alive among those who loved it.

One reason for the organization’s health might be the man who leads it, John Long, President of the GRHOF, a man who lives and breathes radio. John jocked and programmed his way across the country during the halcyon days of AM top 40. He plied his craft at such legendary places as WAPE in Jacksonville and WHBQ in Memphis; he worked with legends like Paul Drew, Rick Dees and the Greaseman. John himself is steeped in Georgia radio history, having started his career hanging out at Atlanta market powers WQXI and WFOM.

The Georgia Hall of Fame’s website, at, is jam packed with photos, articles, audio and video airchecks, and more.

I attended last year’s annual GRHOF awards banquet, which featured a Z93 reunion, and frankly was blown away. Aside from the amazing program and array of all-star radio people who turned out, the packed room was full of good cheer and of passion for the radio business. The entire state of Georgia was aptly represented.

The highlight of this year’s event on October 17 at the Atlanta/Marietta Hilton Conference Center is a 94Q reunion. Ticket sales and hotel reservations are running far ahead of 2008.

The GRHOF’s 2009 Legacy Candidate slate consists of Marcus Bartlett, Bob Carr, Al Ciraldo, Charlie Doss, Ed Dunbar, Milt George, Don Elliott Heald, Bill Hoger, H. Randolph Holder Sr., Sonya Hamm, Mike Kavanagh, Thomas Maxwell, Chuck McClure, Dick Meeder, Ed Mullinax, Mather Payne, Mike Rieneri and James W. Woodruff, Jr.

The Career Achievement Candidates include Don Benson, Ryan Cameron, Greg Davis, Don Edwards, Leslie Fram, Johnny Gray, Larry James, Don King, Ben Lucas, Marvin Massey, Mike McDougald, Jerry Rogers, Rick Shaw, Harold Shedd, Jim Wesley, Dennis Winslow, Burl Womack and Steve McCoy & Vikki Locke.

Following the passing of Mike Kavanagh last fall, the website was transferred to the GRHOF’s care and trust in accordance with Mike’s expressed wishes. John Long is presently retooling the site, which soon will be ready for re-launch. The site under Mike’s direction was a complete encyclopedia of the historic station’s past and its people, and it will only get better.

The GRHOF was recently approved as a 501C3 non-profit organization by the IRS, meaning any donation is now tax deductible. Anyone making a contribution of $100 or more will receive a receipt to use as tax backup.

If you’re reading this, you obviously have an interest in radio. You’re welcome to join the GRHOF whether you’re in the radio business or not. For a one-time donation of $25 (which does not include the banquet), you’re a member for life. You’ll be enhancing your radio experience and helping preserve and remind people of Georgia radio’s rich heritage.

Roddy Freeman

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  1. Thank you for your support of The Georgia Radio Hall of Fame. With apologies to the Happenings, "See You In October".

    John Long

  2. And yet, 2 people who have a substantial history in Atlanta radio have yet to be nominated or inducted: Tom "The King" Hughes and Kim "The Kimmer" Peterson. Ditto for ex-WGST and weekend hosts Gene Hennsler, John Adams and Sam Memmolo. Don't punish them because Clear Channel is run by clueless monkeys. Or, is there an anti-WGST stance at GRHOF?

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