Monday, May 20, 2013

Atlanta's Radio Icons - 1994 To Now - Part 2

Atlanta radio has had so many greats in the almost 20 years that I've lived here.  Last week's edition revealed 10 of these icons.  We now continue our list: 

Christopher Rude - Chris is a talented radio pro with a great voice and personality.  After many spectacular years in AM and then PM drive on 96 Rock, he changed formats to Sports Talk and adapted exceptionally well.  He's been anchoring mornings at 680 The Fan for 10 years.

Willard - Willard joined 96 Rock in its infancy in 1974 and did middays through 1999.  Then he was picked up by Z93, first as morning show producer and then as talent.  When Z93 ended and Dave-FM started, Willard moved seamlessly into sales.  He now lives the good life in the North Georgia mountains.

Kaedy Kiely - Kaedy was a superstar at 96 Rock in afternoons during the station's heyday.  She opted to leave for Z93 after Chris Rude and Willard were released at the end of 1998.  For the past few years, she has masterfully handled mornings at 97-1 The River and adapted beautifully to the station's limited talk time.

The Regular Guys - Larry Wachs and Eric Von Haessler, along with sidekick Southside Steve Rickman, have been in the Atlanta market since 1998.  They worked for Clear Channel twice, at 96 Rock and for a brief time at WGST.  Both tenures ended in misadventures, but Cumulus hired them when Rock 100.5 launched in 2008.  Some say the show is not as funny or edgy as it once was, but its longevity speaks for itself.

Emperor Searcy - For Dewayne Searcy, his radio career is second in importance to being a record producer.  But he has been a constant in afternoon drive on Hot 107-9 for 18 years except for a brief foray on the morning show.  He has a consistent and commanding air presence that serves him well.

The Morning X - Amazingly, the morning show that consisted of Steve Barnes, Jimmy Baron and Leslie Fram has been gone for almost 10 years.  Yet it's still remembered as the anchor of one of Alternative radio's most innovative and successful stations, 99X.  Barnes, who incidentally was the first person ever to unfriend me on Facebook, and Jimmy both later did mornings on 92-9 Dave FM, and are now pursuing other careers.  Leslie was hired by her former boss at 99X, Brian Philips, who today is President of CMT.  Leslie serves as CMT's SVP of Music Strategy.

Steve Craig - Steve was first on the air in Atlanta at the old Power 99 and then stayed when the station became 99X.  The "House of Retro Pleasure" during his midday shift became a huge fan favorite.  After a stint at New York's WRXP-FM working for Leslie Fram, Steve, who is a veritable music encyclopedia, replaced his former 99X cohort Jimmy Baron in mornings on Dave-FM.  After Dave-FM died, Steve joined 97-1 The River for weekends and fill.

Randy & Spiff - Randy Cook and Spiff Carner were a solid foundation for Oldies station Fox 97 during its years in Atlanta.  And when oldies moved, these guys moved with the format, to Kool 105.7 and then Atlanta's Greatest Hits 106.7.  They also did morning stints on Lite 94-9 and WGST-AM.  Randy was one of those real radio guys, and Spiff, well, was on the radio.  They had excellent chemistry and made mornings fun for a lot of years.

JJ Jackson - JJ did the afternoon drive show on Fox 97, and his love and knowledge of music were evident.  His disc jockey background goes back to the 80s on the legendary Quixie, and the great stations on which he plied his craft include CKLW-AM/Detroit, another legend.  After years in radio, JJ is enjoying a new career that incorporates his second love, cooking.

Bert Weiss - After co-hosting with legendary morning hosts Kidd Kraddick in Dallas and Jack Diamond in DC, Bert felt he was ready to play lead fiddle.  He was brought to the attention of Brian Philips, who hired Bert for mornings at Q100 when it signed on in 2001.  Bert quickly proved he was right about being ready.  His show has been a huge hit, bringing in big ratings and billings.  The Bert Show is now syndicated in several markets.

That's it for this week.  But more icons are coming in our next edition.  Stay tuned.

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Rodney Ho's AJC Radio & TV blog:
Atlanta Radio Insider:


  1. I lived in Atlanta from 1992 until 2004.Thanks for reminding me of the talent I listened to while there.

  2. What happened to Fred that replaced Steve Barnes on the morning x at 99x? Toucher they called him I think.