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Georgia Radio Hall of Fame: 2008

This guide documents the inductees and award winners of the Georgia Radio Hall of Fame.

Legacy Inductees

Jimmy Bridges

James Albert Bridges was born October 4, 1919 in Dawson. After graduating from High School, he attended UGA, graduating with an AB degree in journalism. While there he worked at WGAU. In 1940, Jimmy joined WSB.  He entered the Army Air Corp pilot training program during WWII.  He returned to WSB at war's end. Bridges moved over to WSB TV in 1948 with Atlanta's first television newscast. He returned to radio in 1953, as an on-air personality.  In 1958, he became an account executive and was later promoted to Sales Manager. Jimmy Bridges was a member of Sigma Delta Chi, the Atlanta Advertising Club, and served as President of the Atlanta Broadcast Executive Club.

Barry Chase

Barry Chase (Ron Shulz) was born in North Dakota and attended Brown Institute in Minneapolis, graduating in 1964. His first job in radio was at KSJB in Jamestown, North Dakota. In 1968 he came to Atlanta's WQXI where he remained until partnering with Scott Woodside to do mornings on Z93 from '73 until 1976.  Later they moved to WQXI to do afternoons until 1978. Barry remained as PM drive jock at WQXI until 1979. In 1989, the two were reunited on another incarnation of Z93. They stayed there until 1992. That's when Barry hung up his headphones to start his own voice on hold messaging service.

Jimmy Deer

Jimmy Treston was born in New York and his first career was as a guitar player and singer.  He competed in a talent contest on "The Arthur Godfrey Show," then joined the "Riders of The Purple Sage" and toured with Roy Rogers. In the 40’s, he moved to Savannah and began a show on WDAR.  He later moved to WDAK-TV in Columbus where he did a popular afternoon show. Jimmy went back to radio at WGBA where he hosted "The Barefoot Housewives Show," later moving to WDAK Radio. Eventually, Deer went to WHYD where he stayed until the early 70’s.  In 1981 he was coaxed back to radio and joined WDAK-FM and entertained for years.

George Fisher

George Fisher was born in Chattanooga and later attended Columbus University. After WWII he attended The National Academy of Broadcasting. George worked at WMAL and WGMS in Washington. In 1952, he heard about an opening in Augusta.  He moved to WGAC, and then helped put WAUG on the air.  After a time as morning man at WBBQ, he became co-owner of WBIA.  After serving as the stations program director, morning man and manager for nearly two decades, he returned to WGAC in 1982.  He hosted the morning show, known for a daily devotional and marching the kids off to school.  George Fisher worked tirelessly in the community and in his Church.

Bill Powell

Bill Powell grew up in Miami. He attended a technical high school and chose radio as a field of study. He obtained his first-class radio telephone operators license and worked at the school FM station as an engineer and on air. He later found work at Miami's WMIE and WINZ.  He left Miami to go to WVOP in Vidalia.  After a stop in Dawson, he moved to assist in building WIMO. Bill moved to WMAZ in Macon as an announcer, doing station breaks during network programs. Later he became a regular announcer on WMAZ until 1982 when he moved over to WMAZ TV as a weatherman until his retirement in 1998.

Robert W. Rounsaville

Robert Wesley Rounsaville, at the age of 25, became co-owner of WGAA in Cedartown, GA.  He built his first solely owned station in Cleveland, TN. He continued to focus on small cities that had no local radio station and put WBEJ in Elizabethon, TN on the air in 1946. He then continued his efforts in major markets finding frequency 790 in Atlanta. He and his staff built WQXI without a contractor. He saw his enterprise grow from his first station to a major chain reaching the goal of owning the maximum number of major market stations permitted by the FCC. He owned a total of 26 stations in eight states.

Zenas Sears

Zenas "Daddy" Sears was a white man known for his progressive views on both music and social issues, began his career as a DJ for Armed Forces Radio. After the army, he took a job at WATL in Atlanta, and in 1948 he moved to WGST.  His show "The Blues Caravan" aired nightly on the station. Sears left WGST and working with a group of investors, purchased WATL. He changed call letters to WAOK and changed the format. Sears's program "Diggin' the Discs" became enormously popular and was syndicated around the country. Sears was also involved in promoting and recording the concerts of the era's top R&B artists, including a 1959 appearance by Ray Charles.

Jim Wilder

Jim Wilder was born in Columbus and reared in LaGrange. An early interest in engineering led him to a career in radio in LaGrange, Macon, Griffin, Moultrie, and Savannah. In 1955, he and his partners built WBIE, a 500-watt AM station at 1050. In the early 60’s Jim built WBIE FM-101.5, one of the first FMs in Georgia. Zell Miller remembers Jim as a man “beloved by all country music artists for his continuing support of the business and for his understanding and generosity in encouraging and giving free air time to new songwriters and performers.” At his death, Jim was one of the oldest active broadcasters in Georgia.

Career Achievement Inductees

Bill Bowick Bill Bowick

Bill Bowick grew up in Albany and attended The University of Georgia. In 1947 Bill began his long-running “Coffee with Bill” morning show on WALB.  In 1955, Bowick moved to WGBA/Columbus and stayed 17 years at the station.  Bill was program director at WRBL and WVOC. When the station changed formats, he was offered a job at WEIZ, where he remained through an ownership and station name change. Bill then helped Art Angel put Magic 98 on the air in Columbus. He remained at the station until health problems forced his retirement after nearly 50 years.  Bill always enjoyed writing and producing commercials and won many awards including the Columbus Ad Club’s Silver Star Award.

Skip Caray Skip Caray

of the '77 Braves announcers

Skip Caray was born in St. Louis. He came to radio naturally. His father is legendary Cubs announcer Harry Carry. His career began in the 60s as an announcer for the Atlanta Crackers. In 1967 he became the voice of the NBA's St. Louis Hawks who the following year moved to Atlanta. Skip was the original play-by-play radio announcer for the Atlanta franchise. In 1975, he began a 33-year career as a Braves announcer. In 2004, Caray was inducted into the Atlanta Braves Hall of Fame and is a six-time winner of the Georgia Sportscaster of the Year Award. Skip devoted many hours to volunteer work including for local charities including the Hemophilia Association, and served as a board member for Camp Twin Lakes.

Gary Corry Gary Corry

Gary Russell Corry worked his way through Southern Illinois University as DJ, newsman, and play-by-play announcer at WRAJ. From there it was stints at St Louis for WIBV, WCPO, and legendary WUBE.  In 1969 he became Program Director of WQXI/Atlanta.  In 1974, Corry created the “QuixieRamblin’ Raft Race.” At one time, the event was called the world’s largest outdoor participatory event by The Guinness Book of World Records.  In 1979, Gary created the character Red Neckerson. Gary syndicated Red’s daily slices of humor on over 300 stations. Gary recorded several comedy albums and appeared on Rhubarb Jones's morning show on WYAY and Capt. Herb Emory’sNASCAR talk show. Gary passed away in 2010.  

Herb Emory Herb Emory

Herb Emory was raised in the North Carolina Blue Ridge Mountains. He was in the sixth grade when he started to sweep floors and empty trash at WPNF in Brevard. While attending The Atlanta School of Broadcasting.  He worked as an intern at WII/Atlanta with Skinny Bobby Harper, monitoring WSB for traffic and jokes.  After that Herb worked at WSNE/Cumming, WDGL/Douglasville, WACX/Austell, WFOM/Marietta, and the Georgia News Network.  Emory spent 12 years at WQXI AM/ 94Q/Star 94 as a news and traffic reporter.  In 1991 Emory was hired by WSB to report traffic from the “WSB Skycopter Lounge.”  Herb has earned at least 15 First Place Awards, including two Green Eyeshades, for news and traffic reports.

Ernie Johnson Ernie Johnson

of the '77 Braves announcers

Ernie Johnson was born in Brattleboro, Vermont, and came to Atlanta in 1965, a year ahead of the team moving from Milwaukee.  He set up the Braves Radio Network across the southeast and became a friend to many Georgia broadcasters. Johnson was instrumental in helping Pete Van Wieren get his first major league job with the Braves. He was inducted into the Atlanta Braves Hall of Fame in 2001, received three regional Emmys, and was named Georgia Sportscaster of the Year three times. On September 2, 1989, at a time when attendance for home games was the lowest in the league, 42, 000 fans showed up for Ernie Johnson Night (when he retired) at Atlanta Fulton County Stadium. They came to say, "thank you and so long for now.”

Red Jones

Red Jones

Red Jones was born in Texas where his aunt worked at the local radio station and he graduated from The University of Texas with a degree in radio and television. While in Austin, Red worked at KVET. After college, Jones joined the Army and worked with the Armed Forces Network in Germany.  In 1961, Red moved to WQXI serving as Assistant Manager, Program Director, and morning man. He helped establish the Atlanta Falcons Radio Network and was recognized by Billboard Magazine as one of the nation’s preeminent Top 40 stations and Red received accolades as one of the best personalities in America.  Red also worked at WFOM/Marietta, WLAG/ LaGrange, and WKNG/Tallapoosa.

Scott Slade Scott Slade

Scott Slade is a Griffin native and began his radio career in 1970 while in high school, working at WHIE, WKEU, and WGRI. In 1984, Scott joined WSB as a helicopter traffic reporter and since 1991 he has been host of Atlanta's Morning News. Scott is a rare two-time winner of the National Association of Broadcasters Marconi Award as Best Radio Personality in America. Atlanta’s Morning News with Scott Slade has won numerous awards since its inception in 1991, including the national Edward R. Murrow Award as Best Radio Newscast in the nation. Scott initiated the WSB Radio Care-a-Thon for the AFLAC Cancer Center in 2000, raising over six million dollars to fight children’s cancer.

Tony Taylor Tony Taylor

Tony Taylor spent eight years at WQXI/"Quixie", where in addition to his on-air and commercial work, he became Production Director.  While away from Atlanta, Tony was successful at WOR-FM and WIP in Philadelphia, where he was named the Bill Gavin Program Director of the Year in 1969. He had gigs at Los Angeles station, KLAC, and in New York at WNBC. He also became the youngest NBC staff announcer, at the time, and was a host of the highly regarded program MONITOR on the NBC radio network. Upon return to Atlanta, and WGST, he resumed his voice work, becoming the first commercial spokesman for Home Depot, among other major companies.

Pete Van Wieren Pete Van Wieren

of the '77 Braves announcers

Pete Van Wieren was born in Rochester, New York Prior to joining the Braves in 1976, he worked for the Washington Post and did play-by-play for the Tidewater Tides in Norfolk, Virginia. He was also a television sportscaster in Ohio, New York, and Virginia. He is known as "The Professor" for his pre-game preparedness and baseball research ability.  He was inducted into the Atlanta Braves Hall of Fame in 2004, and is an eight-time winner of the Georgia Sportscaster of the Year award. He served as play-by-play announcer for the Atlanta Hawks from 1991 to 1994, covered hockey, college, and pro football for WTBS, and served as a sports reporter for CNN.

Del Ward Del Ward

Del Ward was born and grew up in Macon, Georgia. After graduating from Brenau College in Gainesville, Georgia, she worked briefly for WNEX Radio in Macon. She went on to work at WHOT Radio in South Bend, IN, and was the first female disc jockey there. After WHOT she went to WGN in Chicago where she became the nation's first all-night female disc jockey. Following WGN she worked as a television and radio actress in New York and then as a disc jockey at KWK in St. Louis, MO. In 1954 she moved back to Macon, GA, and from 1957 until 1997 she worked at WMAZ Radio and Television producing and hosting Date with Del, a show which featured guest interviews and news about events, charities, and other organizations in the middle Georgia area.

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