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Georgia Radio Hall of Fame: 2011

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

Legacy Inductees

James Brown

James Brown was born in Elko, South Carolina. During his childhood he earned money shining shoes at an Augusta radio station, sweeping stores, washing cars and singing in talent contests. He learned to play harmonica, some guitar, piano and drums as he turned his energy toward music joining Bobby Byrd's vocal group, the Avons later changing their names to the Flames. Brown and Byrd's group toured the Southern "chitlin' circuit" and signed a deal with Federal Records. Brown's early recordings were gospel-inspired R&B. The rest of his recording career is history.  James Brown also became a radio station owner in the late 60’s he purchased WRDW in Augusta where he had shined shoes as a boy.

Ernie Harwell
William Earnest Harwell was born in Washington, Georgia in 1918.  When the family moved to Atlanta Ernie became visiting batboy for the Atlanta Crackers. While attending Emory University Harwell got his first broadcasting job in 1940 as the lone sportscaster for WSB, dreaming of doing play-by-play. In 1946, he began announcing games for the Crackers on WSB. He broke into the majors in August 1948 with the Dodgers. In 1949 he became an announcer with the cross-town New York Giants. In 1960, Harwell became the voice of the Detroit Tigers. During his career, he broadcast The Masters, as well as pro and college football.  Harwell was inducted into the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame in 2008.

Jack Hurst

Hurst was born in Jacksonville, Florida. After graduating from high school in 1942 he joined the Navy. Upon his discharge, he entered Ithaca College, earning degrees in physical education and commercial broadcasting. In 1950, Hurst landed his first radio job at WKBS, Long Island. After stops in Huntington, West Virginia, and Portsmouth, Ohio, Hurst came to Atlanta as announcer for Georgia Tech football. In 1966 with the arrival of the Atlanta Braves and Atlanta Falcons, Jack became the first Voice of the Falcons. After the Falcons Hurst moved to WFOM calling high school football and basketball.  In 1983, Marietta's WYNX hired Hurst where he continued calling Cobb County high school football and basketball games.

Pepper Martin

James Leslie Martin was born in Marietta, attended Marietta city schools, and served in the United States Navy during World War II. He got his nickname “Pepper” at a young age playing baseball. He began his radio career spinning records on WFOM in Marietta after retiring from Lockheed in 1988. He jumped at the opportunity to do color for Marietta High football games and when the station needed a play by play announcer Pepper got the job. He was the "Voice of the Marietta Blue Devils" for 28 years. Pepper was inducted into the Marietta High School Hall of Fame in 2006. Pepper also served his community by holding a position on the Cobb County Parks & Recreation Commission for over 10 years.

Bill McCain

Bill McCain was born in Eureka Springs, Arkansas and began his radio career at announcing the school's radio show.  He then began at local station KFPW while still in high school. While attending the University of Arkansas he worked at KUOA then moved to KVOO in Tulsa, then to Birmingham.  In the mid 40's, he moved to WAGA in Atlanta, then back to Birmingham and WBRC. After a year in Birmingham, he returned to Atlanta. While at WAKE he met Bill Drake. When Drake went to KYA in San Francisco he asked McCain to join him, later returning to Atlanta and WGKA in the mid 60’s. McCain was promoted to station manager and Vice President.

Richard Henry Meeder

Richard Henry Meeder was born in Orange, NJ, June 10, 1930.  He graduated from Carroll College in Wisconsin and served as an officer in the U.S. Marine Corps during the Korean Conflict. His radio career began in Norfolk, Va. at WAVY Radio. He then became assistant general manager for the "Tidewater Tides" baseball team, later moving moved to Atlanta in 1969 where he worked in television before becoming General Manager of WKLS in 1974. He then helped found TrafficScan, a traffic reporting service. Meeder made TrafficScan so successful that Metro Networks bought it and kept him as general manager until he retired in 2000.

Ed Mullinax

Ed Mullinax was born in Gadsden, Alabama and began his radio career there. He worked at WHMA in Anniston until April of 1940, when he moved to Nashville as an announcer at WSIX. In 1941 WLAG in LaGrange offered Mullinax a job as station manager. Ed eventually bought the station, added an FM, and remained until 1987. In 1962, Ed took an interest in a high school kid who expressed an interest in radio. He allowed the student to sit in and eventually taught him how to run the board. That kid, John Long, went on to have a 40 plus year career in radio. Mullinax later won a seat in the Georgia General Assembly.

Ben Porter

In 1948, Ben Porter's radio career began, at age 15, in Valdosta on WGOV-AM. He hosted an afternoon rhythm and blues show, in character, as “Jack, the Bellboy.” In 1957, Porter moved to Macon to become News Director at WBML. Later, he was promoted to Assistant General Manager. Porter then became a partner with Charles Adams at WCRY-AM. Porter and Adams expanded the company, with WCRY-FM.  In 1976, Porter bought out Adams and changed the company name to Piedmont Communications Corporation. WCRY-AM changed its call letters to WDDO in 1977 with an urban format. In 1994, Piedmont added WMGB-FM in Macon to its family of radio stations. Piedmont was sold in 1996.

Career Achievement Inductees

Spiff Carner Spiff Carner

of Randy & Spiff

Spiff Carner was a production wizard and copywriter when he was asked by Randy Cook to join him to do sports. The two clicked as a morning team and in 1985 were hired to go to WBCY in Charlotte. After two and a half years they were fired and came to Atlanta to a new station, Fox 97. Their stay lasted 14 years. Then they moved over to WLCL, then WGST, and to WYAY. Along the way, they've done hundreds of remote broadcasts, hosted multiple oldies concerts, and met thousands of listeners. Randy and Spiff remain two of Atlanta's most loved radio personalities.

 

Randy Cook Randy Cook

of Randy & Spiff

Randy Cook grew up in radio since his father was a DJ. He was doing mornings at a station in Rockford, Illinois when he asked Spiff Carnerto to join him to do sports. The two clicked as a morning team and in 1985 were hired to go to WBCY in Charlotte. After two and a half years they were fired and came to Atlanta to a new station, Fox 97. Their stay lasted 14 years. Then they moved over to WLCL, then WGST, and to WYAY. Along the way, they've done hundreds of remote broadcasts, hosted multiple oldies concerts, and met thousands of listeners. Randy and Spiff remain two of Atlanta's most loved radio personalities.

Harley Drew Harley Drew

Harley Drew got a part-time job at WBRO in Waynesboro at age 14. He attended Georgia Tech, missed radio, and moved to Augusta in 1962 to put WFNL on the air.  In 1964, he was hired by WBBQ as P.D. a position he held until 1989.  Harley became G. M. until joining Beasley Broadcast Group in 1995 as Operations Director for WGAC, WGOR, and WRDW.  “Handsome Harley Drew” is a recipient of the “Augusta’s Best Radio Personality,”  “Louis Harris Award” and numerous state and national awards. Harley serves as P. D. for WGAC and WRDW as well as an anchor of Augusta's Morning News. Harley was a founding board member of the Georgia Radio Hall of Fame.

Steve Holman Steve Holman

Steve Holman, Voice of the Hawks for 26 seasons has been on Georgia radio for 31 years. Morning drive sports with GRHoF famers Tom Hughes at WGST, and Scott Slade at WSB. He has a streak of 1,890 consecutive Hawks games. The longest current streak in the NBA.  His career began in his hometown of Lawrence, Ma. working for station owner Curt Gowdy. His NBA experience came from working with legendary Celtics announcer Johnny Most. He did his first NBA play-by-play in 1976 when Most lost his voice mid-game.

Dan Mason Dan Mason

Dan Mason began his career in radio in 1975 at WZGC-FM in Atlanta.  In 1977, he moved to WPGC-FM in Washington, D.C., where he was that station's Program Director as well as National Program Director for First Media, the parent company. In 1979, at the age of 27, he was named Vice President/General Manager of KTSA/KTFM in San Antonio. Mason later returned to First Media where he was named Executive Vice President. When First Media became Cook Inlet Radio Partners, he was named that organization's President in 1988. Mason joined Westinghouse as President of Group W Radio in 1993 and became president of CBS Radio in 1995.

James Carney (Moby) Moby (James Carney)

James Carney got the nickname Moby in 1981 and has been Moby in the Morning since. His first radio job at 15 was on WCSV AM in Crossville. In college, he worked for WAEW for two years. Then he started his climb upward by moving to stations in Nashville, Tampa, Houston, and Dallas. In 1991 he came to KICKS 101 in Atlanta. Five-time winner of Billboard's Major Market Country Morning Show of the Year nominated twice as Major Market Morning Show of the Year and was an Academy of Country Music's Major Market DJ of the Year. He is President of Atlanta-based Moby Enterprises, Inc. and creator of "The Biggest Small Town in AMERICA" Radio Network.

Richard Warner Richard Warner

Richard Warner grew up in Atlanta and attended North Springs High and then the University of Georgia. He went to work at WSB and stayed there until Meredith Corporation, owners of WGST, lured him away with the opportunity to launch a new news network, Georgia Radio News Service, to compete with WSB's Georgia News Network. After ownership changes left Warner out of a job, he founded What's Up Interactive, a successful internet marketing, and web development company. Along the way, he has hosted "Georgia Business" on GPTV and has been a frequent guest on WXIA TV and Fox 5.

Burl Womack Burl Womack

Burl Womack was an engineer and control room operator at WSB in Atlanta. He became an announcer at WCON in Atlanta in 1948. He attended Georgia Tech. After a brief stint in Anderson South Carolina, Burl went to Athens and worked at WGAU while attending school. In 1956 and Womack went to work at WSAV as the morning host of “Breakfast with Burl”. The show became immensely popular and in 1971, he was lured to WZAT FM where he remained until 1989. After working for WJCL radio for a brief time, Burl moved to WEAS where he remained until his retirement in 1998. He was honored by the GAB in 1998 as its Broadcaster of the Year.

John Young John Young

John was a DJ at WLAC in Nashville at 16 becoming Music Director the next year at WMAK. In 1971 he moved to Top 40 KILT, Houston as an on-air P.D. of KILT-FM.  He returned to Nashville in 1975 and was named Billboard Air Personality of the Year for the WSM morning show where he was P.D. In 1979 he became P.D. at Z93 in Atlanta, a position he held until 1987. John became the signature image voice for Superstation WTBS and CNN Worldwide and does approximately 35 daily sessions for 30 television stations across the United States.  John was a founding member of the board of directors of The Georgia Radio Hall of Fame.

Special Collections and Archives

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Music and Popular Culture Collections

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