The Founders and Directors Award was a special award for Georgia radio professionals who excelled, but may have not received the recognition they deserve. It was not awarded every year.
|Jack Lenz 2008
Jack Lenz was born in Augusta. His first time on the radio was in a radio play on WRDW. That led to being a part of a weekly teen show. Jack became music librarian at WBBQ. Shortly thereafter, Jack’s family moved to Savannah. WDAR had just lost its morning man; Jack was hired on the spot. Then he moved to WGIG in Brunswick for awhile but, returned to Savannah as program director of WSAV. When WAGA in Atlanta changed to WPLO, Lenz moved to become part of the sales staff. After a brief time at WIIN, he joined the WSB sales department and rose to become General Sales Manager there, a position he held until 1980.
|Michael Guido 2009
Michael Guido, a nightclub band leader, wandered into a revival service in Lorain, Ohio to hear the piano player. He stayed for the entire service and was saved. He enrolled in Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. Guido was deeply moved by a stained glass window in the schools lobby depicting “The Sower.” The window was the inspiration for Guido’s ministry, “Seeds from the Sower.” On a preaching mission he met and married his wife. Making Metter Georgia their home, they were travelling evangelists. After a near fatal car crash, they turned to radio to continue their ministry. For more than 50 years, Reverend Michael Guido spread his Christian message from studios in Metter, like seeds all around the world.
|Jim Wesley 2011
Jim Wesley was born in Atlanta. While attending Georgia Tech he worked at WGLS in Decatur hosting the morning and afternoon show and gathering, writing, and reporting news. In 1955 he was offered a position at WSB hosting “The Morning Merry Go-Round” and “Housewives Corner”. In 1958, Wesley left programming to become local sales manager, a position he held until he moved with Cox Radio first to Miami then Los Angeles. Jim returned to Atlanta to serves as Executive Vice President of Radio for Cox. In 1984, he resigned to form two broadcast companies. Jim retired in 1998. Jim and his wife Mary established the Wesley Center for New Media at Georgia Tech.
Ray "Satellite Papa" Brown of the Legendary "Three Horsemen" 2012
Ray Brown was born in Alabama. His mother married a man from Macon and they moved there in 1941. He attended public school in Macon the served in the Army in overseas. Upon his return, he took a job driving a truck for a Warner Robbins company. He also formed a band: Ray Brown and the Red Caps. He band became the hottest band in Macon. Big Saul, WIBB PD called Ray and offered him a job. Ray accepted, went on the air as “Satellite Papa”. Brown became one of the stations Three Horsemen. He worked in North and South Carolina then moved to the Virgin Islands, staying and retired in Macon in 2001.
|Charles "Big Saul" Greene of the Legendary "Three Horsemen" 2012
Charles “Big Saul” Greene was a Macon native, served in the Navy, then ran a record shop in NYC. He moved to Puerto Rico to be a jock at WWWA. He was headed back to New Your City, but stopped in Macon when he heard about a job in Macon at WIBB. Tom Maxwell was changing the format and was looking for announcers. Saul auditioned and became the stations first DJ. He called his friend Ray “Satellite Papa” Brown and persuaded him to audition. Brown was hired as well as Hamp ”King Bee” Swain. The three became known as “The Three Horsemen.”
|Hamp "King Bee" Swain of the Legendary "Three Horsemen" 2012
Hamp Swain was an insurance salesman in Macon. On Saturday mornings he hosted a program on WBML sponsored by his employer. His popularity grew and the station offered him a full time on air position in 1954. On the air he was “The King Bee”. Swain also had a band; The Hamptones featuring one of his old classmates, Richard Penniman (now known as Little Richard). WIBB PD Big Saul and DJ Satellite Papa persuaded Swain to come over to WIBB to become the third member of The Three Horsemen. He helped launch James Brown's career by recording and becoming the first person to air the Godfather of Soul's song "Please, Please, Please" at WIBB.
|James "Alley Pat" Patrick 2013
James Patrick was born in Montezuma, Georgia; his family moved to Atlanta in 1931. He graduated from Booker T. Washington High School. During World War 2, Pat was a member of the legendary Tuskegee Airmen. After the war he attended and graduated from Morehouse College. Pat was "discovered" by WERD Programming Director Ken Knight while calling a bingo game and "jiving" over the loudspeakers. Knight invited him to submit a demo tape and soon he was on the air as “Alley Pat”. He was outrageous: “The Mouth of The South”. In 1954, he joined WAOK, the country's first 24-hour African-American radio station. In the sixties, Pat worked at WXAP, WYZE, and WQXI then left radio.
|Brad Burkhart 2014
Brad Burkhart is considered the architect of the AC Christian format. In 1976, while attending the University of Georgia, Burkhart signed-on the first-ever weekly Contemporary Christian music show in the state of Georgia, on the University’s WUOG-FM. Following his 1979 graduation, Burkhart worked for several record companies before opening a Christian media division for the Atlanta-based radio consultation firm Burkhart/Douglas & Associates. Brad Burkhart Christian Media was incorporated in 1990 and consulted KLTY/Dallas, KSBJ/Houston, KCMS/Seattle, KFSH-The Fish/Los Angeles, and the K-Love Radio Network. In 1999, he became the first-ever living recipient of the Gospel Music Association’s Scott Campbell Award.
|The Hurst Brothers 2016
Mitchell County gave birth to one of Georgia’s most successful radio families, the Hurst Brothers. Byron got his degree in journalism at the University of Georgia, worked at WGRA in Cairo, then put WTRP in LaGrange on the air in 1953. Brother Frank graduated from UGA and after serving in the Army, joined WTRP as an announcer and salesman. Brother Julian graduated from FSU, served in the NAVY, then came to LaGrange and was announcer and program director at WTRP. The station was sold in the 70's and today the sole surviving Hurst brother, Julian, lives in LaGrange.
|Bob Watson 2017
Atlanta native Bob Watson was a radio personality at WSB from 1944 to 1953. He is best known as the creator and host of the late-night "Platter Party." As one of the country's first "disk jockeys," he developed a new programming style featuring the most current music of the day, along with live interviews with the most popular band leaders, musicians, singers, actors and celebrities of the big band era. Bob lives in Savannah.
|Walter Reeves 2018
Walter Reeves grew up in Fayette County on a family farm. He and his siblings worked in the family garden. Vowing to never work on a farm again, he headed to college. His radio career began at V-103 in 1980 and moved to WGST in 1984. In 1994, he became the host of the Lawn and Garden show on WSB. He celebrated 24 years at WSB in January of 2018.
|O'Neill Williams 2018
O’Neill Williams was born near Atlanta. He went to Emory, majoring in economics. Upon graduating, he had a brief career in the food industry. He discovered telling stories about hunting and fishing was more interesting than talking about hot dogs, so he embarked on a career hosting a 15-minute interview program on local Atlanta cable. In 1991, he began hosting “O’Neill Outside” on WSB and is syndicated on 180 stations in the United States.
|Dr. Gene Henssler 2019
Dr. Gene Henssler was born in Milwaukee, studied economics at Wayne State University and the University of Michigan. After receiving his PhD, he became professor of finance at Kennesaw State. In 1986, he began his radio career at WGST doing a two hour Sunday afternoon financial program. Dr. Henssler maintained his presence on radio as host of “Money Talks" on WGKA in Atlanta.
|Bert Weiss 2020
Bert Weiss, host of the "Bert Show" has been on the air in Atlanta" for over 17 years. Prior to coming to Atlanta, Weiss worked in Washington DC and Dallas. Shortly after becoming morning host on Q 100 he co-founded Bert’s Big Adventure, a non-profit organization which takes children with chronic and terminal illnesses and their families on a magical five-day trip to Walt Disney World. The "Bert Show" is syndicated and is now heard in Atlanta and cities like Dallas, Salt Lake City, Indianapolis and others.
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Special Collections & Archives
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