I’ve commented on my being a radio disc jockey. You’ll find a lot of memories and a few stories from then on these pages.
The night Conway died.
On June 5, 1993 I was doing the midnight show, 12am to 6am, on KDEO AM 940 country radio. On the late night show I pretty much got to do what I wanted; I played what was requested, and what I wanted to hear.
This night was a little different, about 2:30am I got a call from another DJ, a guy I had been in the J.C.’s with, and he was working the KSSK news desk. He called to tell me Conway Twitty had died. I quickly checked the news feed and confirmed the bad news.
I started gathering CD’s, LP’s and the studio reference books. Remember no laptops, no desk tops and sure as hell no “internet”.
At 3:00am I made the announcement. The spirit of Country Music, the man with so many hits, one of the inspirations for “Bye-Bye-Birdie”, was gone. A man once called “the best friend a song ever had”.
I then announced the rest of my show would be dedicated to the great Twitty. I said the rest of the show would Conway Twitty and nothing else and I’d take callers with memories and dedications.
Using the books in the station, lists of #1 hits, and such, I built a 3 hour “tribute” show, on the fly.
About 5:00 am or so the program manager, Toby (The Texas Lady), called me and said. “Jim, please tell me you’ve been recording this”
I had to admit I was not; I was making it as I went and hadn’t even thought of recording it. Her comment was something to the effect of my on the fly was better than most DJ’s scripted. I took that as a compliment.
Later that day, another DJ tried to do the same show, but it didn’t get much attention. It just didn’t work.
However later that year at the MTV awards, when they spoke of the entertainers that had passed that year, they spoke of Twitty and how he had influenced so many early Rock and Rollers, how he had so many cross over hits, and how his fans loved him.
They also spoke of the late night disc jockey, all the way over in Hawaii that did a 3 hour show dedicated to Twitty as soon as he had heard of his passing.
Gotta smile, Storyteller, mentioned at the MTV awards. Wow, just wow.