Tag Archives: WKPT-AM



This 5-column, 3/4-page ad ran on July 21, 1968, in the Kingsport Times-News.  I found it when I was going through an old scrapbook.  Look!  Not a syndicated show in sight; although, the stations did run some NBC and religious programming on the weekends.

I always liked the NBC logo.  The microphone is a stylized RCA 44-BX (bi-directional).  The WKPT-AM studios used these, since the installation of the equipment after the fire* was supervised by NBC.

*The WKPT studios burned on September 7, 1948, according to the Kingsport Times-News (I misread that date. It was 1946.  When I enlarged the page, I saw that it was a “6”, not an “8”, but it was a kind of skeevy 6, at that).  The new studio, with all new equipment, opened in ’48.


I ran across an old page of slides from the early 70s that had been used on WKPT-TV.  Figure these slides are around 40 years old, so live with the poor quality (highlights blown out, mostly).

My beautiful picture

The Scene at Six.  On the left is anchor Mike Lee, then Frances Eden, who did weather, and Bob Haywood, sports.  I don’t recall the name of the lady on the right.

My beautiful picture

Pat Woodham and her Somebody Special Show

My beautiful picture

And the man himself, Bill Trailer.  He also did TV weather and, yes, he always tied his tie like that.  When Bob Ratcliff, the boss at the time, warned him about letting his hair grow too long, he held firm until Bob paid for the haircut.  I don’t know why this shot doesn’t have a caption…it may have never been used, although it was prepped properly.
I first met Bill when he was doing the Night Sounds show on WKPT-AM, which started off with the quote from Longfellow:

And the night shall be filled with music,
      And the cares, that infest the day,
Shall fold their tents, like the Arabs,
      And as silently steal away.

I was doing a show down in the FM control room and had to make sure that the door was shut, because, now and again, Bill, irritated at something, would storm out of the studio cursing loudly.

Another Kingsport Book

Published shortly after 1962, this 9″x12″ unpaginated book was wholly a product of Kingsport.  Paper by Mead, binding fabrics by Holliston Mills, and with typography, printing and binding by Kingsport Press.  It was authored by Ben Haden and designed by J. Fred Wright.
The book has no copyright date, but I couldn’t find any date in the text past 1962.  I assume it was produced as a promotional piece for the far-ranging Kingsport  boosters (there were many).  It features some interesting pictures, along with bios of the prominent men – and only men – of the time.  There’s also a fine picture of Charlie Deming of WKPT-AM.  Although he was basically a morning personality and sometimes sports announcer, he’s shown working a mike at the passenger side door of the station mobile unit.  Marty must have been out of town…

The Kingsport Rotary Club has been a major force in keeping a published record of Kingsport as it grew.  Their first 4.5″x7″ book “Kingsport Tennessee City of Industry Schools Churches Homes” (green cover) was published in 1937.

The second book “Kingsport Tennessee The Planned Industrial City” (blue cover) came out in 1946.

The third book (tan cover), with the same title as the 1946 book, was published in 1951.  It was edited by Bill Freehoff, who was then with the Kingsport Times-News.  (He was working in the news department at Holston Valley Broadcasting when I hired on there in 1967)

In my opinion, the best book about Kingsport’s history is Margaret Ripley Wolfe’s “Kingsport Tennessee A Planned American City” (1987, University of Kentucky Press).  It can be a trifle arid at times, but she writes well and handles the material in good order.

Lest I forget: “KINGSPORT A Romance of Industry” by Howard Long, came out in 1928.  Published by The Sevier Press, Kingsport, Tennessee, it’s not a scholarly piece, but is worth reading, if only for the sense of optimism that prevailed in these few years preceding the Great Depression.

Midnight Sun


Forty-six years ago, I began the first permanent rock show on WKPT-AM.  John Dotson had “Sounds of Summer” the previous year, but it ended when he went back to school or left town or something.  It was a good show and broke the Easy Listening hold on that staid, NBC-affiliated station.  So, I swooped in the next year, ditched “Teenage Terrace”, (which I had been on when I was in high school, from 5:00 to 6:00 pm, as I recall, with Marty running the board and we students, when we showed up, sitting at the table in the news studio) and had the 6:00 pm to midnight slot all to myself as “The Midnight Sun”.
Since this was before 8-track tapes in cars became widely available, I was a success, as it were, with the kids cruising Broad Street.  Then, the tapes came and I eventually moved into the afternoon Drive Time slot.  The fact that, for the most part, I had to buy my own records for the show and management had the nerve to put something like this cloth sticker out helped me leave it behind.  “Like it is”, my ass.  The phrase was a joke by this time.
The ellipse is 4″ on the horizontal axis and 2-1/2″ on the vertical.