Comic actor and radio host Jay Thomas was reading the pre-written biographies of the career achievement winners of the Georgia Radio Hall of Fame at Saturday night’s ceremony. He had no idea who most of the people were. In fact, he admitted he was reading the information cold.
So when he got to Randy Cook and Spiff Carner, best known as Randy & Spiff, he read that they were morning hosts at WYAY-FM (best known to us as Atlanta’s Greatest Hits 106.7). This elicited giggles from the crowd because, well, that was out of date. The pair lost their jobs Oct. 3, 12 days earlier. Thomas had no way of knowing this factoid and was briefly confused by the hubbub.
Fortunately, Carner isn’t one to sugarcoat things. He yelled out: “They fired us!”
Thomas quickly recovered: “What’s funny: I sent a tape off this morning!”
Then he mused: “Those are the worst call letters: WYAY. Yah? What did you do? How did you get fired?”
“We went to work,” Spiff cracked, eliciting guffaws from the sold-out ballroom at the Hilton Hotel & Conference Center in Marietta.
“It’s a Cumulus thing,” he added. “You wouldn’t understand.” (Cumulus had purchased Citadel, which owned Atlanta’s Greatest Hits, and the deal closed in mid-September.)
Thomas then riffed, with his signature sarcasm: “They have quite a few irons in the fire. One of them is definitely in rehab. The other one’s wife is about to leave him nwo that he’s home.”
When Spiff arrived on stage, he handed Thomas a card and the pair showed off CDs and thumb drives as resumes to the crowd. On stage, the pair went through a facetious history of their time in Atlanta, from Fox 97 to Cool 105.7 to Lite 94.9 to WGST to True Oldies 106.7/Atlanta’s Greatest Hits, using different logo-ed caps on Spiff’s head as visual aids. Then Spiff placed a cap on his head which read “This space 4 rent.”
Other notable personalities metro Atlantans would be familiar with who won Career Achievement Awards last night were country radio host Moby and veteran “The Voice of the Hawks” announcer Steve Holman.
Though Moby was let go from Kicks 101.5 in 2002 after 12 years and had a very brief run at what was then Z93, he now has his own syndicated network called Moby in the Mornings, which he has run on his own for seven years. He currently is on nine stations, including WNGC-FM in Athens and South 107 in Rome. He dubs it the “biggest small town in America.”
“I’m so tickled to say, by God, it ain’t over yet,” he said to the audience. “God bless Atlanta radio!”
Holman has announced a whopping 1,890 Hawks games in a row over 26 years, “Let’s hope we have a 27th,” he said, alluding to the current NBA lockout. “I had to pay for these tickets!” At age 57, he said NBA broadcasters “stay til we’re pretty much dead. I’m 57 years old. I figure I have another 20 years – as long as I’m not senile.”
“”I feel good!” yelped Deanna Brown Thomas, James Brown’s daughter, who accepted her father’s Legacy radio award Saturday night. Her dad owned WRDW in Augusta for a period. . “He didn’t have problem with giving all types of young people black and white jobs in radio so they could have a career,” she said.
The ceremony included a 96rock reunion and tribute video created by Steve Mitchell (right), last heard on Eagle 106.7 but who also worked briefly for 96rock in the mid-1970s with Drew Murray (left), who spun the first record ever on 96rock: the Who’s “Baba O’Riley.”
Cox Radio contingent included AM750 and 95.5 FM News/Talk WSB’s "Captain" Herb Emory, Kirk Mellish and Kelly McCoy (B98.5)
The ceremony featured a video of one of Jay Thomas’ funniest radio anecdotes. It’s from the Letterman show in 2009 about his time as an “herbed up” program director in Charlotte with the actor who played Lone Ranger. And it’s on YouTube, too.
Info about the other inductees, including Jim Wesley, Harley Drew, Richard Warner and John Young, is here at www.grhof.com.
By Rodney Ho, Radio & TV Talk