What do you love about country music?
Country music speaks to the hearts and souls of people here in East Tennessee. The songs can make us laugh, cry, think, or feel something. The lyrics often really hit home and can help us overcome obstacles in our lives, and the music can help us get thru very tough days…much like the ones we are living in now. I feel this music and I know you do, too.
What do you like about being on the radio?
I love that it gives me a chance to give back in some sort of way to Knoxville and East Tennessee. This is home. Whether it’s playing music people like or saying something that might lift someone’s spirits….maybe it’s giving away a prize, or informing people about an important event to them…doing charity events that assists people in need…Radio has never been more important than it is today. I love being a part of that and being a part of your day.
Who is your favorite country legend?
Always been a fan of George Jones. Dad took me to see the possum when I was 8 years old….Got to meet him years ago when he came out to do CD signing at Walmart in Maryville. And had a chance to see his final show at the coliseum. That’s history and I’m still a fan like a lot of people.
Who is your favorite new country star?
I like Kane Brown right now. He’s got such an inspirational story coming from extreme poverty and homelessness. My sister had him as a third grade student when she taught in Chattanooga. She said he was a good, but quiet kid. I think he can speak to so many other kids out there in a way other artists may not be able to. Incredible talent. When you look at someone like George Jones and then Kane Brown, that tells you how big country music is. It’s as big as your heart.
96.7 Merle makes a big deal out of playing the songs other country stations seem to be missing these days. With such a rich variety of artists and forgotten favorites that other stations have just flat out misplaced, as well as what ya’ll call “only the new country you love,” what do you like about mixing all these songs and artist on the radio?
Country music is always evolving, right? Everybody knows that. It’s important to remember where it all came from as well as respect where this music is taking you today. Listeners love it all. By playing a mix of the forgotten favorites with the new music of today, listeners don’t have to miss great songs of any kind. They’re all here on 96.7 Merle. When I hear some of my forgotten favorites, it often can take me back to a time in my life when things seemed simpler. It also reminds me of some ‘good ole days’ when I was younger and the new music often makes me feel like I’m younger than I really am! Who doesn’t need that every once in a while?
When you are on the air, how do you make it special for someone just tuning in to 96.7 Merle?
I consider myself to be somewhat of a tour guide. I stop once in a while to point out some things while people are on their journey home or wherever they may be going. And – of course – we play those hour long commercial free playlists. That’s serious. Obviously the music is the most important aspect of the show, but hopefully people find my part of the ride fun, informative, and entertaining. I feel I am like you. I’m part of what is happening here and as long as I am on the radio, you are, too!