What do you love about country music?
The story telling is always what matters to me the most. When a song can make you say “Wow” out loud, you know they’ve written a real hit that matters to real people. That’s what makes country music so special.
What do you like about being on the radio?
I’ve always liked making people laugh and shortening their drive to work or school. If you’re having fun, the ride has less frustration and it just seems to go by faster.
Who is your favorite country legend?
Johnny Cash. He broke through so many barriers and paved the way for countless future artists. His influence still holds up today! Think about this. He understood standing up for vulnerable people and he understood authenticity at a very simple and high level at the same time. He wasn’t too good for anyone and he felt connected with people who struggled.
Who is your favorite new country star?
Dierks Bentley. He loves his dog. What more can you really want than a guy that does all these great songs and he loves his dog.
96.7 Merle makes a big deal out of playing the songs other country stations seem to be missing these days. Forgotten Favorites. With such a rich variety of artists and different kinds of songs, how do you feel about mixing these forgotten favorites and only the new country you love together?
I believe that’s what country listeners want today. They like to hear those songs that really mean something to them. Some of those songs are new and happening right now. Some are songs that you’ve loved and mean so much in your life. Of course, it’s the real songs that connect with people. Like great movies or actors that are known for quality. The great songs are timeless. That means the new ones and the older ones.
When you are on the air, how do you make it special for someone just tuning in to 96.7 Merle?
By not taking ourselves seriously. That’s really it. The world can be a heavy place with a lot of responsibility and sometimes it feels like the world is out of control. There’s no need for me to be adding to the pile! We want to be that fun place where you can get away from all of that and enjoy.
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!