96.7 MERLE REQUEST LINE: 896-9670

COMMUNITY CONNECTION

96.7 MERLE REQUEST LINE: 896-9670

COMMUNITY CONNECTION

ON AIR NOW

Wilhite & Wall in the Morning

Wilhite & Wall

Weekdays, 5 AM - 8:59 AM
Saturdays, 6 AM - 9:59 AM

4 CMA Trophies
CMA Personalities Of The Year

Biographies

Darren Wilhite

Darren Wilhite was born and raised in the south. He grew up listening to both country and pop/rock radio. By the time he was in high school, he was known as the “music guru.” His classmates were the ones who pushed him into radio (it was all their fault). In fact, before the internet, Darren was the go-to guy at his high school to settle all music related bets. 

Darren also loves comedy. Everything from props to impressions. This, combined with music, led him straight to doing a morning show where he can do both.


Tim Wall

Tim was born and raised in St. Louis, MO. He actually started his radio career in Country Music and never left. Tim worked at great stations in Fayetteville, AR, Knoxville, TN, Kansas City, MO and St. Louis, MO plus a few other stops along the way, but he felt lucky when he became a part of the Wilhite & Wall Show over 25 years ago and says they were both blessed to win 2 CMA Personality of the Year Awards.

Country music and radio has allowed Tim to travel the world broadcasting the Wilhite & Wall show from England, Germany, Russia, Finland and South Korea. Being on the radio in East Tennessee means more than ever to Tim today.

Darren Wilhite Q & A

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! 

Tim Wall Q & A

What do you love about country music?

More than any other format of music I think it’s just a positive influence. A lot of the songs usually have a fun or inspirational message and the instrumental part of it is clean and good as anything out there.

What do you like about being on the radio?

Making someone laugh or smile to help them enjoy their day whatever they might be doing. That’s what I love best.

Who is your favorite country legend?

Charlie Daniels. Do I really need to say anything more. I mean, there are many meaningful men and women who have become legends in country, but Charlie….he’s the man.

Who is your favorite new country star?

Thomas Rhett. He’s consistent.  He has some really sweet songs. That’s part of the fun. 

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 different kinds of songs, how do you feel about mixing it all together?

I’ve always believed that great music is great music. Period. I try not to categorize too many things. Is that crazy? There’s room for everyone. Country music is like a big table. A lot of country stations used to play some of these ‘forgotten favorites’ as much as they today play the top ten over and over, but then they just forgot about those songs? I’m glad we’re doing it.  When you limit yourself to a small slice you miss out on a lot of good music and entertainment. Why do that? I love that we mix all these great songs on 96.7 Merle. It’s just more fun to listen to a station doing that. You’ll see. 

When you are on the air, how do you make it special for someone just tuning in to 96.7 Merle?

Well, first, you might think we’re like other shows that think it is about the talk. That’s not it. I try to help them appreciate the music first, it’s the star of the show. In between I like to talk about things country listeners in East Tennessee love, and hopefully we put a fun spin on it that they can’t get anywhere else. That’s Wilhite & Wall on 96.7 Merle.