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Bill Leslie's Carolina Conversations

Small Town Radio

Posted March 27, 2008 8:21 a.m. EDT

What's the funniest thing you've heard on a small town radio station? Please share.

I cut my broadcasting teeth on small town radio. I wouldn't trade the experiences for anything in the world.

My hometown station in Morganton had a program called "The Obituary Column of the Air" sponsored by a local funeral home. Once an announcer said: "I am SORRY to say we have no deaths to report today."

Disc jockey Jack Armstrong allowed me to report the news late at night on his program when I was in high school. One of my first bloopers was: "I'll be THIS right after BACK." My buddies at home used to take notes of my on-air blunders and rib me unmercifully. One day I said "shungots" for "gunshots." They still remind me of that.

I also worked as an announcer for a country music station in Lenoir. One of my veteran co-workers ignited my news copy while I was reading it on-air. He said it was important that I learn "grace under fire."

Once a local moonshiner showed up offering free samples of his special Christmas brew.  However, the highlight of my short career in Lenoir was writing a commercial for the septic tank aroma bar sale at the Piggly Wiggly.

It was at this point I decided to become a serious broadcast journalist!