Bill Leslie's Carolina Conversations

John Tesh in Raleigh

Posted September 30, 2010 9:41 a.m. EDT
Updated September 30, 2010 9:51 a.m. EDT

The human yield sign is returning to Raleigh. That was how radio personality Pat Patterson described John Tesh back in the 1970’s. John took a semester off from NC State to learn how to be a radio newsman. Sporting a bright yellow leisure suit John showed up at our station day after day basically begging for a part-time job. Finally, Patterson who was program director and news director Scott White relented. John did stand tall at 6’6” and we needed a new center for our radio station basketball team. John was hired because of his height and not because of talent. Of course he quickly proved that he had a wealth of talent. 

John returns to Raleigh on Sunday, October 10 for a 2:00PM matinee musical performance at Meymandi Hall in the Progress Energy Center for the Performing Arts. John invited my band Bill Leslie & Lorica to also play during the concert and we were thrilled to accept his invitation. 

John and I were Raleigh roommates just after college. John went to NCSU and I graduated from UNC. I taught John how to run the radio news console and helped him become a reporter. We also jammed a little musically during our roommate days at Meredith Village Apartments off Lake Boone Trail. John was a quick learner on all fronts and quickly excelled as a broadcast journalist. He left the Triangle for a top anchor job in Orlando. It wasn’t long before he was hired by the top station in Nashville and eventually made his way to New York. John’s musical career really began to take off when he worked for CBS Sports and composed scores for various events.  Later John became a fixture as co-host of Entertainment Tonight.  

John reignited my own musical career in 1997 when he performed at Walnut Creek and invited me to play a song on stage with him. We were also reunited in Raleigh several years ago during a benefit concert for the Alzheimer’s Association of Eastern North Carolina. 

John is a first class guy, a brilliant musician and a highly successful broadcaster who can be heard each evening on Mix 101.5. I can’t wait to see him again.   I wonder if he still does crazy things like running in rain at 3:00AM just to build self discipline. 

Mix 101.5 is sponsoring the concert.  Tickets are available by calling 1-800-745-3000.  You can get them by visiting or by stopping by the ticket office at the Progress Energy performing arts center in Raleigh.