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97.5 WAMZ
WAMZ Ink | WAMZ Photos | WAMZ Airchecks | WHAS-FM/WAMZ History
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WAMZ Ink
Courier-Journal - December 14, 1993
Braun says goodbye to WAMZ this Friday after 11 years

Tom Dorsey
TV-Radio Critic

Thousands of radio listeners won't be getting up with WAMZ's Dickie Braun after Friday.

Braun is pulling the plug on a 41-year radio career and retiring. "Well, I'm 65 and slowing down a bit," said Braun, who has been doing his early morning shift at the country radio station (97.5 FM) for 11 years.

His fans marveled at his drive and energy. Polio put him on crutches when he was 4. When he was 12, his parents died and he was sent to a home for crippled children.

The Pittsburg native started his radio career in 1952 at a station in Ronceverte, West Virginia, and later moved on to the big time in Beckley. After that he worked in Buffalo, New York, and in Cincinnati.

Braun arrived in Louisville in 1967 and did stints at WKLO and WINN. For a decade in his more irreverent days, he went by the alias of Wretched Richard before joining WAMZ in 1982 using his real name.

Coyote Calhoun wanted to hire him, but Braun flunked his WAMZ physical. He was allowed to try again, and his blood pressure passed the second test.

"They stood by me, especially in the early years," he recalled. "It's been a good ride, and AMZ has been the best job I've ever had. The folks there have been awfully good to me."

Braun and his wife, Genny, whom he met in Ronceverte, are going to take some little trips and visit some relatives.

"I'd like to see more of my grandchild," said Braun, who plans to stay in Louisville. "I have no Florida fishing plans."

What he won't be doing is setting the alarm clock for 2:30 a.m. to get in for 5 to 9 a.m. shift. "I always liked to have a good breakfast. Some people just grab a cup of coffee, but I have to have my cereal."

His leisurely pace also calls for split-second timing. "I arrive at the station at 4:59…sometimes 5:01 a.m."

How will he feel when he doesn't have to get up before the birds? "Relaxed. It will be nice, even though I may still wake up at 2:30. I do that on weekends, but luckily I can get back to sleep."

Braun will miss the work though. "It was nice meeting people, getting out to hear what they have to say."

They've been saying lots of nice things since the station announced he was retiring. "Yeah, lots of fine words about sorry to see I'm going…the women give me hugs…the men handshakes," he said.

Braun is a bit embarrassed about the announcements of his going-away part at the Hyatt Regency hotel in downtown Louisville from 5 to 9 p.m. Thursday. The public is invited. He said it may be an emotional moment.

"Tears run easy sometimes," he reflected. "Don't know if I'll be able to hold them back."

More WAMZ Ink: Coyote Calhoun page at 79WAKY.com

WAMZ Photos

One of the original WAMZ salesmen, Bill Bryant, writes: "I started at WNNS in November '76. They gave me this 'NBC News & Information Network' briefcase. That was our format at the time. When we made the format change, I found a shop that did embroidery and had WAMZ put onto a piece of denim and had that stitched to the briefcase. Photo of it attached. Cawood Ledford told me once that it "looked cool". I took that as a compliment. I almost tossed that old briefcase out a few months back... just getting dusty now on the top shelf of the closet."

Mark Strauss writes: "Here's a group photo from WAMZ's second birthday party (1979 and still automated), held in the WHAS/WAMZ building -- and back when you could enjoy a cold beer at a company party. While I'm sorry I cannot identify everyone, third from left is Traffic Coordinator, Helen Huber. On the far right is Bill Cody, who was actually a WHAS 'staff announcer' at the time. To my knowledge, Bill was never on WAMZ. (He's now doing mornings on WSM-AM). Second from left is WHAS 'music librarian' Jeri Fischer. FYI - Jeri is holding my beer while I shoot the picture. Note: Jeri and I just celebrated our 28th wedding anniversary."

Milton Metz (Metz Here on WHAS) stopped by WAMZ's second birthday party.
The backdrop is from WHAS-TV's "Hayloft Hoedown" program from the 50's/60's. Very nostalgic!

WAMZ Cowboy Coffee Mug
WAMZ Bumper Sticker (1979)

 

Dick Braun (1992)
Dan Robinson (1992)
Coyote Calhoun (1992)
Bobby Jack Murphy (1992)
Sunny Stephens (1992)
Ron Hazard (1992)
Back row: Dusty Walker, Night Train Lane
Front Row: Chris Fox, L.G. Dupree (1992)
Tim Tolbert with WAMZ PD Coyote Calhoun right before a Reba McEntire concert
WHAS-FM/WNNS/WAMZ Airchecks
WHAS-FM - Summer 1975
11:00 - 3869 KB

This was recorded during the last days of WHAS-FM's classical music format. Milton Metz is the announcer; Glen Bastin does the news. You'll also hear a recorded announcement promoting the station's September 3rd switch to an all-news format and an invitation for listeners to switch to the newly-upgraded WFPK-FM.
WNNS - October 30, 1976
8:07 - 2862 KB

Here's Jerry Leitzell's 4:30 a.m. newscast on WNNS, bookended by the national NBC NIS feed.
WNNS 6:00 p.m. Hour - February 27, 1977
60:01 - 21,104 KB

This unscoped hour of the former WHAS-FM, recorded the last evening of its all-news format,
gives you a good idea of what WNNS and NBC's News and Information Service sounded like.
WNNS-WAMZ February 27/28 1977 Format Switch
12:49 - 12,026 KB

This scoped stereo aircheck includes the last half hour of the WNNS all-news format from NBC and the first hour of WAMZ's "Great American Country" format from Drake-Chenault. In between there's an announcement from WHAS-WNNS/WAMZ General Manager Hugh Barr. Rip Rinehart, who made this recording, writes: "It's interesting to note that GM Hugh Barr implies that the only reason that they dropped the all-news format is because NBC 'forced our hand' by shutting down the 'News and Information Service' network. With WAMZ going on to 30 successful years [in the country format] and counting, they should be very grateful to NBC for giving them that final push."

Coyote Calhoun (September 1984)
5:33 - 3909 KB
Coyote Calhoun (May 1986)
5:39 - 3977 KB
Dan Robinson (August 30, 1986)
12:53 - 4529 KB
Coyote Calhoun Interviews Keith Whitley (October 1988)
8:35 - 3017 KB

Coyote is surprised when Keith Whitley calls the WAMZ studio line just a
few months before Keith's untimely death (May 9, 1989 at the age of 33).
Ron Hazard (January 1, 1990)
11:45 - 8263 KB
Dick Braun (June 11, 1990)
26:01 - 18,304 KB
Dan Robinson (January 1, 1991)
8:04 - 5674 KB
Dick Braun (June 1992)
26:19 - 18,508 KB
Dick Braun - Last Show (December 17, 1993)
19:06 - 13,437 KB
Bobby Jack Murphy (December 17, 1993)
40:36 - 28,550 KB
Joe Sharkey (Summer 1997)
2:39 - 1874 KB
Joe Sharkey (2006)
3:57 - 3706 KB
All audio is in downloadable MP3 format.

 

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