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Sam Hale

What a fabulous story told so magnificently! I grew up in McMinnville in the 40s-50s and "studied" the great announcers on WSM radio; then, television, as I early-on learned that I wanted to be an "announcer"

By the time I was ready to begin a career, radio had changed dramatically and there were very few live shows; none being fed to NBC from "Studio C" at WSM, so I had to become just a "disc jockey" -- a term I've never liked.

Nonetheless, looking back, it was the most enjoyable period of my working life.

Mr. Waugh's close friend and associate, Jack Stapp, who had been recruited to WSM from CBS in New York to become Program Director and manager of the Grand 'Old Opry; and producer/director for the live shows fed to NBC, had become involved in music publishing. That "side" endavor had grown to the point where he was given the ultimatum to divest himself of the music publishing, or leave.

He chose to leave and became President of little WKDA on top of First American National Bank.

Upon returning from Armed Forces Radio and TV service, I sent a tape to Mr. Stapp and he immediately hired me.

A few months later, having done the first newscast on an AFRTS broadcast television station, I thought I was ready for Channel 4. I mentioned it to Mr. Stapp and he phoned Mr. Waugh and made arrangements for my going up on the hill to audition.

I did my "thing" and Jud Collins, another whose name escapes me, and Mr. Waugh came from the control room into the studio.

From that booming, wall-shattering bass voice of Mr. Waugh, I heard ...
"Sammy, you have the style we like but you're too young and you have too
God damn much hair."

Jud Collins interceded, his air is not as long as Boyce Hawkins' (the weather man). Mr. Waugh bellowed, "I've been meaning to ask you to tell Boyce to get a GD haircut!"

So your word pictures brought back vivid memories of that Autumn afternoon in 1959.

Better still, I was able to learn more of the "real" man from your writing and
I sincerely appreciate it and it made me even more sorry that I was not acceptable at that time for a position at Channel 4, 'though we did great at WKDA -- and beyond.

Most sincere thanks, Dan.

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