Title: Legends of WNOX to sign new book
Author: Wayne Bledsoe
Publisher: Knoxville News Sentinel
It's not always easy piecing together parts of history, but elements of Knoxville's music history will converge at noon today at Barnes & Noble Booksellers on Kingston Pike. Personalities who appeared on legendary radio station WNOX will gather to celebrate and sign copies of the new book "Knoxville's WNOX."
Personalities will include Sunshine Slim Sweet, one of the stars of the famed "Mid-day Merry-Go-Round" show in the 1940s and '50s, John Pirkle, one of the station's best-known personalities of the 1960s as well as the station's rock-era program director, Dave Young, who started at the station in 1968, Phil Williams, who remains an active radio celebrity and many others associated with the station.
The book is a showcase for vintage photographs from the 1930s through the 1960s, along with chapters on the history of the station.
WNOX was most famously the launching point for many of country music's biggest stars for three decades, including Roy Acuff, Chet Atkins, Archie Campbell, Don Gibson, Kitty Wells, Homer and Jethro and Carl Story.
"Everyone knows about the station's role in country music, but it was just as much of a powerhouse in rock radio," said Ed Hooper, author of the book.
Dave Young, who was a contributor to the book, said that just finding station alumni was a challenge.
"There's not really many old-timers left," said Young, adding that Sunshine Slim Sweet may be the only surviving "Mid-day Merry-Go-Round" alumnus. "A bunch of people went through the door during the rock 'n' roll era, but there's no telling where they are."
The book-signing will be at noon today at Barnes & Noble, 8029 Kingston Pike. Other book signings will be 5-7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 10, at Rickard Ridge BBQ, Cove Lake, Caryville; 2-4 p.m. Friday, Dec. 11, at UT Bookstore, 1502 Cumberland Ave.; and 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 12, at Waldenbooks, Knoxville Center.