published Friday, August 5th, 2011

Courter: Bobby Q. Day was a true legend in radio

Randy Black was a 19-year-old rookie disc jockey when he met Bobby Q. Day, the legendary local radio personality. He remembers the funny stories and crazy times the two shared doing the late-night and overnight shifts at WDXB on Dodds Avenue back in 1983.

Carole Ann White remembers Bobby as Bobby White, her husband for the last three years. The two spent nearly every waking moment talking, surfing the Internet, listening to talk radio -- never music radio -- or listening to his vinyl record collection. He listened to Sinatra, Bennett, Martin and Sammy Davis Jr., she said.

"Never the blues, and he could never enjoy CDs," she said.

Bobby Q. Day died Saturday with his wife at his side.

Both Black and White talked this week about how much they loved Bobby.

"I was 19 and looked like a McLovin (from the movie 'Superbad') character and still living at home," Black said. "When the coolest thing in your world is Bobby Q. Day, that's pretty good."

Black said that Bobby taught him how to use the board and how to get an audience.

"You have to involve your audience in a way that is three dimensional," Black said. "He reached out and knew his listeners.

"Everything about the whole show was totally wrong from what they teach in college, and it was great. Most guys would talk over the intro. He would talk over the lyrics because he said listeners would listen to you then because they were listening to the lyrics."

He laughed remembering how Bobby would interrupt a song to announce the time, which was based on when the liquor stores closed.

"It's 15 minutes until my favorite store closes," Bobby would say over a ZZ Hill blues number. Or he'd call out a friend.

"I know where you are Ray Ray. You'd better bring me a bottle of liquor or something to eat, or I will tell your wife where you are."

White said that was the radio Bobby. The at-home Bobby was very private and reserved. Even though she had had a crush on Bobby 30 years ago and met him briefly, the two didn't become friends until about five years ago when she volunteered to help with his latest radio venture. When he became very sick, she kept him company telling him about herself and listening to his stories. The two fell in love and married almost three years ago.

"It was remarkable how he got better," she said. "We were extremely happy and very much in love.

"His radio persona would tend to make one think he was into all kinds of mischief, and he probably was back in the day, but he had become a very sincere person about life. He had no tolerance for any type of gossip, and he was very spiritual.

"He was also a very good listener, and he had a huge heart."

* * *

Chip Chapman will return to television airwaves, joining the WDEF-TV 12 morning and noon teams, according to news director Dutch Terry. He will team up with current "News 12 This Morning" anchors Joe Legge and Dreanne Newton and with Nordia Epps at noon.

He officially starts Monday.

about Barry Courter...

Barry Courter is staff reporter and columnist for the Times Free Press. He started his journalism career at the Chattanooga News-Free Press in 1987. He covers primarily entertainment and events for ChattanoogaNow, as well as feature stories for the Life section. Born in Lafayette, Ind., Barry has lived in Chattanooga since 1968. He graduated from Notre Dame High School and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga with a degree in broadcast journalism. He previously was ...

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