'Luther Masingill Parkway'

'Luther Masingill Parkway'

August 21st, 2010 in Local Regional News

He is known far and wide in the Chattanooga area simply as "Luther."

We don't know how early Luther Masingill began talking as a precocious baby. But by the time he got to Central High School (then on Dodds Avenue) - seven decades ago - Luther managed to get his hands, and voice, on the school's microphone.

Throughout high school, Luther was the regular master of ceremonies in the Central High auditorium. So it was natural for Luther, while he worked at Bill Penney's service station and volunteered at Avondale Baptist Church, to dream of becoming a radio announcer.

At that time in 1940, famed Chattanooga Lookouts baseball impresario Joe Engel branched out by putting WDEF radio on the air. Luther applied and Engel hired him. They became great friends and successes. Luther's rich voice - and happy personality - became familiar to all Chattanoogans.

Luther knew exactly the best popular music records to play. He alerted Chattanoogans to all good upcoming public events. He urged listeners to look for countless lost dogs. And he eagerly and enthusiastically alerted listeners to the very first - even hinted - snowflake in winter.

When WDEF radio added television, Luther became not only a familiar voice but also a smiling face.

Fortunately for us all, he is still broadcasting.

So what could be more appropriate than for members of the Tennessee General Assembly to vote to name a section of South Broad Street, where WDEF broadcasts emanate, "Luther Masingill Parkway"?

Luther - and his listeners - long have been valuable partners in creating a warm, constructive and happy spirit, which is a very valuable part of our Chattanooga community.