Having been in the PR business for almost 20 years now, I tend to forget that I have been in this profession longer than I was in my previous trade. I started a career in radio during college and fully expected that to be my life’s work. I loved radio and have some very fond memories, especially of the nine years I spent working on a legendary Atlanta radio morning show at the old WQXI-AM/FM.
Throughout the 1980s this was Atlanta’s number one radio show and it was full of unique characters who all enjoyed success in the business. Old time Atlantans know The Gary McKee Morning Show as an icon in broadcasting history.
I still get questions from people who were around during McKee’s reign who ask, “What kind of guy was Gary?”, “Was Willis the Guard really a security guard who got a job because he was so funny?”, “What’s Yetta Levitt doing these days?”, “What’s Red Neckerson like?”, “Is ‘Hondo’ Neil Williamson’s middle name?”, “Was Herb Emory a captain when he worked at WQXI?”, “Do you remember the day Eileen Kimble said [‘THE word’] on the air?” (Reference the movie A Christmas Story for context on “THE word.”)
Let me just answer the above questions in order: Naturally funny; no; being a wife and mom somewhere in Florida; hilarious yet an extremely sincere person, no, no and YES, (and so do thousands of others.)
I’ve often thought about writing a book about my observations and I do have many very, VERY funny anecdotes, some of which are not appropriate for this family blog. Like anything else, that takes a significant time commitment and right now, far more time than I have to devote to such a project.
What I can tell you is that the Gary McKee Morning Show was great because it was a team of very talented, complementary players. Everyone had their roles and everyone did their respective jobs so very well.
And there is a point to this from a PR perspective. I find the lessons I learned during my time on that radio show have served me well in the PR business, because teamwork is so important to an agency’s success. Here at Cookerly Public Relations, I am blessed to be part of an extremely talented team with top notch skills across a broad range of expertise and each person fills his or her role so well.
I fully expect that twenty years hence, I will be fielding questions such as “What was Carol Cookerly like?”, “Did Mike Mullet have a mullet haircut?”, “Did Candace McCaffery really have a McDonald’s hamburger statue thingy you could sit on in her office?”, “Did that Yankee Jane Stout really stay with y’all so long she started saying ‘y’all’ herself?”
I won’t answer those yet … check back in December 2029 and I’ll let you know.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!