Monday, May 4, 2009

Fifteen years of C.C.C. -- v. 2

This lover of music and constant listener to music stations on the radio has become quite a fan over the years, of not only singers but also the radio deejays who spin their songs over the airwaves. E.g., if you go to my "Glen Alan's San Antonio" blogspot, you'll read more than one post that mentions my good friend of the San Antonio airwaves, deejay Jerry King of KKYX-AM 680. Jerry was inducted into the Country Deejay Hall of Fame in A.D. 2002, shortly after I moved to his city. That particular Hall of Fame is in Nashville; originally inside the Magnolia Lobby of Opryland Hotel it's been moved to the Convention Center across from Ryman Auditorium.

AND THEN. . . around the time I moved to Nashville last year, WSM-AM 650 deejay Bill Cody also achieved this honor. I've actually listened to Cody about as long as I've listened to the afore-mentioned deejay (King). You see, he used to be "Buffalo Bill" Cody on KKYX. He moved to the "Air Castle of the South" (WSM) in 1994, only a few months before our move from Devine, Texas, to Clarksville, Tennessee.

Do the math, dear reader. Bill's been the weekday morning deejay on WSM fifteen years. His show's called "Coffee, Country & Cody". I don't remember that he had a partner ("sidekick") at the start, but when I began listening again to WSM last year I found he had a terrific sidekick (partner): Charlie Mattos, who's called the token Yankee of the station's staff (raised in Rhode Island). Charlie and Bill are wonderful and often amusing to listen to, as they banter about songs they're playing or the latest news (Charlie handles the sports news for the station).

The actual anniversary of "Coffee, Country & Cody" -- and Charlie -- is 25 April. But that being on Saturday in '09 they did the major celebrating the day before, Friday the 24th. And I guess the partying was too good to limit to one day. (San Antonio's had its effect on Cody, as it has on yours truly!) So. . . they had an additional celebration, open to the public, on Friday the First of May. And this one was not in the WSM studio at Opryland Hotel but rather in the Ford Theater at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. Because of my esteem for both Bill and Charlie I made sure to attend this event.

It was announced on WSM that doors would open at 7 AM (the show signs on an hour and a half earlier). But when I arrived about quarter 'til I was let in at once. I was delighted to enter the theater and see honoree Bill in a brown dress shirt and necktie sitting up front. (There's no actual stage built into this theater, just some level floor space in front of the sloped seating, with a table with mikes, and a high stool with a standing mike.) Charlie was dressed casually in polo shirt.

Now, some time back I had actually gotten to introduce myself to Bill when I was out Opryland Hotel way to pick up a prize I'd won on WSM. But today was my chance to also introduce myself to the "Token Yankee" Charlie. At a moment when I wouldn't be intrusive to the broadcast and Charlie was away from the mike anyway, I hollered to him, "Hey, Charlie! It's your Portuguese-speaking listener!" And he remembered our conversation, which was briefly in Portuguese, of a few weeks earlier! Plus, he saluted me in Portuguese.

I was in the third row up, and an older couple in the front row just below me got to talking to Bill. In his part of the conversation he mentioned KKYX. So when the conversation concluded I thanked him for mentioning the San Antonio station. At once he knew it was I, because as he shaded his eyes from the glare of the lights he quipped, "Is that my friend from Texas?" Then he explained that the older couple was from Pearsall, where George Strait was raised. And he told the still small audience about how I had listened to him in Texas, and then followed him to Nashville. He remarked, "You've got to stop following me around!"

A couple of guest artists had been scheduled to appear to entertain Bill and us in honor of the Fifteenth. The first to show up was the Opry's George Hamilton IV. About 7:15 he came out from the "green room" carrying an acoustic guitar and sat on the high stool with the mike. Bill and he carried on a conversation, and a song was promised. But alas! to get to work on time on the MTA I had to leave before George set fingers to the guitar strings. However, as I went to work and thru my delivery driving for Bradley Health Services I listened to the show 'til it signed off at ten. I even got to hear the concluding measures of George's song played live there in the Ford Theater.

It sure is nice to get to be part of such a milestone celebration for one of the several deejays I esteem! i wish Bill Cody the best, and many more years of "Coffee, Country & Cody" on WSM!

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