2003 with The Boys
My first memory of ROV was on a Sunday in 1964. The British Invasion was in full force and Rock and Roll was going through a revolution. I was riding up Mill Mountain, probably going to the zoo, with my dad and brothers. We used to come to the big city on Sundays to go to the movies and window shop. I was ten years old and Roanoke was OZ to us country folk from Bedford county.
As I remember, it was a balmy day, the windows were open in the '62 Chevy station wagon and ROV was blaring on the radio. As I looked out over the town from way up there, "Suspicion" by Terry Stafford came on the air. It sounded so clear, loud, and full--the distinctive ROV sound. When the DJ spoke, I couldn't help but to think how cool it must be to be a DJ in Roanoke at WROV!
I moved to Roanoke in the Summer of '72 and enrolled in VWCC's radio and TV program that fall. WROV was THE station and I began to listen more during the first year of school. I remember Bart was on mornings at some point during that year. I used to listen to him on the way to school. I also remember Wally Gator Sale on afternoons, and J. Michael Graves perhaps on mid-days. I think he also did a short stint on mornings. I'm not sure where Bly was at the time. I remember him on mornings in '74.
During '73 I recall hearing Dave Daniels, Shane Randall, Mike Black, Tom Twine, Bob Boling, Scott Morris, and others I can't name. Chucker and Terry Young both started in '73 while I was living in Vinton. I had listened to Chuck on WLLL during my high school years and he was already a star to me.
There was one guy who was Dave Daniel's cousin in the second year who was a remote engineer at WROV. I think his name was Gary. He was going to leave and told me he would recommend me for the job if I was interested. That was my first possibility of any radio job.
For some reason that job never materialized, but I got a job at WKWS in Rocky Mount in the summer of '73. I worked at WLRG and WPVR some that fall. I moved to WBLT in the winter of'74. That following summer, I heard Larry was leaving WROV and that gave me a reason to call him to tell him goodbye. He was very friendly and invited me to come by the station some time. Terry Young had let me in for a few minutes sometime earlier, so I saw that as a great opportunity.
It was there on a Sunday afternoon in August of '74 I got my foot in the door. Rob O' had just started on all-nights and came on after Larry that day. I met him and he seemed like an OK guy, too.
Later that night, I was at the Kings Inn and Rob O' walked in after his shift. I spoke to him and we began a conversation that turned into a friendship. He took a personal interest in my career.
On Labor Day of '74, on Rob's advice, I went to meet Bart on a remote at Lowe's on Melrose Ave. I dropped Rob's and Chuck's names (claimed to know Chuck from Bedford, but had indeed never met him). Bart said he thought he had heard of me and encouraged me to stay in touch, as he liked to keep a few names on his "B" list in case he needed part-timers. I left there thinking I had done myself a favor by going there.
Rob eventually took a tape to Bart for me when Larry Dowdy was leaving to go to WFIR. Bart asked for another one a few weeks later. He hired me over the phone while he was on the air right before Christmas of '74. I remember walking into WBLT and there was a message from Bart laying out in plain view. Everybody had seen it. I didn't say a word about it; I let them wonder(hee hee). I started at part time WROV about two weeks later!
Vince left WROV for K-92 at the end of 1979 and was there through the mid-1980s. He became a photographer in 1980 and has since shot over 700 weddings. Today he's still in the Roanoke area as an accountant, and still does photography on the side.