Reunion 2014

What a success!  Thanks to everyone for all of your support!

WFLI reunion invite – We are pleased to announce a WFLI reunion on Saturday, 2-7PM, February 22nd, 2014, featuring the distinctive WFLI sound of the 60’s and 70’s.  We’ll be airing two programs, The History of WFLI: The Early Years Reunion and WFLI Airchecks. Hear the sounds of your childhood that have long been forgotten. This can’t be found anywhere else. We have reached back in the archives to find the original recordings of your favorite WFLI deejays on the air from the 1960’s to the 1970’s. Listen to facts about the history of WFLI and radio, vintage local and national commercials, and the present day memories of WFLI listeners, deejays, and staff. Even the news, weather reports, and the unforgettable “time and the chime” will be included.  Tune to WFLI 1070 AM to listen to the sounds of your generation…or the generation you wish you belonged to.

The History of WFLI: The Early Years:

This is an impressive documentary featuring the history of WFLI along with exclusive interviews, commercials, and music of the times.  More information on this part of the reunion to come.

tapes       Bertha close up transmitter

The making of WFLI Airchecks

Betty Benns – “The two projects, The History of WFLI: The Early Years and WFLI Airchecks, both stem from the desire to put the original sound of WFLI back on the air for a reunion show.  Instead of a formal documentary approach, WFLI Airchecks combines songs, original airchecks (An aircheck in the radio industry is usually a recording for demonstration purposes, a showcase for the talent of the DJ to a prospective employer.), commercials, public service announcements, jingles, and news reports in an attempt to present the way WFLI might have sounded during that time.  Some of the audio was found on the WFLI premises, and other reel to reel tapes were preserved by the fine individuals that worked at WFLI back in the day.  The most useful airchecks for this project were unscoped, meaning that the entire program was left unedited.  Many airchecks from radio stations will only include the announcer talking with a bit of music at the beginning and the end.  Since the cutting of commercials and music is abrupt, I’ve inserted the news, commercials, and much of the songs back into the programs.”

Jeff with Gates Board  IMG_1413

Time Free Press “Golden Age of WFLI To Be Remembered Saturday” 2/21/2014

Logan Carmicheal – “Can’t wait to hear the reunion in February! My stepdad will be listening, and hopefully will remember.. He was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s a few years ago and has steadily declined in memory, but still has fond memories of WFLI in it’s heyday.”

Bill Miller – “It was a long time ago in a far away land. I was an 18 year old baby DJ when they first let me into the magic kingdom to play. It was at “Jet-Fli” that I first aired new songs like “Honky Tonk Women” by the Rolling Stones, “Lay Lady Lay” by Bob Dylan, the Stylistics “You Are Everything,” and “American Pie” by Don McLean, each obsessively popular at the time, each fading in memory today.I worked with some wonderful guys and gals, most of us caught between childhood and …full-fledged adulthood, at least in attitude, and we’ve mostly stayed in touch every now and then over the years. Some are no longer living. Those who are will get together this weekend as WFLI celebrates its 50 years of broadcasting.It has actually been 53 years, but it’s always difficult to get everyone on the same page, so we’re doing the 50 now. So it goes.

Most will remember our time in this building as one of the best of our lives. We were young and we were simple. Now we are old and complicated. It happens to everyone, regardless of our occupations.
On the other hand, and largely a product of our youth, ours came with a pet lion roaming through the building, a salty-tongued mynah bird to greet visitors in the lobby, rock stars dropping by, guns, intoxicants, fast cars, arrest warrants, and various other back stories that are best left untold in our twilight years. “We’re lucky that we’re still alive” is a phrase heard at least once when we get together.
WFLI took the Chattanooga market by storm in 1961 and was the dominant station almost every rating period until FM radio reached full-bloom in the late 70s. Now it is billed as the longest running Southern Gospel station in town.
The radio station is still owned by the Benns family. The owners have graciously invited us to step back into the local history of rock and roll and broadcast for five hours on Saturday.
“The History of WFLI: The Early Years” will include airchecks, sound bites, and some classic songs from the period. If WFLI was an important part of your life, you should very definitely tune-in Saturday afternoon between 2-7 PM.
In case your memory is hazy, the dial position is AM 1070.
As always, the # 1 button on your AM radio dial should be punched into that position.”
In front of station FB from Diane VailLeft to Right: Ron Arnold, Nick Smith, Johnny Eagle, Mike King, Tommy Jett & Rick “Ringo Van” Govan
-Photo by Diane Vail
George Wallace Jr.  – “Great photograph of some fine gentlemen…”
70'S JOCKS FROM WFLI with Gene Lovin, Rich Phillips, Dex, Lucky Bill Miller, Max O'Brian, and David Carroll.
Keevin Prince – “Grew up to WFLI and the only time it wasn’t on was when I turned on my Shortwave to the Armed Forces Radio to hear Wolfman Jack on it.”


Ben Cagle, Norma Miller, and Tommy Jet posted by Max O'Brian
Philip Steven Randolf –  “Thanks so much for all you did to make the WFLI REUNION happen. It was so good to see so many great people from WFLI’s past. Loved the on-air program.”

David Carroll – “My friends Betty Benns, Johnny Eagle and Ben Cagle did an amazing job re-uniting and re-creating the 1960s WFLI radio scene. We had a terrific reunion. Here are some highlights, and the outstanding radio special that Ben produced. Share with anyone you know who loves the great music and DJ’s from the 60s and 70s!”
Bill Poindexter – “Special thanks to Ying and Betty Benns for hosting a wonderful party for their former employees at WFLI. I hope you ladies know what an honor it is to be a member of that place in time. As long as I live I will never forget those days and the people that made those times so special. Thank you again for a wonderful day.”
Tom Phillips, Rich Phillips and David Carroll
Terry L Wofford – “Congratulations! I spent a lot of nights cruising with JetFli on the radio.”
Luther, David, Chip Chapman, and Ben Cagle
Bob Brennan – “The Benns and the Brennan’s were partners in radio with WBAM, WAPE, WVOK, WFLI . Great that the Betty Benns was so active creating this reunion. Thank you Betty Benns and thanks to your Dad- Billy who was a true friend of Bill Brennan, Cyril Brennan and Dad Brennan.”
Philip Stephen Randolph  – “It’s wonderful to be here. . .It’s certainty a thrill….Great getting back together with old friends and finally meeting competitors and great talents I only knew by reputation and voice. Thanks to everyone who made it happen.”
Max O'Brian and Rich Phillips
Johnny Eagle –  “For my part and sure Ben will agree ( because he did most of the work) that it was a work of love.”
Rich Phillips, David Carroll, Dex, Rich Phillips, Mike King, Gene Lovin, Tommy Jett, Bill Miller, Del Allen
Rich Phillips and Steve Ellison    Paula Chambers signing Steve Ellison's WFLI album
Above – Rich Phillips and Paula Chambers signing an original WFLI album owned by Steve Ellison.

One response to “Reunion 2014

  1. Marilyn Hickey

    I do hope y’all recorded the broadcast! I would so love to have a copy…Couldn’t pick up the signal in Portland, Oregon!

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