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Johnson & Johnson
Birmingham

Interviewed by Steve Harmon



Harmon: Chuck and Debbie Johnson recently joined 104.7 WZZK to host the morning show, following the retirement of Patti and Dollar Bill <Bill moved to Oldies 97.3>. After visiting with them at BFD we learned:

Chuck: I’ve always wondered what my mother really thinks about my career choice. She sent her baby boy off to Baylor University with every intention of him becoming some powerful and influential Baptist minister that would lead countless lost souls to the Lord. What she got? A morning disc jockey. Oh well, “The best laid plans of mice and men…” I was born and raised in Houston, Texas and thought I would always be a basketball player. Injuries took care of that dream during my senior year and so I went off to college in search of another.


Harmon: So you went to school for Broadcasting?

Chuck:   While majoring in Fraternity and getting a BA in Telecommunications, I got involved with the magic of radio. As my conduct grades in high school should have foretold, I found I had a gift (well, at least I liked it) for running my mouth into a microphone when I was the only person in the room. This was probably pretty good as what I was saying was just shy of nervous gibberish (some will say that things never change). So much for the ministry, Mom.  In radio, I hardly ever have to wear a tie to work (a fact she still doesn’t understand by the way). While at Baylor, I somehow conned my way into running a local Waco, Texas radio station and hired a talented girl from the University of North Texas named Debbie Beal to work the midday shift for us at KJNE.


Harmon: Debbie is the daughter of a Texas radio legend. Her father Dewey, was the morning show host on KAND in Corsicana, Texas for more than 30 years. The apple never fell far from the tree (much to her mother’s dismay) and Debbie has been working in radio since she was 15.

Chuck: Debbie and I met in Waco and worked platonically for quite a while until, well, she just couldn’t resist my charm, charisma, personality, and devastating good looks any longer.

Debbie: OH PLEASE! You were doing so well telling our story until that part. The truth is, I got to the point where I felt sorry enough for Chuck to give him a chance. And then, just when I feel like I’m starting to make progress with his development, he up and leaves for Tallahassee, Florida. I went to work in Austin at that point and after a couple of months he decided that he couldn’t live without me, right?

Chuck: Yes Dear.

Debbie: After our wedding and while working in Tallahassee (at separate radio stations) we received the opportunity to work together in Greenville, South Carolina at WFNQ-where Chuck successfully began the art of riding my coattails.

Chuck: Like my daddy always said, “I got no respect for any man who doesn’t marry above him.”

Debbie: From Greenville our world moved to Augusta, Georgia, home of “The Masters” and WKXC-Kicks 99. Where, for the last five and one-half years, we’ve had a marvelous and successful time in golf’s Mecca, culminating professionally by being named The CMA’s Broadcast Personalities of the Year in 1998; and personally by the birth of our son, Hogan, on September 27, 2001.

Chuck: Debbie and I are also the parents of a rather precocious Yorkshire Terrier named Kirby-who is still waiting for us to return that new "Hogan Thing" back to Blockbuster.


Harmon: Favorite Bitboard shtick?

Chuck: You know we’ve been on Bitboard since Kidd and JB ran the thing in their BVDs from Kidd’s house in the early 90s (anyone remember Bananacom? <g>), so just isolating one bit is hard. Some of the greats over the years, “The First Thing You Know”  from Jef and Jer or “The 3 Eyed Turtle” from Paulie Castronovo or the infamous dollar bill bit from Memphis (all around 1992 or 93)…lately, it’s the little things like a throwaway bit from Pat and Tom at KNCI in Sacramento about the difficult assembly of a McDonald’s Happy Meal Toy that turned into a killer in-studio contest that we like best.


Harmon: Worst On Air moment?

Chuck: When Debbie became pregnant at BFD in 2001, her condition became THE HUGE focus of our show (obviously) for many months. Then came the day that Debbie became victim to Toxemia and, not being able to shut out the listeners as to why we weren’t on the air, I had to speak about our son being born 2 months early and how close I came (according to the doctor) to losing both of them. However, the sharing of what we went through the next couple of months while Hogan was in the NICU, I think endeared us to our audience even more and perhaps showed a side to them that WE didn’t even know we had.


Harmon: Your take on BFDO:

Debbie: Absolutely. The location was perfectly located and next year we plan on combining biz with pleasure and sharing the Disney experience with our boy.



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