Former FMX Morning Show Host Passes Away
I am always grateful for everyone who helped us get where we are today.
Lubbock was one of the first places to have a modern morning show. I'm talking irrelevant, topical, and yes, at times wacky. That show was the "FMX Breakfast Flakes". The team was initially composed of Dale Dudley and a local television anchor and a sports anchor. The latter two quickly went away and I was assigned to be Dudley's partner. I really didn't have a whole lot of interest in mornings, preferring the late-night shifts, rock shows, and party scenes. Dale exited KFMX and went on to be a legendary d.j. and Texas Radio Hall Of Famer at KLBJ-FM.
This is the point where former #1 country d.j. Johnny Walker stepped in. Walker and I did the Breakfast Flakes for a short period of time before we too were invited to stink up Austin radio at what was then a classic rock station called, believe it or not, Z102 (KPEZ). I personally turned the job down twice before they made me an offer I couldn't refuse. We did okay at best in Austin on this low-powered station for about two and a half years before they moved on to a cheaper show.
After Austin, I was ready to get back to running radio stations, but money started running low and Walker and I took the morning show job at KKZX in Spokane, Washington. We quickly found out that they weren't that interested in our morning show, they basically wanted us to copy the morning show that just left. Being the writer of the two of us, I didn't have much problem adapting to this style ( I didn't care, I just wanted to get paid), but Walker continuously butted heads with management (and I don't blame him). Then a former market talent became available and Walker was sent packing (I actually thought my new partner was awesome, but it was still a shitty thing for management to do).
Walker returned to Austin where he managed to get back on at KLBJ where he became a fixture and local scene guy for many, many years. There are some who would go so far as to call him, "the mayor of sixth street" due to his undying support of live Austin music. His exodus from KLBJ was seen as a very bad turning point in Austin radio.
I did not care for my time away from Lubbock too much, but it was vital for my growth to experience what was out there (I was even invited back to Austin several times but I declined). So I have to say I owe a debt of gratitude to Johnny Walker for making me get out and live life.
Walker passed away last week. R.I.P.
(Note: I'll go a little more in-depth on our Austin shenanigans tomorrow).