For Nearly 30 years, I’ve been asked more than a few times, “Big Joe, how did you get a job on the radio?” I kinda chuckle every time the question comes up, because Halloween 1980 is the reason I’m on the radio today.
In the small town where I grew up, Kosciusko, Mississippi, it was actually a lot like Sonora. Everybody knew everybody’s business, we all attended the same churches, shopped at the same stores, went to the same schools. A nice community with good people, just like we have here in the Mother Lode.
Halloween was always fun, but I was a little too old to trick or treat at 15, so this particular Halloween I decided to go to the annual Haunted House across from the police station. There was this old abandoned 2 story house the city turned into a haunted house every year.
I didn’t know the local radio station was going to be there that Saturday night. The radio station was 1340AM- WKOZ! They played Top 40 music and the Jocks name was Gary “Spaceman” Pace. As people were coming out of the haunted house that night, Gary would shove a microphone in their face to get a reaction of what they had just seen inside. Then…it was my turn. I have no idea what I said, all I remember is he put the microphone down after I spoke and told me I should talk to his boss about a part time job after school. I kinda laughed and went on my way. Well, that following Monday after school, I took Gary ” Spaceman” Pace” up on his suggestion and asked Mom if she would drive me to the radio station to put an application in for a part time job. I’ve been in the radio biz ever since. Spooky huh!