Former Triad Radio Man gone at age 72

Looks like we have lost another former Triad radio legendary personality…

Alan Jeffries, nearly famous for being on WCOG/1320 AM, WRQK/K 99 FM, and he was on WMAG/99.5…Lots of radio experience for Alan Jeffries from over the years…

He was also a school resource officer, in the Greensboro Public Schools, as a member of the Greensboro Police Department/GPD….Jeffries family also ran a locksmith shop, and they excelled in that locksmith business…

The family locksmith business, and ironically Jeffries was a school resource at Smith High School/Ben L. Smith HS….

He was known all over town for his radio work back in the days, with 1320 WCOG…At one time, that station was the #1 radio station in the Triad….Back in the days of Dusty Dunn, Bob Dayton/Bob Pennix, Alan Jeffries, Charlie Russell/Chadwick Rockwell Russell III/Buddy Bray, Bob Shannon/Bob Roach, Sam “The Freight Train” Scott, Scott Derringer, and more big names from back in the 1960’s and 1970’s….

By the time the 1980’s rolled around, the AM stations were dying out, and these days WCOG might be lucky to have a handful of listeners, and they pretty much operate out of a closet, over in the Trade District of Winston-Salem, N.C.

But as the demise of AM radio was emerging, Alan Jeffries made his way over to K 99 FM/WRQK…Alan Jeffries also began to specialize in Beach Music, and on the weekends on WRQK, you could hear AJ spinning his tunes, from the dunes….The sand dunes along the Grand Strand, that is….

Jeffries did well in the radio business, but it was for the most part, his secondary job…Radio was sort of like his hobby/pass time, and his job with the GPD, and the work at the family locksmith shop, were his primary focus…

Alan Jeffries had a bundle of talents, and his work became known around the Triad…You would have to say that Alan Jeffries was a true, Triad Troubadour….

Gone today at age 72, but not to be forgotten, Alan Jeffries…

RIP:Alan Jeffries

++++++++++Here is an article from the News and Record, written by Jeri Rowe, and it should validate some of my research, and a few of my findings, but we will all find as time goes on, that most of my findings, are coming from off of the top of my head….++++++++++
(I actually worked in this building that they are talking about, and I was in there for about two years with WPET AM 950 radio…I was there until they told me to pack up my boxes, and be out of the building by Noon…True story, I was negotiating with another radio station at that time, and they told me to make it quick, and hit the street/take it to the curb….I was Gone in Sixty Seconds, the length of a good radio commercial.)

Where radio made some noise
Demolished building was cutting-edge home to WPET and WRQK
**********Jul 24, 2009**********

GREENSBORO — You could drive right by and not even notice the 17 empty acres off Meadowview near Interstate 85.

But Dave Compton does.

The first time he stopped, he couldn’t go down the driveway. It was too painful, too sad. The next time, he knew he needed to grab something, anything as a reminder.

He picked up a brick. That’s all that remains.

In about two years, Compton’s memory spot will become the new headquarters of the Greensboro Transit Authority. But four decades ago, that spot was where local radio really made waves.

Southern gospel reigned, FM radio in Greensboro took root, and everyone from football star Joe Theismann to radio star Wolfman Jack stopped by to jaw on-air.

Today, it’s just a big empty field, full of earth movers, dump trucks, broken concrete and huge clouds of billowing dust.

But Compton doesn’t see it that way. He sees familiar faces, an above-ground swimming pool and a white dog named Stormy.

It was the spot where he really jumped into radio, fresh out of Reidsville High. At 19, he started as a weekend announcer, making $140 a week playing Southern gospel on WPET (950 AM).

He stayed in that two-story building off Meadowview for nearly a quarter-century. He became WPET’s program director. He also became personal with the highs and lows of everyday life.

He got married, had two sons and lost his mother, Lelia, and his brother, Keith.

Today, Compton is 50. He still wears his Reidsville High ring, and he still works as WPET’s program director. Seven years ago, he left Meadowview and moved into an office complex off I-40, alongside five sister stations, all owned by a broadcasting giant in Pennsylvania.

But earlier this month, he saw his old building off Meadowview become demolition fodder.

It’s a good thing. The building had been locked up and empty. Still, thieves stole copper pipes and aluminum framing, and homeless people crawled inside through a 12-inch hole for a place to stay.

When it was built in 1971, that building was big-time. It represented Greensboro’s cutting edge radio.

WPET had been playing Southern gospel since 1967 — still does today — and preachers used to lease the field beside the station to hold tent revivals.

But it also became Greensboro’s first FM home to rock ’n’ roll.

WRQK (98.7 FM) came on the air in November 1973 with a huge, 100,000-watt signal that could be heard from Boone to Salter Path.

The station played a format called “Rock N’ Gold,’’ which included everything from Bachman-Turner Overdrive to Parliament to General Johnson and the Chairman of the Board.

WRQK started the first two-person morning show on the FM dial in the Triad, with Wes Jones and Willie Edwards, and had a studio penthouse with three glass walls. Listeners could pull in from Meadowview and yell requests from the parking lot. The DJs walked out on the roof to hear the suggestions.

Alan Jeffries played beach music Sunday afternoons; “Wes & Willie’’ had billboards on Battleground, and DJs had a pool out back to swim and relax — even between breaks.

It was old-school radio, a time when one owner ran one or two stations and on-air patter gave you a real sense of the personality of the city, straight from the street.

Today, WRQK is long gone. It’s morphed into something called Simon. And radio has become part of corporate America, with fewer jobs, fewer local voices and fewer local owners running the local airwaves

And now, the building off Meadowview is gone, too.

So, Compton has a brick. As do many of his former colleagues.

Compton says he’ll probably mount his brick on a piece of wood and put it on his shelf in the den.

“Just a happy reminder,’’ he says, “of days gone by.’’

3 thoughts on “Former Triad Radio Man gone at age 72

  1. It brings back good memories. I worked at WRQK in the early 80’s. Did fill in work at WPET downstairs.. I remember the days Alan Jefferies. He relieved me for his beach music show on Sundays. Good memories on Meadowview with Wes Jones and Willie Edwards. My radio career took me to Dallas where I worked for a few years.

  2. Good to hear from those radio men from the past…Lots of good names from the old WRQK days, with Buddy Michaels being in there, Gary VonCannon was a mainstay there back in the day….Tiger T/Tom Armshaw did many a remote broadcast for the old WRQK, and like you said Steve, Wes and Willie sort of became household names while they were on the old K99 FM…

    I think Dusty Dunn did some time at WRQK, Dennis Elliot was on there, late at night for a while, and the list goes on and on…

    Many may have forgotten this one, but I can remember a young Larry King being on RQK, from like Midnight till 6am, and that was back when Larry King was just getting started good with his late-night talk show….

    After Larry was gone from RQK/K 99 FM, they tried the Hello Gary Show for a while, with Gary VonCannon hosting…Bob Roach/Bob Shannon was over there for a brief time, as was Vickie Lewis, who used to also be on the old WKEW/1400 AM….

    Lots of Blasts from the Past, when it comes to the old WRQK radio station…WPET/AM 950, was a good station too….Dave Compton is back with them now….

    Thanks for the check-in Steve….

  3. Another name from that WRQK past is their sports director back in the day Ed Dubrow…Dubrow was with RQK and he also did stringing for Mutual Sports….

    WRQK also had newsmen Jim Krasula, who is still active today, and working for CBS Radio news, and RQK had Ed McDonald doing news, and he later became the press secretary for Congressman Howard Coble…

    WRQK had another sports reporter/salesman, Jim Pritchett…

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