Tuesday, May 08, 2018

Passing of a Legand

A Charlotte legend passed away yesterday.

The man, some called "Charlotte's Dick Clark"died  of Melanoma Cancer,

Jimmy Kilgo spent more than two decades in radio and on TV in Charlotte, beginning in the early 1950s. "Some people said he was Dick Clark before Dick Clark was Dick Clark," said Jimmy Kilgo's brother, John Kilgo.
Jimmy Kilgo
Kilgo was hugely popular among high school kids in the 50's and and 60's....playing "their" kind of music!
which was first called... "race music"...later, Rhythm and Blues....and finally, after Bill Haley and the Comets hit song, "Rock Around the Clock"......"Rock and Roll"

When Charlotte's second TV station, WSOC-YV went on the air in 1957, Kilgo's Kanteen was one of the first locally produced shows to be featured. 

I joined the station right after graduating from UNC  that Spring and became a staff announcer and the first full time "anchor man"  (anchor Boy?)  for the station's 11pm newscast.  Bob Provence, the station's Program Director, had been anchoring the newscast.

I replaced Brooks Lindsey, who later became the legendary "Joey the Clown'"

Back then....1958 til about 1961...if my memory serves me correctly....... the  local broadcasts  originated from the WSOC-TV  transmitter a short way out of town. (I's still there, I believe.  (The sane building .....and the transmitter.)

It's a small structure...but, in spite of it's size....we were able to fit all of our locally produced shows...including "Kilgo's Kanteen"with it's 30 or so dancers into that small space!
In spite of the limitations, the show survived, and moved into the much larger building, which still stands on North Tryon Street.

Jimmy  had the teenage market in Charlotte during our time...all locked up.  I told him one time that he could do his show from a phone booth.....and every teenager in Charlotte would still watch it!

Jimmy also did the weather reporting on the 11pm weekday news broadcast....I was the news anchor of that show.

Jimmy was one of the finest people.....and I'm proud to say, "Good Friend"  I ever knew!

Rest in Peace, my friend.