Bill Bowick grew up in Albany and attended The University of Georgia. In 1947, three months before he was to graduate, Henry Grady School of Journalism Dean John Drewry told him there was a job for him at WALB radio in Albany. Wishing to complete his college education, Bill turned down the job. Drewry told him to take the job and submit a weekly “on the job” paper each week to complete his course of study and graduate.
At WALB, Bill began his long running “Coffee with Bill” morning show. In the 8 years there, he had occasion to learn all aspects of radio. Once, Andy Griffith made an appearance at the co owned television station grand opening and Bill was selected to be Andy’s host. Griffith had a hit record with “What It Was Was Football”. He borrowed Bowick’s tie for the telecast (which never happened due to technical difficulties). Bill never saw the tie again.
In 1955, Bowick was married and had a family when he accepted an offer at a radio station in Columbus. The “Coffee with Bill” show moved to WGBA complete with Bill’s alter ego, Philup Space. Philup gave everyone a hard time, including the boss: “he’s so tight he hums in a high wind”. Bill also wrote parodies of Broadway shows and movies and had the staff perform them on the morning show. WGBA eventually changed call letters and formats. Bill stayed on playing country music to round out 17 years at the same station.
Bill accepted the position of program director at WRBL and continued to do mornings until the owner, Jim Woodruff, was killed and the station was sold. After the sale, the call letters changed to WVOC. When the station changed formats, he was offered a job at WEIZ, where he remained through an ownership and station name change. Bill then helped Art Angel put Magic 98 on the air in Columbus. He remained at the station until health problems forced his retirement after nearly 50 years.
Bill always enjoyed writing and producing commercials and won many awards including the Columbus Ad Club’s Silver Star Award. Bill lives in Columbus.
Click here to listen to Bill Bowick's "The Soldier", recorded for July 4, 1956 at WGBA.
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