2009 Career Achievement
Don Kingis a native of Savannah and graduated from Mercer University in Macon, majoring in journalism. After unsuccessful attempts to find work as a broadcast journalist in Savannah, Don returned to Macon and launched his radio career at WBML in 1955. His familiarity with the streets of Macon from his college days helped, because his first assignment was to cover a traffic accident – the day he was hired, with neither training nor directions. Three months later WBML had an opening on the afternoon drive-time shift, and Don King became one of Macon’s first rock ‘n roll disc jockeys, with his long running show called The Hitch-Hiker. The following year King became the station’s first program director, primarily because “the records were starting to pile up and somebody needed to go through them to decide what the station should play.” With its downtown studios, two blocks from the Macon City Auditorium, WBML was ideally located for interviews with artists who happened to be in town. One of those artists, Buddy Knox, was so impressed with King that he asked him to be the best man at his wedding. In 1956, Don entered the record books with a 125 hour live remote broadcast. King also developed regular evening programs with news and information about people and events in Macon’s high schools. When WBML moved into a state of the art facility in 1968, this re-location gave King several promotional and marketing opportunities. Because of the building’s unique architecture - blue panels and lots of glass - he named it The Peek-A-Blue Building, a name that stuck until the structure was torn down in 2003. Don became the play-by-play voice of the Macon Peaches, minor league baseball team. He had been at WBML for 19 years when the local owners sold the station to an Illinois broadcast group in 1974. For a brief time, King worked in television, but, returned to Macon radio at WNEX in 1982. He left to join WMAZ in 1986 and finish his radio career. Don King still makes his home in Macon; listeners still remember him for his trademark slogan, “people, people”. King died in 2013 following complications from heart surgery.
(click pictures to enlarge)
Photos courtesy of Don King
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