Career Achievement Inductee
Bill Rice grew up in northeast Georgia and started playing music at a very early age and was a musician while in high school and college. His radio career happened by chance. He listened to soul radio DJs while attending Tennessee State. When he returned to Toccoa, Detroit Steeples, a local black announcer on WLET helped Rice develop his own style. He began working at the GM plant in Doraville. Roy Gaines, owner of WNEG AM wanted someone to host a soul music show and asked Rice for a demo tape. Bill got the job, however, the station didnít receive many records from the record companies; certainly not soul and rhythm and blues. When he left his shift at GM, Rice would visit Turtles and Peaches to use his own money buy the latest Stax, Motown, and Atlantic 45ís by Rufus Thomas, James Brown, Wilson Pickett and others. His show became very popular because he played the latest releases and because he took dedications. Bill knew that people would listen longer if they knew they were going to hear their name on the radio. Rice also dedicated a portion of his program to black gospel music; when popular music began to change, he began to play it exclusively. Rice is now retired and is a deacon at Friendship Baptist Church in Toccoa.
L-R Bill Rice: On location; on the air; in the studio, and at WNEG AM Toccoa.
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(click to listen to Bill Rice)
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