2018 Legacy Inductees
(in alphabetical order)
Donna Brake (1957 - 2018)
Donna Brake, born in Nashville, was Valedictorian of her high school class and earned her Bachelor of Science degree at Middle Tennessee State University. After college she began her radio career on air at WSM FM. Brake ultimately became the stations first female Music Director, then Program Director. She moved to WSB FM in Atlanta as a personality and its first female Program Director. After radio, Donna moved into print as the Adult Contemporary format editor at Radio & Records Magazine. In the late 80’s she founded Donna Brake Promotion and worked with many of the biggest names in music.
Sarah Smith Cason (1929 - 2017)
Sarah was born in Grover, North Carolina and moved to Atlanta in 1953. She began and ended her radio career with WQXI (later known as Start 94). Cason was controller supervising receivables, payables and payroll. She was a member of North Metro Baptist and a member of the Red Hat Society.
Russell Fredrich (1930 - 2014)
Russell Fredrich was born and raised in New York City. After graduating from high school, he joined the Marines and served in Korea. He received an honorable discharge and settled in Savannah becoming a salesman at WTOC Radio. On February 4, 1969, Fredrich put Savannah’s first FM station, WXLM, on the air. In 1977, he sold the station (now WAEV FM) and founded Fredrich and Associates, an advertising agency.
Cecil Howard (1915 - 2005) and Ethel Woodall (1919 - 1990) Grider
California born, Cecil Howard Grider, was an Army Captain stationed at Fort Benning, Georgia, when he met Columbus native, Ethel Clyde Woodall. She had graduated from the University of Alabama with a degree in Journalism and was working as a social director for young Columbus single ladies and gentlemen officers stationed at Benning. Cecil was the officer in charge of the group of officers assigned the task of showing Ethel’s group of young ladies how to shoot a rifle. They married in 1943 and had three daughters by 1952 when Cecil, then a Major, resigned his Army career and they entered the radio business with Ethel’s brother, William C. “Billy” Woodall. Their oldest brother, Allen M. Woodall was the founder of a string of radio stations stretching from WDAK in Columbus to WMOG in Brunswick. Billy had opened WDWD in Dawson and his experience was invaluable when they opened WIMO in Winder. A string of stations followed this partnership in years to come.
Otis Head (1919 - 2014)
Otis Head was born north of Varnell, Georgia. He learned to play the harmonica listening to mountain and country music. During World War II he worked in Detroit. In 1944, Head returned to Georgia and opened a grocery store. In 1959 he began hosting live shows on WBLJ, WRCD and WTTI in Dalton. The Otis Head Show was on the air more than 50 years. His last show was in March of 2014. He is an inductee into the Atlanta Country Music Hall of Fame.
Frank Dean Martin, III (1946-2016)
Frank Dean Martin, III was born Thomasville and attended city schools as well as Fort Valley State University. After earning a Bachelor of Science degree in secondary education. After a few years in the newspaper business, he began his radio career at Macon’s WIBB. In 1980 he became manager of WPGA FM. Frank moved to Piedmont Communications in 1989 and remained with the company through two ownership changes. In 2005 he was named “Most Knowledgeable Radio Account Manager by the Central Georgia Advertising Federation.
Rudy (The Deuce) Rutherford (1921 – 1979)
Rudy “The Deuce” Rutherford was born in Richland Georgia. He began his broadcast career in 1955 at WNJR in Newark, New Jersey. In 1958, he returned to his Georgia roots at Columbus’ WCLS Radio, but soon took his talents to WOKS where his drive time show soon became the hottest property on the airwaves. Rutherford was the first Black man in the Deep South to host a non-gospel television program: “Rocking with The Deuce,” on WTVM-TV. Rudy later served as program director for WFDR in Manchester, Georgia. He was inducted into the Black Radio Hall of Fame.
Dallas Tarkenton (1937 - 2014)
Dallas Tarkenton was born in Elizabeth City, NC and was a resident of Athens, Georgia for 63 years. He graduated from The University of Georgia. Tarkenton owned and operated eleven radio stations in Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina.
Joe (Vincent) Trankina (1930 – 2014)
Joe Trankina was born in Chicago. After graduating from high school, he attended and graduated from Beck School for Radio in Minneapolis. His first radio job was in Decatur, Alabama. When listeners couldn’t understand his name, he began calling himself Joe Vincent. In 1953 he served in the Korean conflict with the Army Signal Corp. In 1958 Joe helped build and operate WSIZ in Ocilla and WOKA in Douglas and managed a station in Alabama. In 1968 He joined the Radio Advertising Bureau as Southeastern Regional Manager based in Atlanta. Later he became it's Senior Vice President.
Hugh Wilson (1942 – 2018)
Hugh Wilson was born in Miami and graduated from the University of Florida with a journalism degree He became a copywriter for Burton-Campbell Advertising in Atlanta and became friends with several people at WQXI. Later he joined the writing staff at Mary Tyler More productions in Los Angeles. He pitched a story idea based on a radio station to MTM and it became WKRP in Cincinnati. Some of it’s characters were based on his friends from WQXI.
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