I was born and raised in Jacksonville, Florida and graduated from Andrew Jackson High School in 1958 and the University of Florida in 1963 with a Bachelors of Electrical Engineering. Following college, I worked for the municipally owned power company in Jacksonville in the early 1960s, installed and maintained large, mainframe computers for Honeywell, Inc. in Atlanta in the mid 1960s, and from the late 1960s until my retirement November 2, 2002, worked for one of the greatest employers one could have - the people of the United States of America. I spent the last 32 years of my Federal Career with one of the finest, most professional organizations in the world - the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration)!
So, you might ask, how does all of that background relate to a website such as this? Well, the short answer is, I'm simply enjoying retirement and sharing great music and memories with who knows how many wonderful people. But, that doesn't answer the question. So, as the late Paul Harvey might have said; And now, the rest of the story!
In the summer of 1957, when I was 16 years old, my sister's boyfriend, who loved Rhythm and Blues music (and, I too, love it to this day), decided that he and I should visit a Black radio station to which he listened constantly. Well, we did. For my friends in Jacksonville, it was WOBS. The disc jockeys and Howell (who, very sadly, was later killed in the Viet Nam war) and I hit it off instantly. They took us into the control room, showed us everything, and let us sit, right in the studio, through a newscast. They even gave each of us a stack of 45 rpm "Promotional Use Only" or "Disc Jockey" Pop records (they didn't use those). I have them to this day. Remember now, it is 1957 and I'm an impressionable 16-year-old. Control boards are huge and hot…no transistors…all vacuum tubes. There are red, blinking and "On Air" lights everywhere, along with monstrous reel-to-reel Ampex tape recorder consoles, huge 16" turntables and transcriptions and clackety-clack teletype "news" machines spewing out world events right before my eyes! And, people were everywhere doing whatever. A big city radio station in the 1950s. Man, it was exciting! And, to this day I love the smell of carbon tetrachloride! In fact, I think it flows in my veins.
So, the broadcasting bug bit me. I practiced, begged and pleaded and drove Jacksonville broadcasters crazy until the General Manager at WPDQ said, in 1959, that I could operate the control board for remote broadcasts on weekends. Eventually, I began doing station breaks and midnight Disc Jockey work on weekends. I progressed to weekend day shifts and chasing news around Jacksonville and summer vacation fill-ins. It is somewhat ironic that I recently did exactly that at WKNG in Tallapoosa/Atlanta for two years following my retirement from the FAA. I've come full circle. Anyway, that's about the end of the broadcasting story because I merely continued working part-time in broadcasting to help pay my way through college. There were many times when I nearly succumbed to temptations to drop out of college and pursue a broadcasting career. I could, of course, have sought a Broadcasting Journalism Degree. But, the space race was on big time in the late 1950s (Remember our being upstaged by Sputnik?) and Engineers were in great demand. And, my father, who had the best "hangdog" look you ever saw and was terrified that I was going to drop out of college, could persuade me to do anything. So, an Engineer I became. But, because of my great love for broadcasting, I continued, even after college, working part-time in radio for a number of years at various stations in Jacksonville and Atlanta. Prior to WKNG, I was last on the air in 1969 in Jacksonville. And, as my oldest son Mark (see the link to his website under the links tab on this website) says, I had the good fortune to be a Rock 'n' Roll Disc Jockey during one of the greatest and most exciting periods in broadcast history. Do you remember the bells, gongs and whistles, jingles, reverberation, time tones and all the great intensity of Top 40 Radio? All accomplished manually, with no computers, cartridge tape machines or compact disc players?!? I won't ever forget it! I was there and part of it!
My wife, Annie, and I live in the great and wonderful city of Douglasville, Georgia! Really, I consider myself an Atlantan. I purely love big city life. I was born and raised in the city, have always lived in the city, and have absolutely no desire to live other than in the city. I'm a city boy and for Christmas music, I like Silver Bells (It's Christmas Time in the City)! To put a spin on John Denver's hit record, I say, "Thank God I'm a City Boy!" But, I also have to tell you that my lovely wife is from the little town of West, Mississippi (population 168 and dropping) and she says, "Tell 'em where you're going to be buried, city slicker!" Well, at least it overlooks US-51 and the IC (Illinois Central) Railroad, once main arteries from Chicago to New Orleans. Maybe I'll get to hop aboard the IC's ghost train, the famous "The City of New Orleans!"
Annie and I have five wonderful sons. All grown and with totally diverse interests. Nine grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. Annie's "Nana" and "Mimee." I'm "Grandandy" and "Papa CB." And, of course, a proverbial myriad of grandhorses, granddogs and grandcats.
I truly love and collect nearly all types of music, e.g., Rock 'n' Roll (oldies, NOT current rock!), Rhythm & Blues, Tejano, Mariachi, Pop Standards, Big Band, Marching Band, Easy Listening, Country (especially Classic Country), Bluegrass, Mountain Music, Southern Gospel, and some Jazz. Such a diverse taste in music most assuredly stems from my broadcasting background, i.e., my having played so much of all of it on the air at one time or another. My music collection numbers in the tens of thousands of records, tapes and compact discs. All neatly filed and arrayed, thanks to my sweet wife!
I also collect and restore vintage broadcast equipment. I suppose that I've enough control consoles, turntables, reel-to-reel recorders and automatic tape cartridge machines from various eras, types and manufacturers to handsomely constitute several radio stations in their entirety.
I also enjoy fooling around with computers and home networks.
That's it! Thanks for reading all this stuff. And, my best to each of you!
Carl B. Peeples