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790 WQXI / Atlanta

Gary McKee on 79 WQXI Atlanta | 1973

WQXI kick the can time…… 8:47

Aaaah for the days of AM top 40! Check out Gary McKee on WQXI. McKee claims to be the ‘mouth of the South’… a description Rick Dees would use later at WHBQ. Anyway, it was time for something totally different, and for those who’ve requested WQXI – this one’s for you.

79 WQXI Atlanta -


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  1. Gary is the best and will always be loved by many.
    I hope someday he reads this and understands how much he meant to us.

  2. You can check out and download Willis The Guard’s full length LP on my website along with interviews with the gang.

    • Oh Man! That’s so awesome!!!

    • would love the download of Willis..met Gary in 1974 at a small party at Palisades Apts.
      Good guy !

  3. I so remember driving to work in the morning and once in awhile, Gary would do what Gary did best…make me laugh and I always noticed that everyone else in the commute was laughing at the same time. He was awesome. Not replaceable!

    • On a beautiful Spring morning in the South I was thinking this morning on my commute to work how much fun it was to listen to Gary McKee, Yetta Leavitt, and Willis the Guard. Still miss them!

  4. Just heard Willis the Guard died. I loved him and Gary McKee. Is it possibe to air some of their programs?
    Thank you,

  5. It is with great sadness that I is true. Bob Carr A.K.A. Willis the Guard, Gary McKee’s sidekick on WQXI in Atlanta in the 70’s passed away yesterday after being hospitalized for 3 months with emphysema. His signature country humor will be greatly missed but thanks to this website will live on in the recordings posted.

    I worked on the airstaff with Bob in 1969 at WQXI-FM.


  6. Dear Mrs Carr

  7. Dear mrs Carr I was sorry to hear about Bob aka Willis the Guard I came home and put the album on that him Gary made. As I sit listing to PBR and peanuts I have a little tear in my eye. Everybody thought I was crazy when I bought that album but when you were a fan back then . Take care just remember your Willis put alot smiles on morning drive back then. Take care Greg Bowman 770 722 5047

  8. Wow. This brings back such great memories. I, too, listened to “Good Ole Gar” on QXI on my way to high school in 76…

    A favorite memory was one morning when the news reader had very little to report. Afterwards, McKee says, “Slow news day, huh? We can fix that.” Then there’s the sound effects of a window opening and gunfire. “There,” says McKee, “That ought to give you something to talk about at 9 o’clock.” Nowadays, you could never get away with something like that. Too bad.

    And remember the Willis the Guard songs? “Buford Triangle,” “Backin’ All the Way to Biloxi,” and “PBRs and Peanuts”… I miss him, too.

    We miss you, Gary.

  9. i had the pleasure of meeting gary mckee while i was working at WQXI 94.1 . it was the late 80s.i met mckee my first day of work there and i hand delivered his newspaper to him. mannnn what a thrill that was. i was fortunate to work around him and will allways miss him. i dont work in radio anymore but i would love for gary to return to radio some day.we all miss you gary.

  10. Stephen – Thankfully, you have your Tom Sullivan’s mixed up. The Tom Sullivan you are speaking of that was at WQXI 94.1 is very much alive and well…..and on TV here in Atlanta with Holly Firfer doing a weekly TV show called Atlanta and Company…..see Tom gave Ryan Secrest his break in radio on STAR 94 here in Atlanta doing a weekend slot…and the rest is history.


  11. thanks carl , i did happen to work with tom at WQXI 94.1, he was very nice to everyone, im not in radio anymore but i do miss the fun times i had with tom sullivan and gary mckee in the late eighties.

  12. What a flashback. Doraville, Sequoyah High ’73, I went to high school with Gary’s son, Rick. Got good concert tickets from Rick’s dad! Part of my inspiration to get into broadcast. Went to UGA, worked for NBC & Fox Owned & Operated stations for 30 years. What memories: World record STREAK ’74 at UGA, ’71 Chattahoocee Raft Race. We were the ’70’s Show…….

  13. what was the girl with him ,I know red neckerson ,but who was the woman?

  14. Gary Mckee is my absolute favorite all time disc jocky. His shows were the funniest. I’ve never heard another radio show host that even approached his skill. I used to listen to him on 94Q all the time. Those of you who listened to him will remember Willis the Guard, the Birthday Monster (friday, friday, friday!) Yetta Levitt with the news, whom he once called Letcha Loveit, and Beau Bach with sports. Remember the lobster alerts? They were talking about Tang (a drink) on one show. Mckees response was “Tang? As in Poon?”. His humor was the greatest.

  15. wow! Gary makes me remember working with him like it was yesterday. We were Qackers (Qxi Qackers?) then both moved over the big 94Q! Gary is semi retired and living in ATL, Im there also and working in another (very boring) field. Jeff Mccartney

    • ‘Tis the season to be jolly,
      So why worry, o by golly
      Mistletoe and fruitcake and smoke fallin’ out the chinmey
      I can hardly wait ’till next year for that gimme, gimme, gimme
      …..and grandma saying to us all, “Sorry about the dinner
      it looked like a turkey to me!”
      —partial Christmas poem by Willis the Gauard

      The fact I can remember even that much of his poem–30 years later–attests to the supreme enjoyment I got listening to “Willis”and the “94-Q” lineup while growing up in Atlanta.
      One morning while getting ready for school, I called with the name “Orphus Walcos, 80 years old” to be read by Willis prior to the singing of “Happy Birthday” by the birthday monster.
      The guy answering the phone asked, “Is this a real name?”.
      I laughingly assured him it was, then listened as Willis saved the name for last, paused, and said, “and Orphus Walcos is ‘gonna be 80 years old today..somebody’s grand-daddy, Gary” with a flourish.
      McKee started snickering–knowing the name couldn’t possibly be real–and Willis’ next response was, “Now don’t laugh, Gary. These is peoples real names!”.
      My freshman year at Mercer in Macon, my roommate and I were disappointed to realize we could not pick up 94-Q on my stereo in the dorm.
      So, I climbed onto the roof of the Freshman Men’s dorm one night, erected a television antenna, and dropped a wire down to our second floor room to remedy that situation.
      And Jeff, I don’t know if you’ll remember, but I’ll say “thank-you” again 31 years later for the following:
      In 1978, I was working at WNEX in Macon–jocking and doing news–and, during a trip home to visit my folks in Conyers, heard you play the Eagles’ “Please Come Home For Christmas” one afternoon.
      It wss the week after Thanksgiving and our station had yet to receive a copy of the song from Asylum, nor were any of the other stations in Macon playing the song.
      So I plugged your afternoon broadcast into a quality cassette deck, called you during your shift, explaining my stations’ lack of a copy, then rolled tape as you most graciously hit the song with no intro, then left just enough time for the fade at the end, which allowed me to cart a clean copy of the song back at the station in Macon.
      Thanks to you, WNEX “broke” the song and played it days before anyone else in the market!
      Jeff, I’m so glad you wrote a response, letting us know what you and Gary are up to.
      In closing, I’m wondering what ever happened to your Program Director, Don Benson?

    • I loved listening to you! Do you still work in radio in Atlanta?

    • Jeff, I am so glad to hear you are still in Atlanta. I listened to you every afternoon. I was even an occasional winner on McCartney’s Oldie of the Day contest. I got to meet you one year at the 94Q booth at Taste of Atlanta. I am still a fan of yours.

    • WOW!!…Jeff McCartney, great hearing from you here on the page.I’m not sure if you remember me. Did “Promo” work with various Personalities, while I was in Atl. I remember you being very nice to the Late Tommy Bolin—when he was appearing with Deep Purple, and appeared on your show.
      Hope All Is Well!
      John Eckert
      [email protected]

    • Jeff McCartney…what a blast from the past. I’m sure you won’t even see this since this thread is so old, but I was searching for the birthday monster for my sister’s birthday and saw this.
      Hope you and yours are well and you have enjoyed much success!

  16. Any girl with Red Neckerson other than his wife – Necterine…..would be unacceptable. Necterine Neckerson would kill him !!!

  17. It was August of 1975. I had graduated from Ridgeview High School in Atlanta three months earlier and left my high school friends and everything Atlanta behind, including by favorite radio show in the morning: Gary and Willis. I was now at The Citadel in Charleston, SC. The life of a military academy plebe was more difficult than one could imagine, especially after recently being a cocky high school senior. One of the worst parts of the day was noon mess. The upperclassmen would turn up their verbal flamethrowers to full blast. We would almost have rather starved than go to that noon meal every day. On the mess hall speakers, they piped-in whatever current hits were playing on the radio: Boz Scaggs, Zepplin, Steely Dan, and the rest. One day I was sweating to the mess hall punishment as usual, and who should come out of the speakers but good old Willis the Guard as he played his tunes on Gary’s morning show. “Gonna drive mah truk, all over thu world…” It may have been Hell in the mess hall that day, but it was Heaven in my thoughts as I sat at attention and squared my meal. I was taken back to a better time. I wonder how many other plebes from Atlanta had that same experience. If they did, I’ll bet that they remember it to this day, just as I do. Thanks fellas. You made it more bearable.

  18. WQXI was never owned by RKO General.

    • Calradiopd you are absolutely correct. Quixie was a Pacific and Southern owned station.

  19. Were Red Neckerson and Willis the Guard the same person? This is too funny…the other night I had a thought about PBR and Peanuts…out of the blue…and couldn’t remember who did it. Then, my sister-in-law called to tell me Red Neckerson died and I thought, OMG…PBR and Peanuts. I loved that song; does anyone know if I can download the LP? I absolutely loved the Gary McKee show…it got me to work in a better mood many, many mornings.

  20. Does anybody know if Willis’ songs are available for download?

  21. Absolutely wonderful hearing Gary. I was missing him and Googled to see what he was up to. Found this recording, thank you so much for playing Gary “back in the day”. Sounds like the traffic and weather could be from today’s radio broadcast. Miss you you Gary, you made drive time in Atlanta bearable.

  22. This made me so happy! He was the single best DJ in the history of Atlanta. He was with me from Middle School thru to growing up to my first baby boy. Hope to hear more with Willis and Gary and how funny they were. “wake up sleepy babies!”

  23. Gary Mckee is a friend of mine on facebook. Still the same!

  24. Just found this website. This is great! I remember some of this stuff. Great Stuff too! RIP Red Neckerson. Gary, we need you back in radio. Please come back.

  25. I just found this website…I have thought often and laughed out loud to some of the things Gary, Yetta & Willis said and did. I would love to hear “I Want a New Truck” (done to the tune of I Want a New Drug). I also remember Gary telling the girls over the air “If you go to the beach don’t get any sand in your Slitz”. lol…Do they even make that beer anymore? They were absolutely the best. Long for the old days so much now.

  26. That is how you do it. The great days of radio. Gary McKee was as good as it got! “Connec-tore”. Sounds like Scott Woodside was just an intern or something back then. By the time I got to Atlanta in ’77 he was doing afternoons with Barry Chase. McCartney! Miss ya man. Hit me up on e-mail or Facebook – I’m still doing it right there in the nightclubs of Atlanta same as always.

  27. Thank you for posting this. What great memories, oh my! McKee in the morning got me through high school and college and work, and on and on. I loved it when he would play a Christmas carol in the middle of the hottest morning of the summer! Jeff McCartney…if you read this, I just want to say hello to you, too. Loved your afternoon show. I, too, won quite a few “Oldie of the Day” contests with you. Those were great times, and I miss them.

  28. Does anyone remember the “Turkey Drop” that WQXI did one Thanksgiving? I was told it was the brainchild of Gerald Blum. I was amazed when I saw it on WKRP. Great stuff. Also to the poster that remembered the bit about Tang. I think that was late in 1975 or 76. Gary was wondering if the astronauts also took “Poon” with them to the moon. Hilarious!

  29. Did anyone on this blog cruise on the Carnival Jubilee Love Boat cruise in 1986? I’m trying to prove I was on this cruise and wondering if anyone has any pictures or memorabilia.

  30. Whatever happened to Jeff McCartney Jim Morrison Bob Bailey and Wilard Arbor?

  31. Wow, this brings so many things full circle. Delivering packages to the station and waving throught the window at you, and you waving back, live on the air. The parking dog, that ticketed me every time I delivered there, even though I had a permit. Only concerts I ever went to ,were with tickets won over the air. Knowing John was a neighbor, after all these years, poon references, I was so right back there, that when the air check ended, I was suddenly transported back to remember that, oh, that’s right: it’s not the radio. Miss these guys and the fun they put into having to make a living in Atlanta Traffic. From the first female Dependable Courier and Traffic Reporter,
    Gaye Lynn Puerner
    [email protected]
    God Bless Y’all.

  32. I liked the part at about 7:40 when a female caller asked him the idea of a perfect date, and he said “A millionaires nymphomaniac who owns a liquor store”. Living in West Virginia, had, I even heard of WQXI, there was no way I could have picked it up, but what little bit I heard of it at this site, told me it was a damn good station. I do know it was called “Quicksie in Dixie”.

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