Gary McKee on 79 WQXI Atlanta – Full Morning Show | 1972

More McKee fun! Here’s one complete, scoped morning show from sometime in ’72. This is courtesy of our old site pal Karl Phillips (and we thank him greatly!). Transferred directly from 7 1/4 inch reel played on an old Wollensack graciously loaned out to us by my good friend, voiceover guy Jack Parnell, this aircheck is presented in unbelievable, stunning audio quality!

It runs 58 minutes, and while there are pauses in the recording, this is so good I decided to leave this recording completely untouched by processing and digital splicing. Just listen, and see why both Gary McKee and WQXI are our most searched and played selections!

79 WQXI

Steve West

Airchexx Webmaster, Radio DJ, News Anchor, producer and resident geek.

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29 Responses

  1. Steven Green says:


    The date was 2-15-72. The music and the comment about no valentine (yesterday).

    Lots of music on the morning shows in 1972.

  2. Brett says:


    Anyone remember McKee’s sidekick Willis “The Guard?” I’d love to get a recording of his song “Gonna Drive My Truck.”

    • Byron says:


      Sadly, Bob, (Willis) passed away a couple of years ago and I’m not sure where you can get a copy. His son is the drummer for the contemporary Christian group Third Day.

  3. larry dickman says:


    i don’t know this for a fact, but it seems that WQXI gained accecptance among the advertising heavy-hitters at the time as time went on……….i don’t hear delta or rich’s (or coca-cola for that matter) on the 1969 airchecks but they are on this one

    i liked hearing the Dave Kirschner for Treasure Island spot…i forgot all about that place, its funny but that then made me remember “GEX” a membership dept store in the same area……… I-85 near Shallowford Rd/I-285…..later in the same area the was Kennedy and Cohen…VERY catchy jingle:
    you should be goin’
    to kennedy and cohen
    kennedy and cohen

    i loved growing up with WQXI and feel very lucky to have had this in our city at that time…this is great so many years after the fact to have the opportunity to express my gratitude to those that made it possible………….and you know i speak for many thousands of others

  4. William says:


    I had only been in Atlanta for a short time when this was recorded. Having come here from California, I had been a fan of top-40 radio on classic stations such as KFRC San Francisco, KEWB Oakland, XERB Baja California, and KXOA Sacramento. Coming to Atlanta, I found top-40 radio to be a big disappointment. This recording reminds me of why I was so disappointed. I remember a Marietta station WFOM-AM that I thought was superior to WQXI, but their Atlanta signal was not very good.

  5. Beth says:


    yes, I remember Willis the Guard & “Gonna Drive my Truck”, that is a blast. Wasn’t there Yetta Levitt, too? Or was that another station?

    Brings back good memories, Gary McKee had such an energy…made you feel great on the morning drive.

  6. Karl Phillips says:


    I was on hand as The Georgia Radio Hall of Fame gave Gary McKee the Career Achievement Award on September 22nd at the Georgia Radio Hall of Fame Awards and Dinner. See http://www.grhof.com

    Karl

  7. connie karr says:


    we returned to Atlanta july 1971, Gary McKee was a staple on wqxi-79.1… by the time I learned to drive, he was on both the am and fm WQXI stations…. I loved Gary, Willis, Yetta and then Art “madman” joined the team… what great fun Atlanta radio was… Gary and the wqxi team was responsible for the ‘GREAT AMERICAN RAFT RACE’ on the ‘Hooch, and the Light up Atlanta street party…. what great fun we had when McKee was around…. and yes, I still talk “through a cardboard tube” . I met him a couple times here and there, and talked to him on the radio many times…. he, like Lewis Grizzard are “GREAT AMERICANS”

  8. DA Bennett says:


    I too, grew up listening Mckee, tuned in to whatever station he was at. Then in 1987, I went on “The Love Boat” with Mckee & the gang. WQXI started the Love Boat cruise and what an incredible trip it was. I will always remember, “Wake me up McKee you Bozo!!”
    Yes, the raft races – wow what a blast that was.
    McKee, all the best to you and your family. You truly were a part of my family for many years and your humor is sorely missed on Atlanta radio today.
    God Bless

  9. Steve says:


    There was noone better than McKee for so many years. Such a part of my daily life from 1973 to the day he left the air, he brought life to what was Atlanta for me. Noone even in all these years has become the icon he was. Listening to all these recordings brought back many memories of a simpler day and time. Thanks Gary for all the great memories!

  10. Norma says:


    Gary, Willis, et al, were absolutely great. I loved Willis’ puppet, Gerald Huh. And who can forget Willis the Guard’s song, “PBRs and Peanuts”? Atlanta traffic was almost tolerable listening to Gary on QXI in the morning. Thanks for saving a bit our youth!

  11. Mr. Radio says:


    “Gonna drive my truck…all over the world!
    Gonna drive my truck….all over the world!
    Gonna drink my beer and drive my truck…
    drive my truck and drink my beer…
    Gonna drive my truck…all over the world!”

    Now, if only we could hear “The Buford Triangle”.

  12. Jonathan says:


    THANK YOU SO MUCH for posting this! I think Gary McKee is/was the greatest DJ of all time and I’ve been searching for years on the internet to find an aircheck or two from him. This is WONDERFUL! I had recorded several cassette tapes of his shows back in the 70s and for the life of me can’t find ‘em anywhere.

    I would love if anyone had some shows of his when he had Yeta Levitt. Those were awesome shows!

  13. WQXI Fan says:


    Willis the Guard website: http://www.clayneely.com/willismain.html

    Willis, sad to say, passed away a few months ago. He retired from the radio after he left WQXI, dangit.

  14. Holly says:


    Remember the Kinky Lady? She was hysterical – mild by today’s standards I’m sure. And the Lobster Alert? It seems dumb now but back then it was truly funny.

    • OOPSPOOLOS says:


      tHE KINKY LADY IS STILL FUNNY AND STILL MAKING PEOPLE LAUGH….AND SOMETIMES SHE MAKES GOATS LAUGH.
      GOATS DON’T HAVE MUCH OF A SENSE OF HUMOR AND THEY LIE ABOUT THEIR AGE, AND THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A CONSENTING GOAT IN THE STATE OF GEORGIA, AND GOATS LIKE TO DRESS UP IN SEXY CLOTHES AND PRANCE AROUND AND THEN YOU HAVE TO WEAR THAT STUPID ELECTRIC BOOT THAT GOES OFF WHEN YOU GO NORTH OF KILLIAN HILL RD.
      DANG IT,
      THE KINKY LADY

  15. Eddie says:


    I was also an avid listeing fan of Mr. Mckee. Also enjoyed the weekend song.

  16. Robbie "Nightfly" Brooks says:


    I loved McKee! He was once called, “the god of Atlanta radio.” For years, decades, he had one of the top-rated radio shows in the SE. Then I had the privilege of joining the WQXI staff myself from ’86 to ’89, as the AM 790 midnight-6am guy. Would talk to him some mornings while he would be coming in and I would be preparing to finish up. Always liked him- was as nice off the air as he was on, even to a young buck like myself. There’s been nobody in Atl radio like him since.

  17. C J Goddard says:


    I listened to wqxi,from 1971,until Coyote McCleod and JJ and the Cowboy took over from Gary McKee,the best D J ever,God Bless You Gary Whereever You Are,everything I know about sex I learned from Gary Mckee,Lewis Grizzard,and Red Neckerson,God Bless All,Y’all

  18. Scott James says:


    Why did Gary go off the air? If I recall right it was very sudden and he was still extremely popular. If only we would go back to talk radio that made you laugh. Now it’s just Hate Radio, no matter who is on.

  19. Delmo says:


    I still hum UB40, “Red, Red, Wine”, with Jack Cone doin the voiceover of Hosea Williams, “I am not an alcoholic”!

  20. BJ_ATL says:


    Gary Mckee…. fantastic memories. Willis the Guard and Yetta Levitt are all great memories of the greatest R&R radio station in Atlanta… Quixi in Dixie.
    What about Skinny Bobby Harper…? Anyone remember Skinny Bobby?
    The Raft Races… we need to do it again.
    Thanks so much for posting these airchecks… they bring back so many wonderful memories.

  21. Lilah Smith says:


    I have sat here for almost an hour laughing at this segment and OMG what memories….. There is one thing I am trying to find. One Christmas Even this station did a recording of the birth of Jesus Christ in a “breaking news” type of segment. It was the greatest thing I have ever heard. I would LOVE to find a copy of that broadcast. Anybody????

  22. Lilah Smith says:


    Oh Boy – cannot tell you how exciting it was to find this info. Brings back lots of memories!! I am looking for a copy of a Christmas Eve story that this station played and it was the story of Jesus’ birth done as a “breaking news” story. Havent heard it since, but I think about it every year. Can anybody help??

  23. Gregg Minton says:


    I also “grew up” listening to Gary, Yetta and Willis. Listening to them in the mornings was like being with good friends. It seemed as if they became part of your family. Gary played, a couple of times that I heard, a rendition of Don McCleans American Pie that had an explanation dubbed into it. I have tried for several years now to locate that rendition or one similar. Does anyone remember hearing that and know where a copy can be found? Remember this one from Willis? “I lost forward gear out of Memphis here and I’m backing all the way to Biloxie”.

  24. Roger Moss says:


    It was widely acknowleged that Mckee “owned” the Atlanta market. Sure do miss those days. Quixie was a huge part of my life and, apparently other people’s too.

  25. Donnie Gerrin says:


    What can you say about WQXI in Atlanta. There was nothing like it. Everybody knows McKee. Who remembers Coyote McCloud ” Mamas lock up your sheep the coyotes on the howl tonight” and his China Grove intro. Awesome and very much missed. And what about Scott Shannon who went on to major fame. If anyone has any more QXI air checks sure would love to hear them.

  26. Karl Phillips says:


    Donnie – This site has all of my WQXI airchecks that I have been able to locate to date.

    Karl

  27. Nina says:


    Gary McKee was wonderful!! “Let me hear you smile” . . remember how he used to say that?! He made radio in Atlanta so much fun… I just love listening to this 70’s recording of his show… Thanks so much….

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