1996 was a great year for Country music. No matter what city one lived in, ‘New’ Country, as they called the format was hot, with artists like Faith Hill, Ty Herndon, Tim McGraw and John Michael Montgomery being the new up-and-coming or recently established artists of the day. This was before Keith Urban or most of today’s mega-stars, and it was the fourth year of Country’s big resurgence of the 90s after being considered long-dead from the mid-70s till about 1992.
Its with this background that we present 103.7 KOUL, a onetime market leader in 1994-95, tied with crosstown K-99 for number one in the city, down, at the time of this aircheck to number 5. There were many reasons for this, most notably the lack of personality, as by this time, PD Dave Collins had essentially reduced the air talent outside of morning drive to liner cards.
In November, 1996, the KOUL studios were located at 1600 Antelope St., essentially at the foot of the entrance to I-37 where it begins in Corpus. Housed along with KOUL were then sister stations 105.5 KRAD (Alternative) and KCTA 1030 AM (Religion). Recently acquired 96.5 KLTG (Oldies) was still housed in its studios across town. There was also a Tejano station in the group but I can’t remember the call letters. The whole cluster was owned by Broadcasting Corporation of the Southwest. The KOUL studios were still a manual operation, with three Denon CD-Cart machines for music and a bank of 5 tape cart machines for commercial elements, and an Otari Reel-to-Reel deck for phone playback. Automation, I don’t believe, had been introduced yet, but it was in the planning.
The air staff at this time consisted of “Doc” Weldon & Terrence McKeever Mornings, John Elliot Afternoons, “Big” Frank Edwards (current PD at KRYS K99) Evenings. Lon Gonzalez was Production Director for the cluster. Weekends included Steve Sawyer & Todd “The Admiral” Winkler. Overall the station sounded quite good, despite the need for a new jingle package and more personality.
I can’t say where much of the staff is today. Several years ago, I communicated with Doc Weldon, who was living in Arizona. I tried to locate Terrence McKeever, but his whereabouts remain elusive. There have been rumors that he passed away several years ago but I can’t confirm that. I’ve also heard he’s still alive but in poor health. In any case, he apparently hasn’t been seen or heard from in a long time. McKeever is one of the funniest people I ever heard, and yes, he’s the same Terrence McKeever who worked with Rick Dees at WHBQ Memphis. John Elliot at last report was still living somewhere in the Corpus area. Elliot was the last PM drive jock on 55 KTSA San Antonio before they flipped to Talk in 1985.