Description by Matt Craig
Alton Irwin had an interest in radio from a very young age, as you’ll hear Russ DiBello tell us. He went by many names over his long career, including Cliff Kenyon, Smokin’ Willie B Goode, Willie B, Mike Rivers and Gnarly Charlie. He was the ultimate nighttime screaming DJ that always wanted to connect with his listeners and have fun doing it at the same time.
Bill Shane tells of how they lived together and smoked weed and had fun. Al, as he wanted to be called off the air later in life, was universally loved and admired by everyone he knew. There was never a bad word said about him.
I first heard Smokin’ Willie B at 13 WAVZ from airchecks, and later on KC101 when the antenna was pointed just right. He was the jock everyone wanted to be, but never could be. His energy level was so off the charts he could never be duplicated. Rob Sidney tells the story of Gnarly Charley doing an on-air audition on Lite 101.5 in Miami, a soft rock station. They both agreed that wasn’t the place for Charlie! While there are plenty of Connecticut, Providence, Boston and New York airchecks available, there is very little from his time in Florida. Steve McVie found one from WBGG Big 106 as Mike Rivers, and I had one from 97.3 The Coast. There was nothing available from WKIS or WMXJ Magic 106. His wife of nine months, Dian, and his daughter Allanah both looked around, but he apparently threw everything out when they moved from Florida to New Jersey. So other than recordings from his fans and friends, there is nothing else available of this talented DJ. Yes, he was a DJ, not just an air personality, because he really did jockey discs!
A lot of time and love went into this tribute because Al deserves it. Unfortunately, I never got to meet Al, but we did email and talk on the phone, but not recently. I will miss my friend, as will everyone else involved with this tribute. Rest in peace my friend and keep on Smokin!
This Airchexx Presentation is 100% the work of Matt Craig and Big Apple Airchecks. Do not copy, download or record this audio without permission.