How did you get into radio?
I went to college thinking computer programming or some other tech science. I was so bored that I changed my major to Political Science late in my sophomore year. While I enjoyed the Poli-Sci classes, I saw no direct relation to an actual job. So I added Communications as a 2nd major and worked at the college radio station as part of that major.
I did my senior internship in Boston in a fast-paced newsroom and caught the media bug. When I got out of college, my dad had fallen ill so i stuck close to home (in Central Maine) and got a part-time job at WABK-FM in Augusta running Casey Kasem on Sunday mornings. After cutting a few commercials for them, they offered me the regular 7-M shift. The rest, as they say, is history.
Have You Had Any “Radio” Names?
Bob Walker is actually a radio name. I was hired to do mid-days at WCKT in Ft. Myers Florida and was replacing a DJ named “Shotgun Bob McCoy.” Since he only used the name “Shotgun Bob” on the air – I showed-up for work and on my desk were business cards and a jingle reel in the name of “Shotgun Bob Walker” … close enough to the last guy that many would not even notice, yet a different last name so I was technically not impersonating him.
As I had success at that station, I lobbied for my next gig as “Bob Walker” and the name stuck.
I have also been Bob “The Steamer” Stanley – and Bobby Starr on Top 40 stations, and Chris Roberts on a soft AC.
Who Was Your Biggest Mentor
I’ve had so many in every different aspect of my career, that it would be hard to rank them. But I think you never forgot your first. For me, that would be Mark Jackson at WABK in Augusta. The station was in such turmoil when I got there, and we went through 3 PD’s in my two years – but Mark always took time to talk about the biz, what I was doing right and what I could do to move to the next level. You just don’t forget that.
BTW: By the time Mark was my mentor, he was a part-time mid-day jock. He had semi-retired to run a family business but wanted to stay in radio. Taking the time to help me was very much appreciated.
What Are Some Career Highs?
Again, tough to answer as I’ve always tried to get as much out of every situation as possible. But a few that really stand out:
- Being able to ride over Doak Campbell Stadium before an FSU/Miami game in the Blockbuster Video Blimp while doing live radio reports was very cool.
- Having Conway Twitty tell me Now that was funny … after I introduced him was a thrill. The lights went out and I grabbed a microphone and went very low saying “Hello Darling …” The arena erupted with excitement until the spotlight found me in the “DJ corner” on the mic. They booed loud, so I quickly exited and walked past Conway where he was laughing and shaking his head.
- Being bitched-out by Prince for not playing his current single on WKTI. A surreal moment backstage at Summer Fest with Kerri Wolf and Brian Kelley. That dude is tiny.
- Winning the CMA Award in Providence. Representing WCTK – a heritage, proud brand on national TV was an honor.
- Meeting George Strait and being able to chat like regular guys.