Glenn McNish began his broadcast
career at the ripe old age of 14, when he became the youngest person in
During his sophomore year in high
school, Glenn worked on WKCS in
During his senior year in high
school, Glenn wanted to get into the country music radio broadcast industry and
landed the afternoon drive-time slot on WGYW, which at the time was the only
true Country station in
As fate would have it, WGYW got sold to Soul singer James Brown in June 1966, about the time Glenn graduated from high school. Brown brought in the top black D.J.’s from around the country and changed the name of the station to WJBE- (James Brown Enterprises.)
The D.J. who was supposed to take
Glenn’s place in the afternoon drive-time was named ‘Daddy-O’ Lark.
Unfortunately, he was in jail in
At the end of the two weeks there
was still no ‘Daddy-O’ - and Glenn stayed on for another two weeks. In the
meantime, Glenn had applied for a job on WLIL, the country music station in
Glenn said, “I still remember telling the James Brown staff that I had taken the job on WLIL, and that would be my last week at WJBE. They insisted I call Arthur Wilkerson and ask him if he would agree to let me stay at WJBE ‘til ‘Daddy-O’ got out of jail.”
“I remember that conversation distinctly. I said, “Mr. Wilkerson, the James Brown folks want to know if you will agree to let me stay at WJBE for another two weeks?”
“Wilkerson said, “What time is it?” I said, “11 AM.” He said, “What time are you supposed to be here?” I said “12 Noon.” He said, “Well, if you’re not here at Noon, forget it!” I made a hasty departure from WJBE, and thus began what would become a lifelong country music radio career on WLIL.”
Glenn’s first day on WLIL was July
4th, 1966, and he did a live broadcast from a big field in
Glenn started classes at the
Glenn said, “I really thought I
would be doing the country music and Lenoir City Sports for four years ‘til I
got through at UT. By the end of the four years, the sports broadcasts and
country music had developed into a labor of love.” Now, fifty- years later,
‘Lenoir City Sports with Glenn McNish’ is the longest-running play-by-play
sportscast in the history of
After UT, Glenn continued working at WLIL, serving in a variety of capacities, and ending up as Vice-President and General Manager of the Wilkerson Broadcast Group, which owned five radio stations at one time.
After Wilkerson’s death in 1998, WLIL was sold to B.P. Broadcasters in 2000, and Glenn stayed on as a country air personality and GM as part of the deal. In 2007, WLIL was sold to local businessman Don Fowler, with Glenn again being a part of the package as an on air personality and GM.
In 1999, realizing that the country music he had grown up with had changed dramatically, Glenn changed the format of WLIL to Classic Country and called the station “The Legendary AM-730-WLIL, Since 1950.” It was an instant hit and the station continues to broadcast the classics that range from 1944 on up to today’s classics that maintain the traditional country sound.
In addition to all of the duties as on air personality and General Manager, Glenn is in his 48th season as the ‘Radio Voice of the Lenoir City Panthers,” broadcasting Football and Basketball games. He also anchors the popular ‘Election Watch’ programs which air on election nights, and features interviews with the candidates for various offices. You can also hear Glenn on a variety of other feature programming throughout the year including co-host of the “Marshal Andy and The Riders of The Silver Screen Radio Show” featuring classic country. Artists on the show have included Rex Allen, Jr, Jim Ed Brown, Lew DeWitt (Statler Bros), Phil Campbell (Archies son) and many others. Glenn is also the emcee of The Tennessee Opry, a live stage show that features country artist from around the country.
In 2005, Glenn was inducted into the Lenoir City Sports Hall of Fame as a Broadcaster. In 2012, Glenn received The Distinguished Service Award from The National Football Foundation and College Sports Hall of Fame as a Broadcaster. In 2012, Glenn was inducted into the Greater Knoxville Sports Hall of Fame as a Broadcaster.
Glenn has always been actively involved in community and civic affairs, having served as the Chairman of the Loudon County Cable Television Authority, President of the Lenoir City Central Business District Merchants Association, Board of Directors of the Lenoir City Chamber of Commerce, The By-Laws Committee during the formation of The Loudon County Chamber of Commerce, The Lenoir City Committee of 100 for Economic Development, Board of Directors of the Loudon County Chapter of St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, and others.
In November of 2008, Glenn took on a new role as the elected vice chairman of the Lenoir City Board of Education.
You can reach Glenn at (865) 986-7536, or e-mail him at email@example.com
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