"Wild" Bill Carter  Biography

At the time, WHOO-AM 990 was owned by Garvis Kincaid of Kentucky (Bluegrass Broadcasting) and managed by O.C. Halyard.  In a move to "attack" WLOF-AM 950, station management hired the entire "on-air" staff and one engineer from WMOC-AM in Chattanooga, TN and brought them to Orlando.  We all lived in a rented house on Governors Ave near Silver Star Rd.  That was a real trip...as time went on, we found separate housing as families were eventually brought to the Sunshine State.  Some of those roommates were Allen Dennis, Dave Raulston, Ken White and the infamous "Silent Sam the Segue Man"! (the All-Night guy!)
Charlie Champion was our PD and decided to "shake up" the market with a series of teasers as to what "new" format WHOO was going to "change" to...it was an ABC affiliate rocker when we arrived (Rock Robinson was one of the air personalities then).  So, would it be country...classic...pop...what would it be?  The whole town was listening to see what would happen.  At that time WHOO-FM 96.5 was the "solid" elevator music station in the region, but AM (radio) was King in those days. 
At fever pitch in the format change promotion, I "locked" myself in the control room one night and played Tex Ritter's "Hillbilly Heaven" over and over for hours and hours (whew, was it bad!) implying that we were going "hard core" country.  With such a powerful signal, this "stunt" attracted listeners from all over the area...Daytona...Tampa-St. Pete...everywhere.  Eventually, a huge crowd of youngsters filled the parking lot at the station...then the long driveway leading from Silver Star Road...then up and down Silver Star Road.  The Florida Highway Patrol and the Sheriff's Dept. responded for crowd control, but not before the station door was broken down and the crowd forced their way in...incidentally, witnessed by Dick Shane, who later "jumped ship" and joined WLOF(-AM 950)!
To make a long story short, I knew I was fired after only a few weeks on the job. Charlie showed up with the General Manager and they were so ecstatic over our "introduction" to the market, I was then dubbed "Wild" Bill Carter and it's followed me until this day.  Of course, we didn't change the format at all...and eventually we topped WLOF in several demographics over the next couple of years.
I became a direct competitor of  the great Bill Vermilion...he was on from 7 to midnight as was I...he was Music Director for 'LOF as was I for Radio HOO...he weighed in at over two hundred pounds...as did I.  His name was Bill as was mine.  he was 95 on the dial...we were 99 on the dial...etc.  But they were a solid number one...we were way behind.  We had more power, but they were far more powerful in the market...the battle was on...well, my little "stunt" grabbed the attention of the market and it was up to us to make it happen...and it did.
There are so many other stories...but, I have to admit, I never worked in a more energetic market with any more professional personalities than I did those 3 years in Orlando.  We were there when Disney announced their plans and I watch the sleepy little town of Orlando explode to the world class city it is today...can't believe we flew out of McCoy AFB back then! Well, that's all the time we have folks...the clock on the wall says that's all...gotta go now...so, 'til next time....take care of yourself....do your homework and by all means...HANG LOOSE!   (...ahhh...the old sign off!)
Wild Bill         

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