Tuesday, June 25, 2013

6.25.13 Hero of the Day: Jack Miller

Bee-otch of the Day honors are awarded Monday through Thursday, Bee-otch of the Week is awarded Friday on Chuck69.com.


Name: Jack Miller
Age: 77
Occupation: radio personality, WTAB Tabor City, NC
Last Seen: Tabor City, NC
Awarded For: being probably the greatest tradio host of all time


Now, most of you probably never heard of Tabor City, NC, pop. 4,000 or even its radio station of record, WTAB, a small AM station that broadcasts on 1370 on the dial and operates at 5,000 watts daytime and 109 watts sunset to sunrise.

But if you listen to Howard Stern, you definitely have heard parts of the station.

And to its Swap Shop host and ex-owner, Jack Miller, it wasn't by choice.

It was announced on Sunday that after 58 years as a radio personality and 38 years at WTAB, with 17 of them as its owner, Miller, aka "The Colonel" is retiring. According to the station's Facebook page, Miller's retirement is "not set in stone" but rather "word of mouth". Jack's radio friends believe that his retirement won't be for long, but who knows.

Miller worked at many stations in his home state of Tennessee, Louisiana and of course North Carolina at WTAB, where he started hosting The Swap Shop in 1975. According to Jack, his first day was awful because people in Tabor City didn't know what the show's purpose was about and he had no callers. Eventually, the show became popular, and it's now loaded with advertisers and callers wanting to buy, sell or trade their personal items (except for firearms, of course). In 1996, Miller purchased WTAB, then an AC station and flipped it to its current format of country and gospel (after all, Tabor City was named for a mountain in the Bible).

In recent years, A lot of good and bad has happened at WTAB; Jack sold the station last year to his stepson, Eric Sellers (reportedly for WAAAAAAAAY less than what he bought the station for) and with the addition of new equipment was able to broadcast 24/7 instead of shutting down at 6 p.m. daily, no matter what season it was. However, a popular jock at WTAB, Bobby Pait died earlier this year in a house fire. However, Jack's son, "Uncle Red" Richard "Fluff" Miller came back to the station to take over Pait's Gospel show.

Of course, we can talk more about the greatness that is Jack Miller, but we'll always remember his two greatest callers: Sal Governale and Richard Christy from the Howard Stern Show. Here's a sampling of Sal and Richard's great conversations with The Colonel:

Sadly, they were ID'd by one of Jack's faithful fans, but leave it to Jack to laugh it off.

Nonetheless, Jack was a good sport and gave us some good comedy gold, even if he was the butt of the Stern Show and Sal and Richard's ever-long quest to ruin any Swap Shop or Tradio host's day. He'll be missed, and I wouldn't doubt it if Richard will take over the show. We'll see, but I know one thing's for sure:

Richard and Sal will be listening.

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