Knoxville radio personalities remember Bobby Denton

Knoxville radio personalities remember Bobby Denton

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If you didn't hear Bobby Denton's voice come from inside the walls of Neyland Stadium you likely heard it come from inside the walls of WIVK, where he spent nearly 50 years. (source: WIVK) If you didn't hear Bobby Denton's voice come from inside the walls of Neyland Stadium you likely heard it come from inside the walls of WIVK, where he spent nearly 50 years. (source: WIVK)
"Just being able to work with Bobby Denton and just his knowledge. He's Mr. Personality," said Mike Hammond. "Just being able to work with Bobby Denton and just his knowledge. He's Mr. Personality," said Mike Hammond.
"He made radio what it is in this area," said Mickey Dearstone. "You mention radio in the Knoxville area and there is not anyone that will not think of Bobby Denton." "He made radio what it is in this area," said Mickey Dearstone. "You mention radio in the Knoxville area and there is not anyone that will not think of Bobby Denton."
"He made a safe place to take risks," said Hallerin Hilton Hill. "He made a safe place to take risks," said Hallerin Hilton Hill.

By DREW GARDNER
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - People all over Tennessee are remembering Bobby Denton as the voice of Neyland Stadium, but here in Knoxville he was also a prominent voice in radio.

Denton died this week at the age of 73.

Related story: Voice of Neyland Stadium Bobby Denton dies

If you didn't hear his voice come from inside the walls of Neyland Stadium you likely heard it come from inside the walls of WIVK, where he spent nearly 50 years. 

Mike Hammond, now program director at Q100, was hired on at WIVK by Denton.

"I was a student at the University of Tennessee and I auditioned for a job at WIVK and the job was to do afternoon news with Bobby Denton," said Hammond

The two would eventually spend 40 years together at WIVK eventually working side by side managing the station.

"Just being able to work with Bobby Denton and just his knowledge. He's Mr. Personality," said Hammond. "The whole aspect of Bobby Denton to me I was just in awe of him and still am and will always be."

Mickey Dearstone's father worked in the late 1960s at WIVK with Denton in who eventually hired Dearstone on himself.

"I basically bugged Bobby until he hired me in 1980," said Dearstone.

Now as host of "Doc, Jeff and Heather in the Morning" on the Sports Animal, he says he owes his entire career to Denton.

"If he hadn't have been successful in marketing these stations and truly making WIVK the number one station in America it wouldn't have been possible for us to have done what we've been able to do," said Dearstone.

Hallerin Hilton Hill knows that first-hand. He was hired on in the early 1990s as temporary help during the Christmas holiday.

"He obviously didn't need me, but he helped me," said Hill.

Nearly 25 years later he is still here. hosting News/Talk's "Triple 'H' Morning Show."

"He made a safe place to take risks," said Hill. "News/Talk was an absolute risk. It was unproven, and not only was I on the team that helped put it together, but he let me do what I wanted to do."

"He made radio what it is in this area," said Dearstone. "You mention radio in the Knoxville area and there is not anyone that will not think of Bobby Denton."

The three stations plan to simulcast a one hour tribute to Denton Thursday at 9 a.m. You can find the stations below on your radio dial.

  • WIVK-FM - 107.7 - Country
  • WNML - 990 - Sports/Talk
  • WNML-FM - 99.1 - Sports/Talk (simulcast of WNML)
  • WNRX - 99.3 - Sports/Talk (simulcast of WNML)
  • WOKI - 98.7 - News/Talk 
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