Friday, March 09, 2012

Good Bye, Jim Nelly, Sr

With a reputation of being a somewhat "loose cannon", Jim Nelly bought Walla Walla radio station KUJ in the mid 70s and local radio was never the same.  Changing the station from Middle Of The Road to 24 Hour Hit Radio, the station (the oldest and most powerful in the city) spoke constantly of it's high ratings and big contests. It was the dawn of the disco era and KUJ was able to capitalize on it.  Movies like Saturday Night Fever were rendering constant hits. Nelly gave catchy, sometimes rather silly radio names to his DJs like Mason Dixon and Wee Willie Winkle.  The theory is that in personality radio, "Dr Love" is easier to remember that "Steve Brown".  A few years later, KHIT, a local rival, launched a Hit Radio FM station known as XT97, Walla Walla suddenly had 2 commercial Rock stations.
 He also acquired the Walla Walla Padres, the city's Northwest League baseball franchise. Nelly had his wife, Patricia (Peppermint Patty) run the baseball team, adding beer sales, as well as a wide variety of stunts, loudly promoted on the station.  Although, Nelly was considered quite a flamboyant presence in a small quiet town, he reportedly sold KUJ in the early 80s at a value that was many times higher than when he bought it.   Nelly died last week.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Ah, yes. A little bit of heaven... X-T 97.

From a former XTer.