Skunk Country Chronicles; The Public Files... a book by Steve Hayes

About the Author

Steve Hayes grew up as a radio hostage. His Uncle, Phil Hayes, was the News Director of WLS Radio in Chicago in the early 70s. His yearly family trip from Portsmouth, Ohio during his mid teens was more like a visit to a top 40-radio fantasy camp. While his Uncle Phil was off working, Steve would spend countless hours just hanging around the ABC radio studios with plenty of personalities such as Larry Lujack, Fred Winston, Chris Stevens, J.J. Jeffries and others who all became his mentors as well as involuntary babysitters. At the impressionistic age of 16, Steve began his own radio career in his hometown. Starting out running the Sunday morning church tapes, a vertical direction was the only option.

At 24, Steve was working as an on-air talent for ABC Radio KAUM-FM in Houston when one night, an epiphany occurred. As Steve remembers, It was Thanksgiving evening and I was feeling as alone as Ive ever felt in my life. Here I was thousands of miles away from everyone I cared about when I played the song My Little Town by Simon and Garfunkle. It was visionary. At that flashpoint his life goals changed. Steve vowed never to lose sight of his roots and family values while making a career for himself. Working in other radio markets such as Huntington, W.Va, Daytona Beach and Jacksonville Fla, Cincinnati, Louisville and Lexington Kentucky, he was able to make it balance. As Uncle Phil moved on to New York City and WNBC Channel 4 TV in the early 80s, it was a chance meeting with Don Imus during yet another Steve visit that solidified his redirected mission. When asked the secret to making radio work, The I man snapped back Just be true to yourself kid, and all other things will fall into place. Now leave and let me eat!

Aside from radio, Steve Hayes has always been known as a humorist who could use the media to make people laugh. In 1991, Steve was asked to take over the Managerial duties of a radio station in Danville, Kentucky from his long time friend and associate, Rob Scheibly. While it sounds like a bad reality show, Steve didnt actually know until his first morning on the job that the station was close to bankruptcy. From 1991 through 1997, the now public tales of Skunk Country reflect the animated story of real life radio in a small town. Consider it a sanctuary for those who still believe in the magic, and for all who do pay attention to the man behind the curtain.

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