GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) – Bill Love will end his radio broadcasting career on Friday after 50 years behind the microphone.
Love said he’ll sign off for good after finishing his weekday 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. shift on Earth-FM WRTH in Greenville.
“They sold the station,” said Love to 7NEWS. “I planned to go at least another year and we just found out a few weeks ago.”
Love has spent about 45 of his 50 years in broadcasting working for stations from Greenville to Spartanburg. He started at WEAB radio in Greer.
“A guy (Keith Johnson) showed me how to run the board and then put me on the air,” as Love tells the story. “I was scared to death played the first song out of the news. And my first words were no time check, no call letters, no anything, but ‘that was Conway Twitty’ and then I hit the commercials and gosh, it felt just great.”
Love would go on to work at WSPA, WFBC and Rock 101 in the Upstate. He spent some time in radio in Virginia before returning to the Upstate in the 1980s.
Love teamed with Howard Hudson and their Love & Hudson morning show became a ratings powerhouse for WMYI-FM from the late 1980’s into the mid 90’s.
“Those were the kinds of years you had dreamed of in this business,” Love recalls. “If you’ve ever dreamed of doing so well, but you can’t be fired no matter what you do. You can say anything to your boss. They can’t fire you because the company has to have you.”
There were all the jokes, parodies and on-air impressions on Love & Hudson. There was also a memorable prank when Love dressed as a bride and had a photo taken for an official wedding announcement.
“We put it in five newspapers on Sunday and then on Monday we got on the air and said if you can find Bill Love in the newspaper be the first person to call and tell us where Bill is and win $500. And we got a winner immediately.”
“They dressed me up this bride,” as Love recalls the prank’s details, “but the bridal gown only fit like halfway around because I was kind of a big guy.”
Love & Hudson eventually came to an end, but Love’s career continued.
He started his own classic rock station, but it proved to be a financially difficult job.
“Greg Anderson, my old program director from WFBC, was a president of Salem Media. He called me and we worked a deal. They bought the station kept me on and I’ve been here for another ten years,” Love said. “I was so lucky.”
Love is now faced with a final broadcast on Friday. “I’m gonna try to be dignified. I’m gonna have some old friends on some on the phone, maybe some live.”
“I think I will be just an emotional mess and embarrassments (to) my family and friends,” said Love with a laugh.