On August 7, 1964, at 11:05 a.m., a baby boy was born to Antonia and Kenneth Merrell at the Lockhart Hospital. His parents, for whatever reason, were expecting a girl and they planned on naming her, Danielle. From the beginning, I was full of surprises.
Today, I turn 58 years old, and what I have done on most of my birthdays since I turned 50, is to take a look back and what pearls of wisdom I have learned in the previous 365 days. Sometimes, I’ll sit down with my children and pass those flecks of information to them. Who knows, it may do them some good.
This year’s lesson – Don’t Try to Upstage George Strait…or Willie Nelson
I got my first radio job in Lockhart, Texas in 1979. It was 1060 KCLT. We played ‘Casual Country’, whatever the heck that meant. I spun records on the weekends. I’m talking literally, this was before CDs and hard drives, we had two turntables and two full walls of country songs on vinyl 45s.
In 1982, I caught a huge break and was hired to work as a part-time DJ at KASE 101 and KVET 1300 in Austin. These were two of the best country radio stations in the state, and today they are still the leading country stations in the Capital City. I was still a teenager and I had landed a dream job. A short time later, I started doing full-time overnights.
Country superstars frequently played in Austin, and our radio stations were always involved in promoting those concerts. That meant I got to go backstage and meet many of these artists.
What Happens When a Dumb Teenager Meets His Country Idols?
Here’s come the teachable moment, kids. The correct answer should be, just be yourself and be kind