Robert Conrad has become a household name in Jackson County. Citizens HAVE HEARD his voice Monday through Friday and have for the last 32 years. When Jackson Countians tune in Monday morning, there will be no more silver-haired Robert Conrad bringing them the Auction Block Show and witty one-liners. He has opted to hang up the mic and enjoy life to the fullest fishing and catering to his two fur babies and spend more time with Tami, the love of his life for the past 26 years.
In early 1965, Robert watched a disc jockey broadcasting live from a hardware store in the Detroit suburb of Royal Oak, Michigan. It was instant – the radio ‘bug’ bit him. He told his parents, “When I grow up, I wanna be a disc jockey,” and they promptly replied, “Well Robert, you can’t do both.” Robert smiles when he says, “I guess I never grew up!” The rest of his story is history and that book is coming to a close Friday when he signs off with Betty Demmon and Kirk
Rob said during his Navy tour from August 1965 to December 1968, he was still fascinated by the thought of being on the radio. When he was stateside, he was part of the USO’s ‘D.J. Club’ in San Diego and San Francisco. After his return to civilian life, he followed that dream and pursued a career in broadcasting, one that would span 48 years.
Conrad’s first time behind a microphone was in the small town of Cadillac, Michigan, about 200 miles north of Detroit. His travels have taken him to Grand Forks, North Dakota, Lexington, Kentucky, Jefferson City, Missouri, Fort Myers, West Palm Beach, Orlando, Tallahassee and finally MARIANNA!
He has been a part of the WJAQ radio family since the fall of 1986, as part of the on-air staff and using his copy-writing talents to create and produce commercials for broadcast.
Rob said in an interview Monday, “I’ve been doing this for over 48 years, 30 of those years in Marianna and I am ready for a change of scenery and at my young, tender age of 70, focus more on relaxation, and just kick back and do some fishing.”
After much thought and soul-searching, he has decided ‘it’s time’ – time to hang up the headphones and retire, “It’s been a long ride, but a rewarding one and one that will be remembered.”
Rob takes with him the memories of the people he met, as well as the friends he made along the way. He sends a personal message to his devoted listeners, friends, and businessmen and women in Marianna and surrounding areas, the management and staff of WJAQ, past and present, for putting up with him, “A sincere thank you for being part of my life for the past 30 years. Till we meet again, thanks for the memories!”
A huge thank you to Robert Conrad for bringing us so much for the last three decades from the publisher and staff of the Jackson County Times.