billy cole - Inducted 2002
Although Billy Cole was born in a place called Short Track, NY, his career in country radio covered a long track in that it encompassed 40 years when he retired in April, 2000. Launching his impressive run in the medium at Greenland Air Force Base in Sondestrom, Greenland, Cole went on to serve as air personality and music director at WMMB, Melbourn, FL (1961); WBTA, Batavia, NY (1962); WHDL, Olean, NY (1962); WHHG, Hornell, NY (1963); KSOP, Salt Lake City, UT (1963-1964); KAOH, Duluth, MN (1964-1965); KTCR Minneapolis, MN (1965-1967); KANO Anoka, MN (1967-1968); KFRM Wichita, KS (1968-1969); WENO Madison, TN (1969); WSM Nashville, TN (1969-1971); WHO Des Moines, IA (1972-1977); KDLS Perry, IA (1978); KYNN Omaha, NE (1979-1980); KSO Des Moines, IA (1981-1986); WHO Des Moines, IA (1987-1989); KXLQ Indianola, IA (1990-1994); KMGO Centerville, IA (1995-2000).
Through the years, Cole served as the national voice for major clients such as Roto-Rooter, Massey-Ferguson, Pioneer Seed, John Deere and International Harvester. As a country singer, he's recorded for Chart, Mega, Volunteer and Twin Town Records where he was produced by Pete Drake and Waylon Jennings. As a songwriter, his songs have been recorded by Stonewall Jackson, Webb Pierce and W. B. Stokely. During the mid-70's, Cole hosted the "Country Call-In" show from WHO in Des Moines which played host to numerous country greats. His charitable undertakings have been concentrated toward the "Kids With a Wish" Foundation, which he helped fund for years with his Labor Day Weekend Softball Charity Tournament and his bluegrass concerts at the fairgrounds in Winterset, IA.
Inducted into the Country Music DJ Hall of Fame in 2002, Billy Cole is a classical example of the phrase he used to end his show each day, "The best way to have friends is to be one yourself."