tex justus - Inducted 1988
Tex Justus (born Olus William Justus Thurman TX) has been called King of the 1940's Owensboro, KY tri-state dance circuit and later became a long-time Boonville, IN on-air personality. Inspired by a meeting with Jimmie Rogers, he taught himself to play guitar and began singing professionally in 1936. Justus made his radio debut as a singer on WLAP Louisville, KY, where he was nicknamed "Tex", and soon he was appearing with Mary Martin on an NBC network series sponsored by Crazy Water Crystals, a health potion made from boiled mineral waters. He then performed on stations in Lexington, KY where he formed the Texas Cowboys, a dance band that played in a style similar to Bob Wills, before joining WOMI Owensboro KY on April 21, 1939 with a six-day a week half-hour of live music show. He was invited to join the Renfro Valley Barn Dance and The Grand Ole Opry, primarily as an announcer, but turned them both down because he preferred to stay in Owensboro. In 1947, Justus finally left that town to broadcast on WGBF Evansville. In 1951 he went to WBNL Boonville IN as disc jockey for a morning country show and remained in that slot for thirty years. He was twice named Mr. DJ USA by WSM radio and was a charter member of the Country Music Association. Tex Justus was inducted into the Country Music DJ Hall of Fame in 1988.