Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Country Music DJ and Radio Hall of Fame

Last night, Taylor showed up to the Country Music DJ and Radio Hall of Fame and surprised everyone! She inducted Mike Hammond into the Hall of Fame. Her speech was lovely so make sure to watch the video below.

Looking stunning in a short black cocktail dress, Taylor took the stage to welcome Mike Hammond from WIVK in Knoxville, Tenn., to the DJ and Radio Hall of Fame. Commenting that she had been to Kinkos earlier in the day, Taylor surprised Mike with a nearly life size poster of a photo she had taken with him during her first visit to WIVK.

“I think in life the way you look at things is largely based on your first impression. My first impression of country radio came in 2005 when I walked into WIVK in Knoxville,” Taylor told the crowd. “That was the day that I met Mike Hammond for the first time and it’s my memories of that day that make me so incredibly happy and honored to be the one up here inducting him into the Country Radio Hall of Fame.”

In a lengthy and heartfelt speech, Taylor recounted the veteran broadcaster’s career accomplishments and spoke warmly of his family, calling each member by name. She recalled her first visit to the station and how he had put a then unknown, high school sophomore on the air. “I was just floored because I wasn’t expecting to get put on the radio. I didn’t have a single out. I was so excited,” she recalled. “And minutes later, I was on the radio, playing my song in afternoon drive. I talked about it for weeks after that and I’m still taking about it now.

“I’ve thought about it a lot over the years: Why Mike would put me on the air? This kid who had never been on the radio before,” Taylor continued. “I think it was because Mike started in radio when he was 15 years old. Back then someone gave him a chance and so he gave one to me.”

Taylor mentioned that she had recently talked to Kenny Chesney about Mike and he too had fond memories. “Kenny told me that his favorite thing about Mike Hammond is that he’s ‘made extraordinary things happen to an ordinary person from East Tennessee’ and he wanted me to tell Mike that tonight.”

Jackie Hicks of country nightclub Cotton Eyed Joe in West Knoxville was in the audience with several co-workers for the honors, and she told me today that it was an amazing experience. She said that Swift went on to say that after her on-air performance, Hammond turned to fellow WIVK-er (and Blount County resident), deejay Gunner, and said, “We’ve just witnessed a superstar.” As a present, Swift enlarged a photo of her and Mike in front of the Citadel Communications building that houses the station, off Kingston Pike in Bearden, blown up to poster-size.

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