Radio has been a lifelong dream. Since I was in middle school, I remember doing homework with the radio on listening to Chicago’s “Z-95” and “The Loop” and “The Blaze.” I not only loved the music, but the personalities. From the music disc jockeys like Danny Wright and Jimmy Novak, to the morning personalities like Jonathan Brandmeier and Kevin Matthews, I knew what I wanted to do when I grew up — be a radio star!
The radio station at North Central College is the reason I choose the school for my undergraduate career, and after two days I was already on the air at WONC-FM. I took radio seriously, almost more seriously than school itself, eventually working my way up to program director. My legacy at the station is still felt, as I created the classic 80s hair metal show “Precious Metal” (still on the air) and pushed to get the station run 24 hours (we used to power down at 2 a.m. and power up at 6 a.m.)
After moving to Athens, Georgia, I was hired as “Just Joe” to be the night personality at WPUP-FM, “Rock 103-7,” later “Bulldog 103-7” then “Bulldog 100.1.” Over seven years, I worked at the station full time, part time, created the Friday night “Big Rock Show” (similar to “Precious Metal” on WONC), hosted several bar parties in downtown Athens and ran pre- and post-game broadcasts for Georgia football games. After six program directors, four minor format changes (all still rock) and two station owners, my radio career ended when “Just Joe” was a victim of Cox Radio budget cutbacks. Months later, the decades-old rock station morphed into top 40 “Power 100.1.”
Wanna hear some Just Joe? Check out this clip with my little helper, a then 3-year-old Jaydon: 090324jaydonsola