Cat Country Billings Turns 31
Friday, March 1 is the 31st birthday of our radio station. And many, many things run through my mind when I think about it.
Our first GM was a great guy named Keith Tilkens. In addition to hiring all of us he gets credited for the first "inflatable" in Billings, when he bought our big blow up cat.
He was an extremely generous man. He knew what a huge Rams fan I was, so he gave me a set of tickets to the Rams/Broncos game in Denver. And he bought me lunch more times than I can count.
Sadly, Keith was killed in a car accident in 1990.
Add in thirteen more General Managers, seventeen program directors, hundreds of sales people, and number of receptionists that I couldn't even guess.
All on air staff was required to wear tuxedos for all live appearances. And we all did our shows from Denny Menholt's roof when he was downtown. That was during fair week, and anybody that worked after 10 a.m. roasted. But, we helped sell a bunch of cars.
The Cat Country All Stars stormed the countryside for 25 years, playing fundraiser basketball games from Gardiner to Melstone and from Judith Gap to Custer. I recall that we played in Bridger TWENTY times!
In the early 90's, Paul and I went out once a week and had lunch with all of the small town schools kids. And that was cool because radio stations don't generally do much for the outlying area.
For six years we did our "free concerts." We paid the acts ourselves and made a huge promotion of giving away all 10,000 tickets for the concerts at Metra. Toby Keith, Pam Tillis, Lorrie Morgan, Neil McCoy. All great shows.
I had no idea at the time that the Flakes Trips would take us to amazing, tropical places 22 times (so far). And we are already working on next year.
So, tomorrow I'm going to play country songs from 1988 all morning long.
If you've got a favorite memory, you can share it here or call us tomorrow morning.
Man, time flies!