When a Friend Says Goodbye
As I was on the air this week, I received the news that a friend, former co-worker and inspiration of mine had passed away.
Memphis Mark Billingsley was a good man and a great example to many. He will truly be missed by those who knew him, including me.
I worked with Mark while I hosted a show in Memphis, Tennessee. He quickly took me under his wing and showed me what it was like to be a jock in a bigger town. His presence on the air was amazing. From his big voice to his catch phrases to his quirky antics. Memphis Mark inspired me to be the personality that I am today. "Hey There!" and "Hellloooo Bartlet!" were two of his main stays while on air that caught the ears of many for 20+ years of doing his show in the town where Elvis lived.
Not only did he host an amazing radio show each day, but in his off time he volunteered as a reserve deputy for the Shelby County Sheriff's Office while I was there.
I admired this man in every sense of the word.
My former station, Kix 106 released the following statement in regards to my friend:
“Hey Now!” “HellOOH BARTLETT!” If you’re like thousands of folks living in and around Memphis, you’ve heard those words countless times. They’re among the unmistakable signature exclamations of the man who has for so many years been a constant friendly, funny, unique presence on Memphis airwaves.
Memphis Mark Billingsley is best known as the afternoon DJ whose irrepressible “it’s a party!” persona has drawn people to KIX-106 every weekday for over two decades. A man of easy, natural humor and graciousness combined with mischief, Mark is truly one of those people of whom it can be said that practically everyone feels that Mark is his best friend and he’s Mark’s best friend.
As most KIX 106 listeners (and many others on Facebook) know, Mark suffered a serious medical episode on November 23rd, and countless prayers for his recovery and for his family’s strength and peace of mind have been offered up. It’s so hard now to have to say what we all hoped we would not have to say, that Memphis Mark Billingsley has passed, peacefully and with his loved ones present.
Cumulus Media Memphis and KIX-106 are asking that everyone continue to pray for Mark’s family and many friends who are so saddened by this loss.
KIX 106 will keep you updated on arrangements, but please respect the Billingsley family and their privacy at this time.