Spider Harrison(sm): Tennessee Radio Hall of Fame


Tennessee Radio Hall of Fame
Co-host of the evening's festivities, GAC-TV's Nan Kelley presents Spider Harrison™ with Tennessee Radio Hall of Fame Induction award. (Photo by Sam Coles)
(Nashville, Tenn., May 5, 2015) Nationally-syndicated radio personality and music promoter, Spider Harrison™, known to millions as the voice of Rock and Soul on Nashville's famed WLAC throughout the 70's and early 80's, was inducted into the Tennessee Radio Hall of Fame at the 4th Annual Inductees Ceremony held at Embassy Suites in Murfreesboro on Saturday night. Other inductees included Keith Bilbrey, Johnny Dark (a.k.a. Dude Walker), Stacey Mott, Jack Parnell, Al Voecks and John Young. WLAC, where Spider first made his mark, was also honored with the "Legendary Station" award.

After stints at WCWP and WWRL in New York, and WTLC in Indianapolis, native New Yorker, Spider Harrison™ began his climb to prominence in 1973 when he took the over reigns of the departing 32-year legendary radio veteran John R. (John Richbourg) at Nashville's famed WLAC, a Class-A, 50,000 watt R&B powerhouse station whose nighttime signal reached most of the Eastern and Midwestern United States, southern Canada and the Caribbean. Despite the station's move to a Top-40 format, Harrison was able to maintain this massive audience with his dynamic and distinctive style and steer the nighttime programming into a blend of Rock and Soul, hosting his own four-hour show every evening. When Billboard purchased the station five years later, Harrison was also named host of Billboard USA's first nationally-syndicated weekend countdown show, "Soul Countdown," making him one of the most-heard radio personalities of the 70's and 80's and an integral part of the tapestry of America's R&B, Soul and Urban radio history.

"In addition to my own show, I was doing for Soul what Casey Kasem was doing on the Pop side," explains Spider, "stacking them up and counting them down every weekend on "Soul Countdown." The show was incredibly successful, but folded several years after its launch when Billboard sold the station and it moved to a Gospel/Talk format."

Not missing a beat, Harrison moved to Los Angeles and serve as West Coast Promotions Director for the first successful Rap record label in America, Sugar Hill Records, working with groups such as Grand Master Flash and The Furious Five. He also began a column focusing on classic artists of the 70's - 00's for "Black Radio Exclusive Magazine" called "What Ever Happened To..?" in 1982. The column's popularity led to its development into a one-hour radio show that could be customized to fit stations' formats.

Today, Harrison still resides in the Inland Empire area of Los Angeles and produces "Rock n Soul America" (a three-hour syndicated weekend radio show spotlighting the music of the 70's, 80's and 90's), in addition to "What Ever Happened To..? He is also owner of Spider Harrison™ Productions and Spido-Records, developing up-and-coming talent and writing music. His song, "Beautiful Day," was featured in a HBO's "Entourage" in 2007. Harrison has also returned to the Nashville airwaves with his own daily show from 8 - midnight on WHPY, Hippie Radio 94.5 FM. For more information on Spider Harrison™, please visit www.spider-harrison.com.

"Music has always been a driver in my life," explains Harrison. "When I heard a song or great artist that moved me, I wanted others to be turned on too and share that same love with me. As a kid, it drove me to the streets of Brooklyn and Harlem--I would get up and help set up remotes at churches, and I would volunteer to work with concert promoters to get the word out on great shows that were coming. As long as I can remember, music has driven me to want to be a part of it," he continues. "Throughout my life, I was given the opportunity to share great music with millions of fans all over the world--what a blessing in itself! And now, I'm being honored for it--I'm overwhelmed."

Tennessee Radio Hall of Fame