The Voice of WMIK-John Cawood

John Cawood as he appeared around 1960

The Voice of WMIK

Over fifty years of daily broadcasting certainly allows the listener various opportunities to experience many different voices. However, if one person had to be selected from the dozens of magnificent announcers at WMIK in Middlesboro, Kentucky, most would agree that one stood out above the rest. If asked, he would deny any special talent, except perhaps his longevity at the station. The goal of the man continued throughout his long career simply to entertain, and inform to the best of his ability. He worked hard at his trade and made sure the station did what it was licensed to do. His personality, and WMIK were one. His story will be told in pictures and newspaper clippings, for you see, that is the only way to tell it. Except for a couple of hours of taped broadcasts, those 29 years, those 10,000 days, those signals which carried his voice on the airwaves and into our homes are long gone into the boundless ether. Now, his daily life is slower paced and less hectic than the days when he arose at 4 AM and traveled to work. Today, work is over. He sits and talks with those who have also ended their working years. We are of course speaking of John Cawood. For nearly thirty years we woke up with, drove to work with, found out if there was school, got the latest news, and depended on Johnís familiar voice to begin our day. A measure of a manís life are those memories he instills in others.

The first page is a pictorial history of his radio days at WMIK. The second is another photographic feast of his long career as gospel singer.

John's Tobacco Hour intro below is from a "snow tape."

Snow Tape

John ended his radio career in 1980. Below are several audio segments of his last day on the air.

Clip 1

Clip 2

Clip 3

Clip 4

Clip 5

Captions are above each photograph.

This ad from the Daily News promoted John's "Round-Up" in 1959.

John and his "HUMPH-HUMPH" Coffee.

Here's John early in the morning from around 1962.

Bill Baker, Maurice Henry, John Cawood are shown getting gifts ready to give away in a promotion for WMIK.

Tom Devine and lion cub at Reams Hardware

A little girl, a lion cub...and John to the rescue. The little girl was not hurt. The cub thought she wanted to play.

John Cawood and the annual WMIK easter egg hunt

Mr. Motch of Middlesboro Federal, and John Cawood

More of the WMIK Easter Egg Hunt

Kiddie Kapers handbill

Kiddie Kapers letter, from Spurgeon Thompson

This picture of Spurgeon Thompson states a very sad fact that many children and parents had to deal with during the 1950ís.

This is a letter from a blind girl. John read it on the famous Poetry Corner.

Polio Drive picture from the Daily News

John at the console when he retired in 1980.

A letter from Representative Tim Lee Carter

A letter from Senator Wendell Ford

Finally, this is Johnís retirement story from the Daily News.