Austin Radio People & My Friend Sonny

Bob Cole and Sammy Allred where the duo that probably stayed together the longest, at least to my memory.

Of course there was Jim W W Travis at KVET for a long time. Tom Allen was a fixture. There were many that came through there over the years. Jerry Gee. Penny Reeves. Arlie Duff was at KOKE and moved to KVET for a while before he retired or moved on. The list is pretty long.

A lessor known and remembered DJ at KVET was Sonny Butler. He was a night man a lot of the time and filled in in various spots while working from KVET.

As time went along Sonny got disillusioned with radio and the politics of it. He was from Arkansas and was a heck of a good guy. He was very personable. His sister in law was my CPA, starting right after the Winfield years and that relationship lasted for about 20 years.

She ask me to give her brother in law a job. It so happened that I needed a runner, kind of a sidekick to get plans, make deliveries and to do other miscellaneous tasks. He was a good sport and wasn’t afraid to tackle anything. He was often our kids Santa Clause at their class parties (except the year the Cub Scouts chased Santa down the road chunking rocks at him – that was Kenny).

When Sonny first got his radio gig on a country station, KVET, he told a story of going to get the boots and hat, to look the part. He showed up at Callahan’s out on US 183 south in Austin. Sonny went to the gym and always prided himself in being fit. The kind of fellow that didn’t mind standing in front of a mirror.

He got a straw hat down off rack, one that was pre-creased. As he stood in front of the mirror profiling and admiring himself with the hat on, one of the lovely salesgirls walked up. He said he really felt good about the look. He turned to the girl with a very confident pose and ask her opinion. “Ma’am, how do you think this looks?” She said “think it looks great, but it’ll look much better if you’ll turn it around, you’ve got it on backwards”.

That was Sonny. He never minded telling a story about himself, regardless of the outcome. I think that’s what was so appealing about him. I haven’t seen Sonny in several years. I think at his sister in laws funeral. He had gone back to the radio business and was working on one of the Rock Stations. He was a heck of a guy.

This was originally written several years ago. I found an obituary where Sonny had past on a few years ago. I really like him.

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