Every time he gets in front of the microphone, Bob Kingsley adds to his status as the most listened-to radio voice in country music history. The Host and Executive Producer of Bob Kingsley’s Country Top 40, far and away the most successful show of its kind, has been the king of the country countdown for three decades now, and to hear him tell it, the process retains every bit of its magic.
“I love the music and the people who make it,” he says, “and I want our listeners to have as much insight into both as it’s possible to give them, and to make the experience as enjoyable as possible.”
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What is now known as the Bill Miller Shows began nearly 40 years ago in Pittsburg, Kansas. That’s where Jim Harbart and Gary Hannes came up with a concept for Sunday morning programming that would begin as a local record show called the Wax Works. The foundation for the early Wax Works shows was a collection of old 78 rpm records donated to radio station KSEK. Harbart (the station owner) and Hannes (station program director) found an instant audience for their version of nostalgia radio.
The local and regional success of the show led to syndication of the show with KJLA in Kansas City the first to air same.
About the same time of Wax Works beginning days boy announcer, Bill Miller was toiling away at the “mighty 690” KGGF in Coffeyville, Kansas an hours drive away from Pittsburg. Miller heard a WAX WORKS broadcast and called Hannes to comment on a song that Hannes played. The long-time friendship began and expanded when Miller and Harbart worked together in the Kansas Association of Broadcasters trade organization. Fast forward to 1988 when Harbart sold the Wax Works syndicated program to a broadcast group in Emporia, Kansas. At that point in time, Miller took over the operations portion of Wax Works with Hannes continuing as the show’s host.
In 1990 Hannes moved to old Mexico and turned the Wax Works reins over to Miller, Hannes continued to provide weekly features for the show that he began. The show moved from Emporia to Kansas City (Bill’s hometown) in 1993. In 1995 the show’s home base became Olathe, Kansas with a name changes Wax Works was now Bill Miller’s Collectors Corner. An ownership change and a new name for the show followed with The Bill Miller Show emerging as the entity that it has today. Some four decades after Jim Harbart and Gary Hannes launched their dream, Jim has passed on and Gary (living in Guanajuato) still contributes to the show.