While streaming is the most popular method for music consumption, many purists still value the art of radio broadcast. Over the course of many decades, Dallas-Fort Worth has produced many legendary sportscasters, DJs and personalities, and this November, four North Texas radio personalities will be inducted into the Texas Radio Hall of Fame.
The list of 2020 inductees includes Billy Gardner, Chris Arnold, Greg Sax and a posthumous induction for Jimmy Stewart, who died in April.
Sax’s radio career began in 1986 at the University of North Texas, where he worked at the school’s radio station, KNTU. He started off by doing sports and news coverage and later had a spot on a music segment.
“It was called ‘Jazz and More,’” Sax says of his old show, “and I guess the ‘and More’ came from when I was playing songs I wasn’t supposed to be playing on the radio.”
Following his time at KNTU, Sax received his first public gig at KWCS in Bridgeport, Texas. He later went on to work for oldies station KOLD. By 1989, he landed his dream gig at 97.1 The Eagle, where he had a broadcast that ran from midnight until 6 a.m.
During his time at The Eagle, he worked with the likes of other radio legends, including Kidd Kraddick and Michael Blake.
“I would’ve cleaned trash cans at that place just to hang out,” Sax says. “It was such a cool experience.”
Today, Sax works in Nashville for Show Dog Records, where he is the director and the promotions show dog — his official title. He has previously worked with the likes of Ronnie Milsap, John Michael Montgomery and Toby Keith.
While Sax is primarily focused on the record business, he still holds the radio very close to his heart.
“Listeners love to know something extra on air,” Sax says. “They don’t just want to listen to 12 songs in a row with nothing going on. They want the artist information.”
The event is an especially meaningful honor for the inductees' families. Sax's son, Jordan Millspaugh, looks forward to this year's ceremony.
“If you want something bad enough in life, you have to work hard for it and you can achieve it," Millspaugh says of his father. "We’re very proud of Dad’s accomplishment. Texas Radio Hall of Famer is a very cool honor.”
The inductees are determined by votes from lifetime voting members, a process that ended July 4. This year's event will be virtual, and tickets to the online event start at $10.
Arnold, another 2020 inductee, has worked for the Dallas Mavericks since 1996. He was a courtside analyst for Fox Sports Southwest for eight years, before becoming their official game night emcee in 2005. Additionally, he has provided commentary on several Dallas Fort-Worth radio stations, including K104 and The Ticket.
“I had a teenage goal of working in LA or NYC, but I never left [Texas] because we had great teams, passionate fans and genuine and wonderful people,” Arnold says. "Most people are pretty happy down here compared to other cities I've been to. I've made lifelong friends that I wouldn't leave for the world.”
Before coming to Dallas, Arnold got his first radio gig at 14 years old in Memphis. In 1980, he received a degree in journalism from the University of Oklahoma.
“I have never not been on the radio every year since 1973,” Arnold says.
Over the course of his 47-year radio career, Arnold has covered sports at almost every venue in the country. He's a household name among Mavs fans and holds Dallas near and dear. Arnold credits his success to his listeners, as well as his family and loved ones.
“The journey really is the reward,” he says. “The whole thing has been a blessing. And I can't say enough how appreciative I am to all of the people who have posted so many nice and wonderful things.
"I used to end my show on The Ticket every day by saying 'There's no me without you,' and I believe that's the reason I was selected to the Texas Radio Hall of Fame. I dedicate my long radio career to the people.”
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