Long before I became "Ving the DJ" at events in Northern Virginia, I was a young college radio DJ in southern Virginia who managed to branch out to get paid DJ work on two radio stations. The first job was very short lived, but I was able to then spend many hours over the next 5 years at my hometown radio station, WFLO.
Even 25+ years ago, WFLO was one of the last of a dying breed. It gave the opportunity for regular folks from town like myself to be a broadcaster. I played commercials during high school football games and NASCAR races, ran syndicated American Top 40 shows, read countless weather forecasts and jewelry store ads, played many nights of current popular music, and even ran oldies and (one time) country music shows. I actually had the privilege of picking the songs myself, provided I stuck to the format (which I didn't always do!). I even drove the WFLO jeep in a parade once or twice.
While I barely register in WFLO's history as even the faintest of footnotes, WFLO was also where my father Elliott Irving got to live out his dream as a radio broadcaster. Dad is fondly remembered by WFLO staff and listeners to this day. He was best known for his long run as the station's News Director, as well as the host of a popular big band radio show that drew a fan in no less than Don Reid of the Statler Brothers (who became a friend). But Dad did EVERYTHING on air that you could imagine. And the WFLO family truly was my Dad's extended family. My Dad's last day on this world was partly spent on the air at WFLO, doing what he loved.
Today WFLO signs off for the last time after 74 years. WFLO marched to its own drummer. While I didn't always appreciate that in my younger days, my hometown of Farmville was better off for it. A big piece of Farmville's culture is about to sadly disappear forever.
I want to thank Francis Wood At Wflo and everyone else at FLO who was so good to my family over the decades, especially to my old man. Thanks for all you did for Farmville. And while my post-Farmville radio career never became a reality, Ving's DJ Service probably wouldn't be here today without a huge assist from WFLO.
A hometown staple radio station in Farmville is going dark on Friday, December 31 after more than seven decades on the air.