A brief bit on WJFJ’s history

Published 7:32 pm Friday, January 10, 2014

011314-Letter_WJFJHistoryTo the editor:
I read with interest, and of course sadness, that WJFJ is folding.
However, I would like to comment on some of the information stated in the article from Jan. 6’s Tryon Daily Bulletin.
Mildred Allan and her partner began WTYN around 1950, in the building, which is now Bird Mountain Spirits, and the AM antenna was near where Burrell’s propane tanks are now.
Graves Taylor, living here in Tryon, and with a regular show on WSPA radio in Spartanburg, teamed up with my father Henry Bartol Jr. and bought the station from Ms. Allan. With Henry’s skill at business and the talent of Graves, the station flourished.
‘Ace’ Rickenbacker was the main announcer and a consummate interviewer with his ‘Man on the street’ sessions. Fanning Herron was not a financial partner, but a wonderful newscaster, always throwing in his added remarks about areas of the world he had traveled as he gave the news. Eddie Dodge was a most articulate announcer with subtle humor.
When Graves passed away, his widow, Gertrude, took over as partner. The station expanded soon after with an FM station in Franklin, N.C., WFSC, as I remember. WTYN grew and a new building was built near Lake Lanier. Early staffers, Charlie Fishburne, and Fred Taylor went on to become news anchors for major TV stations in Raleigh and eastern Virginia.
Dad and Gertrude sold the station to Gene and Betsey Millstine when they retired.  The attached image is from 1959 showing on the front row: Gertrude Taylor, Henry Bartol, ‘Ace’ Rickenbaker, and back row is Eddie Dodge, Fanning Hearon and secretary, Jean Carver,
I know this just a brief overview, and more stories, and perhaps images from the past would certainly be appreciated. Kindly send articles to the Bulletin and hopefully forwarded also to chris.bartol@gmail.com.
Best wishes to James Metcalf, and thanks for the memories.
-Chris Bartol, Landrum S.C.

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