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Signing off: Dave Hogan to air his last shows this week

A radio personality of more than 50 years will soon say goodbye to a career that has left an everlasting imprint on his life.
“I haven’t really worked a day in my life,” said Dave Hogan, now 73-years old, who will be retiring at the end of August. “My work has been my hobby. It’s been a fabulous ride.”
As a young boy, he was fascinated with being able to turn on a “box, so to speak” to hear people talk from all over the country. Hogan, also a big baseball fan, would listen to radio broadcasts of baseball games.
He thought, “that would be a fun way to make a living.”
Since Hogan grew up in the mountains of North Carolina, deep in the hills on a farm, the interest in pursuing a broadcasting career began as a way to get off the farm.
Hogan had a little make believe radio station, using such props as a big coffee can, so he could hear his voice echo. He said he had been announcing for a few years as a child before he was hired for the first time at age 16.
Since there was no radio station where he grew up in Andrews, N.C., Hogan traveled 40 miles to where the first radio station opened in 1957.
What began as an internship turned into a full-time position.
Hogan swept the radio station and helped set up equipment as an intern before someone let him do a little bit of air work with public service announcements.
“They put me right on the air,” he said. “I didn’t sweep floors very long.”
Hogan has spent time in Western North Carolina, Asheville and Johnson City throughout his 57-year career.
“Most people move a little bit in their careers,” he said, which is good because it provides an opportunity to learn. “Every station is a little different. You learn from place to place about the business.”
When he first started working at radio stations, he said, he learned all kinds of different radio formats.
“You don’t just play one kind of music,” Hogan explained, recalling playing country music, big band music and rock and roll, all for a few hours in the same broadcast. “You got a lot of different exposure to a lot of different types of music and formats.”
That exposure helped him adapt to any kind of format needed at the radio stations.
“I have enjoyed every format that I have worked. Radio is a communications business,” he said. “You are communicating in a different way.”
The people he has met over the years have been Hogan’s favorite part of his career. He said he enjoyed interviewing on the air such people as Bob Hope and Johnny Cash.
“That’s a highlight,” Hogan said. “The biggest thrill you get is making contact with everyday people that tell you they listen and enjoy something you say. The feedback you get from the audience that is the most important thing about the business.”
He spent about 50 years of his 57 year career being a DJ, playing every kind of music you could imagine, before transitioning to talk radio. Hogan said in the 1980s, FM radio became popular, which in turn made AM stations struggle because the music quality was not as good.
In 2000, he returned to the Tri-Cities area, and eventually began hosting the morning show with Carl Swann on WJCW AM 910.
Hogan said the last few years, the morning show with Dave & Carl has interviewed people who are in the news and passionate about whatever it is they do.
“We hear about somebody who is in the news or a story about a product we want to learn more about and we invite the person on the radio and talk to them,” he explained. “It’s a lot of fun.”
Although Hogan does not want to retire, time has caught up with him.
At the end of August, Hogan will enjoy partaking in family-type activities with his grandchildren.
He said he and his wife will be relocating to Northern West Carolina to be closer to family.
A dream of his, which he will have more time doing now that he is retiring, is to visit as many baseball parks as he can.
“I am a big baseball fan,” Hogan said.
His extra time will also allow him to do more fishing without a deadline of returning home for work.
“I love to fish,” Hogan said. It will be nice, he explained, to be able to stay longer if the fish are biting.