Exploring Alabama - Sanders

An Auburn radio personality recently passed a milestone in his career….50 years in the business. Bob sanders started in the radio business back on April 1st 1955 . He was 24 and fresh out of the Army - and starting a new job.

And here's what makes this an unusual story…he's still in the business and still at the same station a half-century later! "I was looking for work," Sanders said. "This just came along and one thing led to the next."

On the occasion of his 50th anniversary at WAUD, the management and his friends on staff threw a party...and a room full of folks showed up. They were friends and contemporaries – folks he talks about on the radio on a regular basis. "I don't know what the fuss is all about," Sanders said." They kept it a secret and it really was a surprise…they did a good job."

Sanders is extremely popular with his fans. In fact, when the station was sold to a new owner, there was a rumor that Sanders was going to be fired. It just so happened that Sanders took a couple of vacation days about that time. Fans, thinking he had been taken off the air flooded the switchboard at the station. They got so many calls, the manager called Sanders in a day early just to prove that he had NOT been fired and to stop the calls.

As you might expect, sanders, who turns 74 next week, is a morning person. He gets up about 4 a.m. and heads in to the station to prepare for his show that runs from 5 a.m. to 10 a.m. Once he's off the air, he gets out in the business community to sell commercials that run on his show. He reads many of them live adding sound effects like cowbells and bicycle horns.

Sanders says the one thing that keeps him going is the music. He plays a really eclectic mix of music from bluegrass to Broadway, from big band to the classics…but no rock 'n roll. "We have one of the biggest music collections…maybe in the South," said Sanders.

So now, after celebrating 50 years at the same radio station was there anything special planned? Nope, the next day after his anniversary show, he was back at the station starting his second half-century on the radio.

And, you can bet he's just as enthusiastic now as he was back in 1955!