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Swap, Buy or Sell

Tommy Palmer hosts radio show on Herald Web site

Swap, Buy or Sell

Swap, Buy or Sell

Tommy Palmer hosts the show 'Swap, Bu...


      For more than 40 years, it was a Statesboro institution. People huddled near their radios in the early afternoon, waiting for the familiar music that preceded the popular radio program, "Swap, Buy and Sell," where anyone could call in with things they wanted to buy, sell or trade.
       Now, it's back. The Statesboro Herald has brought "Swap, Buy and Sell" back to life through its Web site, www.statesboroherald.com.
       The title is different by one word. "Swap, Buy or Sell" works just like it did in the past, only better because it can be heard online any time. If you miss the show live, it's no problem. Users can either visit the Statesboro Herald Web site and click on the "BoroLive" tab or go directly to the site at borolive.com.
       The program airs live at noon on weekdays, and callers are put on the air when they dial 212-LIVE (5483) to hawk their wares.
       It's live, just like it was for so many years, from 1958 to 2005.
       Don McDougald, who owned WWNS radio station until 1975, started Swap, Buy and Sell in 1958. Speaking from his current home in Montreat, N.C., McDougald said he was glad to hear the classic radio program is now back to life.
       "I was surprised, gladdened, and thought it very interesting it was resurrected," he said. "It was the most popular thing we had on the air. It brought a lot of people together, and a lot of funny things happened at times."
       For instance, there was a lady who lived in the Sugar Hill community off West Jones Avenue who called once looking for someone.
       "She said 'Looka here, is anybody knows where (the man's name) is? He promised to bring us some firewood out here to Sugar Hill and we're about to freeze to death,'" he said, laughing at the memory.
       "It was not supposed to be funny but every now and then somebody would say something that was funny," McDougald said.
       Tommy Palmer, who takes the Swap, Buy or Sell calls today, is not new to the program; he worked at WWNS doing the daily radio show in 1970-71 and 1979-81.
       The experience was unique and he is ecstatic to be involved in the new Statesboro Herald Swap, Buy or Sell, he said.
       "You never forget that," he said of the classic radio show that was a Statesboro staple for so long.
       It wasn't as easy for a radio personality to handle the show back before technology, he said. "Back then it was live, no delay, and there was no telling what people would say on the air."
       The person taking calls would have to juggle the phone, microphone and switchboard. Some would attach the telephone to the microphone with a rubber band, but local radio personality Ray Classens hung the phone cord around his neck and spoke into the phone that way, he said.
       Palmer recalled a joke radio news reporter Ray Shader pulled on Classens once. Shader called in to the Swap, Buy or Sell show and offered something for sale - then gave an eight-digit telephone number. Classens kept telling him he had one too many numbers, but Shader continued giving him eight digits, Palmer said.
       Another lady was a regular caller and found a way to bypass the strict rule that no one could sell or rent real estate on Swap, Buy and Sell. She offered something for sale and then said it could be seen at the "apartment she had for rent," he said.
       "It really got humorous at times," he said. "The show was so relaxed, people who called the show forgot they were on the radio."    Another thing people did was try to call the show while listening to the radio at the same time, likely to hear themselves on the air.  Those operating the radio show often had to ask callers to turn their radios off or down to avoid the squealing that occurred when the caller was too close to their radio.
       Buddy Horne was one of the radio personalities who spent a great deal of time doing the show, starting in 1986 and leaving "a few years ago," he said. He recalled the show being a part of area citizens' lives, and how it was sponsored for many years by Minkovitz Department Store, which was located at the corner of West and South Main streets.
       "It was popular for a good many years," he said.
      Other radio personalities who enjoyed conducting the show were the late Wendell McGlamery and Nate Hirsch, Palmer said.
       "It was live radio at its best," he said. "The show has been just a pure staple with local citizens. Live radio was a ball."
       "It was an immediate hit," McDougald said. "We just kept it on" because people liked it.
       The new Swap, Buy or Sell show is held weekdays at noon, but if callers cannot dial in at that time, they can call the Statesboro Herald Classifieds department (489-9455) between 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. weekdays to place their ad, which will be read live on the daily show. This unique feature allows people to hear your ad at any time by accessing the web sites.
       There is a special "Swap, Buy or Sell" section in the Statesboro Herald classified ads section, as well.

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