Bobby Denton, 2014
DENTON, BOBBY - an iconic figure in Knoxville [TN] radio and the public address announcer at UT football games for 48 years, passed away April 9, 2014, at his home in Knoxville after a short bout with cancer. He was 73. Born in Clinton and a graduate of East High School, Denton got his start as a PA announcer at the Smoky Mountain Raceway in the 1950s when the regular was a no-show. He served as NASCAR announcer at Alabama's Talladega Speedway for 16 years. Denton worked at WSKT radio in South Knoxville for nine months until WIVK offered the young DJ a job in 1961. He spun rock-n-roll music until WIVK went country three years later. He went to Jacksonville, Fla., for 14 months before returning to WIVK. For the next 36 years, thanks to his relationship building and marketing ingenuity, Denton would catapult WIVK to one of the leading mid-market country radio stations in the country. As he worked his way up to VP and General Manager, Denton's strategy was to create a full-service radio station. Until 2001 and Citadel Broadcasting's buyout, WIVK won four Country Music Association Awards for Radio Station of the Year along with multiple other awards and accolades under Bobby's direction. Some of his achievements include membership in the Knoxville Advertising Federation Hall of Fame, the East HS Alumni Association Hall of Fame, Special Recognition in the Greater Knoxville Sports Hall of Fame and the UT Benefactor's Society. He received other community and professional awards too numerous to mention. WIVK was selected for induction into the Tennessee Radio Hall of Fame, an honor Denton was to accept May 3 in Nashville. Philanthropic by nature and beloved by many, Denton was known for his charm, charisma, cigars, quick wit and warm heart. An avid golfer, Denton was also a gifted negotiator and motivator with terrific leadership skills. The memorial service will be Monday April 14, 2014 at 7:00 pm at Cedar Springs Presbyterian Church, 9132 Kingston Pike. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the Bobby Denton Scholarship Fund, UT College of Communications and Information, 1345 Circle Park Dr., Suite 432, Development Office, Knoxville, TN 37996. The goal is to endow scholarships for broadcasting students. Call Patrick Powell (865-974-3211) or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Denton is survived by his wife of 15 years, Shannon Denton; sisters Carolyn Housley and Charlotte Denton Wise; nephews Ronnie Morton, Todd Morton and Monte Jones; nieces Monica Galloway, Cindy Sanders and Tonja Breaux. Predeceased by his parents, Alvin Jesse Denton and Hazel Luttrell Denton, and sisters Gwen Bridges and Toni Morton. Arrangements by Cremation Options, Inc.www.cremationoptionsinc.com.