Jimmy Aiken, who hosted KCLE’s Trade Fair for 40 years, will be inducted into the Texas Radio Hall of Fame in November.
“I was extremely excited, and of course honored, too,” he said when he found out. “It’s a big deal to even be nominated, but to be inducted out of all of the broadcasters in texas — it’s an honor.”
Aiken began his career in radio broadcasting while he was a student at the University of Texas at Austin.
“I started out in radio when I was going to school at KGTN in Georgetown,” he said. “After I graduated it wasn’t too long before I came to Cleburne. I found the job through a Texas Association of Broadcasters ad. I never heard of Cleburne, but I thought, ‘Well I’ll go check it out.’”
The rest, Aiken said, was history.
“I was there for over 40 years,” he said. “My favorite part is being on the air and the interaction with the community. I loved it when people would just drop by the radio station, some would just stop by to say hi and some would be on the radio with me.”
During his time with KCLE, Aiken hosted different types of shows.
“I’ve done all different kinds of jobs at the radio, from announcing news and all that,” he said. “But KCLE is known for trade fair and that was my favorite program. The interaction with all the different people who called in, it was kind of a family type thing. It was fun.”
In 2015, the radio station began to downsize and Aiken was let go. Soon after he brought Trade Fair back on the air at KPIR in Granbury.
“It’s been almost four years since I’ve been there,” he said. “I do Trade Fair from 10 a.m. to noon each day, same format we did in Cleburne. A lot of my callers are still from Cleburne and Johnson County. ”
Texas Radio Hall of Fame inductees are first nominated, and then chosen by voting members of the Texas Radio Hall of Fame.
“For several years they would have this in different cities around the state,” he said. “But now it is at a permanent location, the Texas Broadcast Museum in Kilgore.”
This year’s celebration is at noon Nov. 2 at the Texas Broadcast Museum, 416 E. Main St. in Kilgore.
Aiken joins 19 other radio broadcasters from across Texas who will also be inducted during the ceremony. The late George Marti of Cleburne was inducted into the Texas Radio Hall of Fame in 2002.
Fans can listen to Aiken’s Trade Fair on KPIR — 1420 AM — in Granbury.
“They can also listen to KPIR on the internet,” Aiken said.