Towards the middle of the ’70’s, listeners to WCIN heard Joe Suede, Bob Lewis, an early Lincoln Ware, Jimmy Wonder the Ball of Thunder and one of the smoothest voices to sit behind the microphone. That voice belonged to Virgil Nixon. Virgil brought a certain vocal swag to the airwaves that distinguished him from all the other jocks. He personified “cool” and all who knew him outside of the radio station can attest to the fact that “cool” was just a way of life for Virgil Nixon.
I wasn’t working for WCIN in the early days of Virgils career, but in talking with him later, I found that we were just a click away from each other. He was a graduate of Woodward High School, like myself, but I never knew that…maybe it was that upper classmen not having too much to do with the other classmen thing. I found that a majority of the friends I had/have in growing up in the Kennedy Heights are friends that we shared. One of the jaw dropping facts for me was his telling me that he had worked for the same country and western station in Fairfield where I got my first radio job…WCNW which is located outside the back door of Jungle Jims.
I can say that when I finally met Virgil, it was as if we were long time friends and our families grew to become very close. Outside of the radio persona, I found Virgil to be a straight forward, right to the point type of guy who would gladly tell you the truth if you could handle it.
There was a period of time in WCINs history when I had the opportunity to call upon some voices from the past to come back and breath some life into the community. Virgil Nixon was one of those voices. It was then I had the opportunity to experience what a true professional could do with the influence afforded him by the power of the microphone. His command of the spoken word as well as the placement of words of wisdom, made his show one that commanded your attention and respect because you knew your ears and spirit were in good hands.
Another personal influence that Virgil Nixon had on me was the way he treated his family. He had unconditional love for his lovely wife, Linda and his daughter, Bethanny(with two “n’s”). I watched as he always spent lots of time with his daughter and I would always tease him about the fact they were always going somewhere to eat. Well, seeing how their relationship was such a beautiful one..I developed the habit of taking my daughter on a father/daughter date every month and it has solidified our relationship..because she now knows what to expect from a suitor.
I can still hear his smooth delivery on those saturday mornings as he played the music that will last forever..leaving wonderful memories to all who are fortunate enough to have grown up when that music was new.
I join a multitude of friends who knew Virgil Nixon either personally or from his presence on the radio who will forever miss that voice..that “cool”…that one of a kind person who’s smile brought a smile to your face….who’s laugh, which ended up in shoulder shrugging belly laughs…caused the tears to run down your face. He was truly one of a kind.
Another, and perhaps the most important, thing that I envied about Virgil Nixon was the way he related to God. Just a couple of weeks prior to his transition I had the opportunity to sit with him in his comfortable getaway space while the wives did their thing. We had a deep man to man conversation about radio mostly, but life in general. Virgil was a very humorous guy whose delivery of some of the most mundane things were so funny and matter of factly stated that it would take you a minute to grasp the depth of what he was saying. When he spoke of things that he was faced with and decisions that he had to make…he would just “talk to God”. It wasn’t laced with the King James Version of a prayer or like a deacon on Sunday Morning…..it was as if he was talking to a close friend. I mentioned that to him during our time together and his response was so very Virgil..he said “well, God is my friend and I just ask him what He wants me to do with this situation you put me in.” That, to me, was an epiphany and opened my eyes to seek a deeper, yet simpler way to deal with my spirituality.
The world has lost a true iconic figure in Virgil Nixon, but the legacy he has left us shall continue through those who knew him.
God is resting his soul….
|Gone..but never forgotten!|