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Country music DJ Larry B retiring after 50+ years

Morning DJ Larry B stands next to the WNKR-FM van at the Dry Ridge station.
Courtesy WNKN-FM
Morning DJ Larry B stands next to the WNKR-FM van at the Dry Ridge station.

Larry B was heard on B-105, The Beaver and The Rebel country stations before joining Classic Country WNKR-FM in 1998.

He played today's Classic County songs when they were hits years ago on three Tri-State stations – B105, The Beaver and The Rebel.

For the past 23 years, DJ Larry B has played some of those same tunes on Classic Country WNKR-FM (106.7) in Dry Ridge. He's also recorded songs in Nashville, and appeared on Hee Haw and other TV shows.

After 50 years, he's hanging up his headphones and retiring as the morning voice for WNKR-FM and sister station WNKN-FM (105.9) in Middletown on Friday, Oct. 29.

"Larry has indicated to me that he wants to get on with the next phase of his life sooner rather than later and that he would like his departure to be low-key" says Jeff Ziesmann, who owns and operates the stations as Grant County Broadcasters. "We will, of course, honor his wishes."

Larry B – he never used his last name on the air – went into radio after serving four years in the U.S. Air Force and "working on the Apollo Moon Project," according to his WNKR/WNKN bio.

He was heard on WUBE in the 1970s, and pictured with the staff for the 10th anniversary in 1979 that I posted in my "Happy 50th Birthday To Country Music WUBE" blog on April 1, 2019.

Next he worked for the country "Beaver" on Hamilton's WBVR-FM (now 96 ROCK), and did afternoons for "The Rebel" on Middletown's WPFB-FM, which wasbought by Ziesmann in 2017 to simulcast music with his Dry Ridge station.Larry has hosted Classic Country mornings since 1998, four years before Ziesmann arrived.

Not only has he played hits by Merle Haggard, Johnny Cash and George Jones, he also met and interviewed them over his career – along with country superstars Loretta Lynn, Conway Twitty, Buck Owens, Roy Clark, Kenny Price, Sara Evans and many more.

And it wasn't uncommon to see Larry "pickin’ and singin’ with many local bands in bars, clubs and fairs" around town, his station bio says. He's also recorded songs in Nashville, Cincinnati, Los Angeles and Minneapolis.

"Larry was instrumental in helping me to establish Classic Country radio, first on WNKR and then on WNKN," said Ziesmann in a staff memo Monday. "I will always be grateful for his help and for his dependable service to our audience, our clients and our company.

"Please join me in wishing him and Judy all the best for a long and happy retirement and please also join me in congratulating him on a tremendous career and a job well done!" Ziesmann wrote.

John Kiesewetter, who has covered television and media for more than 35 years, has been working for Cincinnati Public Radio and WVXU-FM since 2015.