"Pistol Pete" Miller, a popular country music DJ at WUBE-FM, WYGY-FM, WNKR-FM and WNKN-FM, died at his Fairfax home Saturday. He was 59.
Born Pete J. Miller in Fargo, N.D., he worked at stations in North Dakota and Colorado before coming to Cincinnati about 25 years ago, says Jeff Ziesmann, owner of "Classic Country" WNKR-FM (106.7) in Dry Ridge, Ky., and WNKN-FM (105.9 ) in Middletown, Ohio.
"Pete was a relaxed, easy-going gentleman who did a fantastic job for us. He will be greatly missed by us all," Ziesmann says.
Miller was hired by Ziesmann two years ago to host 7-10 p.m. when he was let go from Hubbard Radio after 22-1/2 years on WUBE-FM (B105) and its sister "Wolf" station, WYGY-FM.
"This seems like the perfect place to land. The music just resonates. It's really cool to be playing so many of the songs again that made country so huge," Miller told me.
Ernie Brown, who worked with Miller at WNKN-FM and WYGY-FM, called him "a kind man with a giving heart. I don't think he knew the meaning of 'no.' He loved to cook and loved NASCAR."
"Pete was just one of the really, really good ones. He always had a kind word to say or something funny to share. He was one of my favorite people to see every day at the radio station. This is so sad," says Brian Douglas, who worked down the hall at Hubbard's WKRQ-FM for years before pursuing a photography career in Atlanta.
Bill Whyte, who did two stints at B105, recalls how considerate Miller was to him and the rest of the staff.
"When I arrived the second time, Pete pulled me into a small studio for a private conversation where he opened up his heart and told me how happy he was that I was back and why he knew it was a good thing for the radio station. I was just so impressed at how nice and heartfelt that was. I've never forgotten it," says Whyte, now a Nashville songwriter and performer.
"I can't imagine there was anyone that knew Pete or heard him on air that didn't like him," White says. "What I loved about Pete was the fact that I never saw him in a bad mood. He laughed easily ... and had a great laugh. Listeners gravitated towards him at any remote broadcast he was doing. He was great representative for the radio station. There was never a time I didn't feel better after just talking to him."
Miller often teased Whyte about his bland diet. If Whyte posted a picture eating a Skyline Chili three-way, "Pete would ask, 'You sure that ain't too spicy?' Made me laugh every time. What a good, good man. May his good spirit live forever."