Pistol Pete Miller

Courtesy Pete Miller

"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.

Courtesy WUBE-FM

Fifty years ago today, WUBE made the risky decision to drop Top 40 rock 'n' roll hits and play what was called "country western music."

The gamble sure paid off, despite low ratings in the 1970s before the country music boom of the 1980s fueled by Garth Brooks, Shania Twain and other stars. For most of the past 25 years, the station has been in the top five here.

Courtesy Pete Miller

"Pistol Pete" Miller and "Jimmy the Weasel" Salzarulo, who lost their radio jobs to automation in December, have returned to the airwaves on Classic Country WNKN-FM (105.9 in Middletown, Oh.) and WNKR-FM (106.7 in Dry Ridge, Ky.).

"Man, am I happy to be back on the air," says Miller, let go by Hubbard's country "Wolf" on Dec. 4 after 22-1/2 years on WUBE-FM (B-105) and its "Wolf" sister station.