“Uncle Jack” Hill, a devoted lover of Jesus Christ; his wife, Jackie; his family; the history and business of radio; the beauty of the blues; and of course, his dependable motley crew at the J.K. Southerland Municipal Golf Course, has, too soon, left us.
Uncle Jack was a longtime follower of early rock and roll and legendary blues, and through his passion of radio, he was able to bring his two loves to tens of thousands of listeners with his decades of broadcasting.
Jack was a legend in the industry, spending many years of his radio career in the Memphis market in the ’50s and ’60s. He could tell you countless stories of his endeavors working for record labels and radio stations, and the many people he met and befriended along the way.
He never knew a stranger, and the warmth of his smile along with his comedic and his caring ways have left a mark on this world and on all of our hearts.
We were blessed to share a 26-year career with Jack here at White River Now. Even after his retirement, Jack would periodically stop in to visit everyone, always wearing a big smile and, usually, on his way to golf.
Many of you may remember his annual Christmas poem he would so graciously share on-air. Uncle Jack fancied himself a poet, and many times, he would write a poem of tribute and love in honor of a co-worker or friend.
He also enjoyed a longtime blues show on 93 KZLE, and until recent years, would host a “Christmas Blues” show every midnight on Christmas Eve on the radio station.
We will miss our Uncle Jack. His charisma, personability, and memorable stories will always resonate in our hearts.
There’s only so much personality and love that can be expressed in a memorial, we simply cannot put enough into words detailing what a gift it was to have known Jack.
Uncle Jack’s former co-worker and friend, Lisa Smith, put it this way with her own poetic ode in, as she says, ‘Uncle Jack style with a rhyme and smile’:
He was old school radio, and his Memphis stories were the best.
Uncle Jack, you’re finally at rest.
He didn’t see color — everyone was his sister or brother. He loved the blues like no other.
He led us all in prayer and loved to share his poems on the air.
He would wear bright shirts and socks and didn’t care.
His love and commitment for Jackie and Jesus ran deep.
That was a promise that man was proud to keep.
He would make your radio ads sound just right.
That man could golf morning, noon, and night.
Thank you for your passion and sense of fashion.
You will be missed, my friend.
In the words of Josh White, “My soul is gonna live with God.’
Remember Jack’s family and friends during this time of mourning.