Hall Of Famer Les Acree Passes
August 27, 2014 at 3:56 AM (PT)
ALL ACCESS extends sympathies to friends and family of longtime programmer and COUNTRY RADIO HALL OF FAME member LES ACREE, who passed away YESTERDAY (8/26) after suffering a stroke on SUNDAY (8/24). He was 72.
ACREE’s son, RYAN posted on the “FRIENDS OF LES ACREE” FACEBOOK page late TUESDAY, “At 4:08pm, LES ACREE passed with close family by his side in peace. GOD Bless.”
ACREE had a massive stroke in 2007 (NET NEWS 04/16/07) that disabled his speech and motor functions. He was recently moved to a care facility in NASHVILLE.
WIVK/KNOXVILLE, WKDF/NASHVILLE, WNOE/NEW ORLEANS, KRMD/SHREVEPORT and WGKX/MEMPHIS are among the many stops in ACREE’s radio career. In addition to his 2007 COUNTRY RADIO HALL OF FAME induction, ACREE was honored by the TENNESSEE RADIO HALL OF FAME 2013.
ALL ACCESS spoke with some longtime friends of ACREE, who shared their memories.
Longtime promo executive and former radio co-worker of ACREE, DALE TURNER:
“LES ACREE and I were brothers in broadcasting. Everyone deserves to have someone in life who believes in them and their talents and LES was that guy for me. He was a teacher, mentor and friend. Had LES not been in BOB YOUNG's office at WMC when my air check arrived, I never would have made it to NASHVILLE to work for him at WKDA. And without that opportunity, I would never have developed the friendships and relationships on Music Row that led me to record promotion at RCA.
When LES returned to MEMPHIS to be Program Director at WMC and I got the chance to program WKDA, BOBBY DENTON was the PD at WIVK. The record guys used to call us the 'TENNESSEE Mafia' because if the three of us got behind a song and artist, it was a powerful support force for that project.
My life has been richly blessed because of LES ACREE. I love the guy, quirks and all. I just know he will be grabbing a grilled cheese between rounds of golf in the heavens above!”
TOBY YOUNG, whose on-air character was AUNT ELOISE at several of ACREE’s programming stops:
"LES was a friend ,a pal, a hero, a mentor but most of all, LES , words will never ever be able to say how I feel. When others did not see or think I could be a success in radio, LES gave me my chance. He changed my life in 1979. In the 1980s he created a super bowl of talent and he drafted the best: EDDIE EDWARDS, DALE TURNER, DALE MITCHELL, CHRIS ANGLE, ROBIN SCOTT, JAY PHILLIPS, JACKIE, PAULA HOOPER, CAPTAIN PAT and many more. God bless you LES, You are a better man than I."
Services are pending.