Sometime during Doug's long bout in bed with the bad ankle, his cousin came around with a punchboard, one of those now-illegal cards from which you could punch numbered chances at prizes...The prize Doug won was a guitar, worth, in those days, about three dollars. Naturally, he began to master it.
By the time he was 16, Doug had also learned to play the bass fiddle. He and his sister joined a "country" vaudeville act travelling through Tennessee...After high school Doug joined up with the Grand Ole Opry. "There wasn't much money in this, at the time...but I got to play with many big stars, such as Bill Monroe, Uncle Dave Macon, Minnie Pearl, Roy Acuff, and many others."
It was during this time that Doug got exposed to radio announcing at WKPT in Kingsport in 1941. After serving in the Navy's War Orientation Office, Doug went to High Point College and then to Northwestern University. Then, he returned to Tennessee and got a job at Nashville's WSIX. In 1952, Doug joined WBT and WBTV. Doug also was one of the first announcers to interview Grand Ole Opry stars behind the stage at the Opry. He also hosted and MC'ed the Grand Ole Opry shows as they came through Charlotte.
Mr. Mayes filled in many times for the WBT Briarhoppers during the years.
After being named to a Hall of Fame or two, Doug still enjoys getting out his guitar and bass and play with whoever is around. We are really proud to have Doug in the Briarhopper family!
The photo is from Tom Briarhopper's files. Thanks to David Eades for 2002 WBT book that contained the 1968 press release.
To read about Doug's Country Radio Hall of Fame induction, go to http://www.crb.org/hof/hofinductees/2002/dougmayes.shtml .