The heel wrestlers had a nickname for Dave Brown. They called the smooth-talking WMC meteorologist/wrestling announcer the "Weather Clown." It was supposed to be an insult, but it's also a great description of the beloved Memphis broadcaster who retired from WMC-TV in August after more than 50 years on the air. Brown was never a joker and he took his job as a weatherman seriously. But, like all good clowns, he possessed a deeply silly side too, as well as the ability to comfort us and move us to tears.
Brown's roots are in radio, but in 1968 he migrated to television, becoming the dapper host of WHBQ-TV's mid-day movie show, Dialing for Dollars. In the '70s, he joined the weather team at WMC-TV. Through it all — or most of it, anyway — there was wrestling. It didn't matter if pencil-necked performance comic Andy Kaufman fought women or wild man wrestler Terry Funk smashed his own head bloody with a metal folding chair. In the midst of the chaos, Brown remained as crisp and unrumpled as his suits. He was a similarly calm and calming presence when interrupting our favorite sitcoms to report on severe weather events like the 1994 ice storm or the devastating straight-line wind known as Hurricane Elvis. Brown, a tireless and convincing advocate for sober driving and better DUI laws, shared his grief just as calmly when his daughter and granddaughter were killed by a drunk driver in 1997.
Funny men are a dime a dozen. We trust our clowns with so much more than laughter, and Dave Brown the Weather Clown will be sorely missed. WMC did name him Meteorologist Emeritus, though, which hopefully means he'll still be there when severe weather threatens the Mid-South. Or when Bill Dundee threatens Jerry Lawler. — Chris Davis
Best Radio Station
1. WEVL-FM 89.9 Volunteer Supported Radio
2. WKNO-FM 91.1 NPR — tie — WXMX-FM 98.1, the Max
3. WMFS-FM 92.9 ESPN
The airwaves are alive with this volunteer-run radio station. Spinning tunes from country to hip-hop, and jazz to rockabilly, there's something for all of us at WEVL.
Best Radio Show
★ BOM 1. The Drake Hall Show, 98.1 the Max
2. Ron Olson and Michelle Lewis, FM 100
3. CJ and Liz, Q 107.5
Best Radio Personality
1. Drake Hall, 98.1 the Max
2. Ron Olson, FM 100
3. Chris Vernon, 92.9 ESPN
Drake Hall's personality is larger than life, and there's only one radio station that can contain him. From politics to literature, Drake keeps us going on our daily commute.
Best Sports Radio Show
1. The Chris Vernon Show, 92.9 ESPN
2. The Geoff Calkins Show, 92.9 ESPN
3. The Gary Parrish Show, 92.9 ESPN
Everybody needs their daily fix of Grizzlies and Tigers, and everyone needs a break from the boss in the middle of the day. Chris Vernon scratches both those itches.
Best Newspaper Columnist
1. Geoff Calkins, The Commercial Appeal
2. Wendi C. Thomas, The Memphis Flyer
3. Bruce VanWyngarden, The Memphis Flyer
Geoff Calkins, a cup of coffee, and some of the keenest insight on the Grizzlies, Tigers, and Redbirds the city has to offer — no better way to start the day.
- Jarvis Greer, Dave Brown, Joe Birch
Best TV Weatherperson
1. Dave Brown, WMC-TV Channel 5
2. Ron Childers, WMC-TV Channel 5
3. Joey Sulipeck, WHBQ-TV Fox 13
Best TV Sportscaster
★ BOM 1. Jarvis Greer, WMC-TV Channel 5
2. Carrie Anderson, WMC-TV Channel 5 — tie — Glenn Carver, WREG-TV Channel 3
3. Matt Stark, WHBQ-TV Fox 13
Best TV News Anchor
★ BOM 1. Joe Birch, WMC-TV Channel 5
2. Claudia Barr, WREG-TV Channel 3
3. Adam Hammond, WREG-TV Channel 3 — tie — Mearl Purvis, WHBQ-TV Fox 13
WMC-TV5 has these categories sewn up with the trifecta of newsgathering and dissemination.
I Love Memphis, @ilovememphis
Tony Allen, @aa000G9
With only 140 characters at a time, these three talented tweeters have climbed their way to the top of the social media mountain.
Say "cheese," and, most likely, it will be Choose901 on the other side of the camera phone, capturing your smile and Memphis mojo to spread to the world.
It appears that this Internet is more than just a fad, and these folks have mastered how to use it to get out the best our city has to offer.
Look, we all love Memphis for our own reasons. Now, it's up to us to make the rest of the planet love us just as much, and no one is doing it better via the World Wide Web.
The Best of Memphis 2015
- Best of Memphis 2015: Introduction
- Best of Memphis 2015: Food & Drink
- Best of Memphis 2015: Nightlife
- Best of Memphis 2015: Arts & Entertainment
- Best of Memphis 2015: Media
- Best of Memphis 2015: Goods & Services
- Best of Memphis 2015: Staff Picks