Hickory is a community full of Doers and Makers seeking a well-rounded community. Doers and Makers don’t just talk, they act. Hickory has citizens and leaders making a difference and planning for the future, even in these challenging times. Doers and Makers are of all ages from various backgrounds and talents but all demonstrate an inspiring spirit that brightens the entire community.
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When anyone thinks of talk radio in Hickory, Hal Row would definitely be one of the first people to come to mind. With “First Talk with Hal Row” being on air at WHKY for twelve years, and the numerous annual appearances that Row makes throughout Hickory, Row is definitely a name, face, and voice, that is well known throughout Hickory.
Row was born in Roanoke, Virginia and has moved throughout the southeast with radio jobs throughout his life. He has done about every job there is in radio, from sweeping the floors to labeling CD’s to being a general manager. Row definitely has a passion for his career and has proven it over the years, as well as in his comments about his career. “I wake up and thank the Lord for being here,” said Row, when asked about his career. “I enjoyed radio. It is a good fit for me. I am doing what I’m supposed to be doing. I am blessed.”
As a child, Row won a 45 record and was on the radio station to claim the prize. He heard his voice on air and loved it. From there, he knew that he was destined to work in radio. He was a high school correspondent and did summer camp radio, while in his youth. In 1977, he moved to Hickory when his father came to work in the furniture industry. He attended Lenoir Rhyne College, now University, and majored in theater arts and speech. In 1979, Row began his career at WHKY and was the television news anchor. From there, he moved over to the radio station. For a brief time, Row worked in the furniture industry and even left the Hickory area, but his talents and abilities led him back to the communications field and Hickory.
When Row returned to Hickory, he and the decision makers at WHKY collaborated on a morning talk show, which came to be “First Talk with Hal Row,” which airs every Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. – 9 a.m. on WHKY 1290 AM. Row was looking for an established station where he could create a lasting career and they were looking for this type of show. That happened. Row said, “It was a fit.”
Row has been seen and heard at numerous events, as an emcee. He is very open to being asked to emcee or make an appearance at an event to honor others. He tries not to say no, if he can help it. “I like being asked and I enjoy the opportunity to give back,” said Row. Again, we see Row’s passion for what he does and this community by being so accessible in this way. Over the span of his career, Row has made a couple hundred appearances and emceed events. Row said of his appearances and emceeing experiences, “Each is unique and offers me opportunities. I have learned quite a bit from doing them. I am honored to be asked to participate in large meetings and gatherings, as well as smaller events to honor people.”
Not only is Row passionate about his career, but he also speaks about Hickory and the community in this same regard. “The community has been good to me and this station,” said Row. Row continued to show his support for his work and Hickory by saying, “I have been blessed with this job and the opportunities that have been afforded to me by my employer, the community, and those who serve the community. I am truly leading a blessed life.”