Bill Jordan was the popular “morning man” at WRAL-FM (MIX-101.5) for more than two decades. He says he “was made to do mornings at WRAL-FM,” and his success over the years proved that statement true.
Jordan grew up in Newport News, VA and attended the University of Richmond before being terminally bitten by the radio bug. He got his first job at WSSV-AM in Petersburg and followed up with on-air stops in Roanoke, Norfolk, Charleston, SC and Durham. Then he got the call from the radio managers at Capitol Broadcasting and his long career with CBC was born.
Jordan walked through the doors at WRAL-FM on Nov. 14th, 1989 and began a career that would encompass seven different co-hosts, five program directors and three general managers.
His career at MIX was full of highlights: broadcasting from London, Paris, the Olympics in France and Universal Studios and Disneyworld in Orlando. Along the way he chatted with countless celebrities, among them Charlton Heston, Richard Petty, President Jimmy Carter, First Lady Michelle Obama, Kevin Costner, Mark Harmon, Marie Osmond and Jeff Foxworthy.
Jordan is probably best known to listeners for two things – his good natured “Birthday Call” segments and his tireless work at the helm of the annual MIX “Radiothons” for Duke Children’s Hospital.
Jordan anchored the WRAL-FM coverage through 19 radiothons, helping raise over $15 million and making it the biggest per capita radiothon on record anywhere. He credits those experiences as the most significant thing he’s ever been involved with professionally.
During his first ten years on radio in Raleigh Jordan also entertained listeners with daily birthday calls to unsuspecting recipients. In true “Candid Camera” style, Jordan would use the phone and radio to play good-natured gags on local citizens who most always laughed along with listeners once the truth came out. The birthday calls helped make Jordan one of the most popular broadcasters in the market.
As a staunch supporter of the military and veterans, Jordan flew on three “Flights of Honor” and says he was humbled to be in the presence of so many WWII veterans who truly represent our nation’s Greatest Generation.
Bill never shied away from first-hand experience, and during his career he shared some eye-opening experiences with every branch of the military.
Bill flew with the Navy Blue Angels and passed out only when the gravitational force reached 6 ½ “Gs.” He also spent three days “learning the ropes” with US Marines at Parris Island; and he flew on a refueling mission with the 916th Air Refueling Wing out of Seymour Johnson AFB.
Never one to leave out the G.I.s – Bill jumped out of a perfectly good airplane 2 ½ miles above the earth while strapped to one of the elite members of the Army Golden Knights Parachute Team, an experience he says he’ll never forget.
Jordan says he just tried to live out his life out on the radio, and the best compliment he could ever hear was for someone to say he was like their neighbor, brother or dad.
In honor of his long career and service to the community, Bill was awarded the Order of the Long Leaf Pine, North Carolina’s highest citizen honor.
Jordan retired from WRAL-FM July 31, 2013.