During his time at KBPI, Stephen Meade, better known to the station's listeners as Willie B., has generated plenty of headlines -- not all of them positive. Remember the controversy over a Willie-led "mudfest" near Nederland -- a publicity nightmare chronicled in the October 2000 Message column "KPBI Wrecks the Rockies"? In recent years, though, Willie defied expectations by joining the executive ranks of the station -- and staying out of trouble. Read about his rise in "'B' Is For 'Boss,'" from June 2005.
Despite his inevitable mellowing, Willie still feels a need for speed -- and now Speed feels a need for him. Speed TV, a network devoted to auto racing of every description, has announced that Willie will be a regular castmember on PINKS All-Out, a drag-racing reality series that starts shooting its third season next month in Alabama -- at a race track, not private property. Good move, Willie.
Check out the press release about Willie's latest big adventure below. -- Michael Roberts
For Immediate Release Thursday, Oct. 23, 2008
DENVER RADIO PERSONALITY 'WILLIE B' JOINS SPEED'S PINKS ALL OUT TECHNICAL CREW
NEW SEASON OF PINKS ALL OUT LIVE PRODUCTION COMMENCES at MONTGOMERY (ALA.) MOTORSPORTS PARK on NOV. 15
SPEED, the definitive network for motor sports and automotive lifestyle programming, today announced the addition of top radio personality 'Willie B,' to the cast of its popular drag racing lifestyle series, PINKS All Out.
Willie B is a deejay for Denver, Colo., rock station 106.7 KBPI, and host of one of the highest-rated morning shows in the market. He's also a professed drag racing nut, having competed since he was 15 years old. Willie built a 1968 Dodge Super Bee to compete in the recent PINKS All Out season two episode at Bandimere Speedway, just outside Denver, this past August.
Willie joins the show as a regular cast member for season three, which starts shooting at Montgomery (Ala.) Motorsports Park on Nov. 15. This episode will open the SPEED summer season when it premieres next July.
"How does someone effectively put together a quote that properly describes what a dream come true this is for me?" Willie noted. "How many people get a chance to actually appear, or be a part of, literally, their favorite television show? I get a chance to be on a show, doing what I love to do with drag racing, hang out with really cool people, see everyone's sick cars and talk to the show's awesome fans.
"For me, it's like winning the 'gear head' lottery," he continued. "I can't wait to start."
Willie B has two passions - cars and radio. He grew up in Kentucky spending time with his father at the local drag strip. At the age of 15, after mowing lawns and saving his money, he purchased a 1971 Dodge Charger. He quickly became quite attached. After a few years of frustration, he stopped racing and pursued a career in radio.
While still in Kentucky, Willie began to form a career in his other passion, radio, at the youthful age of 16 years - beginning at historic, yet modest WFMI. Eventually, he found his way to Denver where he built his career at KBPI, and his personality appeal has allowed him to build a large following with his popular morning show. But the siren of car enthusiasm once again called his name.
"Got out of it for a while because I was frustrated with it, but 15 years ago I was driving down a little road here in Denver, and saw my dream car, a 1970 Dodge Charger," Willie said. "I went up and asked him (the owner) what he wanted for the car. He said $300 bucks. I got that car and within three to four months, I was back into racing."
ABOUT THE SHOW
PINKS All Out, hosted by executive producer Rich Christensen, creator of PINKS, is one of the network's most popular lifestyle series. The show, produced by Pullin Television out of Los Angeles, invites local racers to run their cars 'All Out' during two time trial sessions, while show technical advisors select the closest grouping of elapsed times to make up the PINKS All Out 16. Any racer who tries to guess the elapsed time or 'sandbag' (running slower to fit within a certain elapsed time category in order to gain an advantage) will be disqualified from the competition.
PINKS All Out, called the 'Woodstock of Drag Racing,' by Summit Motorsports Park President Bill Bader, Jr., is an entire day's worth of on-track racing and off-track activities, culminating at dusk in the running of the final 16. As part of the midway, the SPEED Mobile Theatre will be on hand providing comfortable entertainment and celebrity autograph sessions, while on track fun includes a variety of professional and amateur drag racing equipment.
For those unable to attend, www.SPEEDtv.com will be providing a live video feed from the track on Saturday.
SPEED is the nation's first and foremost cable television network dedicated to motor sports and the passion for everything automotive. From racing to restoration, motorcycles to movies, SPEED delivers quality programming from the track to the garage. Now available in more than 78 million homes in North America, SPEED is among the fastest-growing sports cable networks in the country and, the home to NASCAR on SPEED and an industry leader in interactive TV, video on demand, mobile initiatives and broadband services. For more information, please visit SPEEDtv.com, the online motor sports authority.