Dave Young, longtime radio host at WIVK, passed away just after midnight Sunday morning after a long battle with cancer.
Young, a Scott County native, was well-known for his on-air talent and down home personality — plus his signature sign off — “Your Dave Young.”
One of his former coworkers said it was his compassion and connection to his audience that made him so special.
“His name on the air was ‘Your Dave Young,'” said Mike Hammond, former WIVK operations manager and current Knox County Criminal Court Clerk. “And I think that’s appropriate because he really felt like he gave back to the people of East Tennessee. And by saying ‘Your Dave Young’ it was a connotation from him I believe that he belonged to the folks.”
Young first came to Knoxville to work at the old WNOX-AM 990 in July of 1968. He soon moved to WKGN, where he hosted the popular Dave Young Morning Show in the mid ’70s. He then moved to WIVK, replacing the legendary Bobby Denton as the DJ of Afternoon Drive.
A veteran of the U.S. Army, Young was also the man behind WIVK’s now-beloved mascot, WIVICK the Frog, who was born under Young’s direction in the summer of 1978.
“We were sitting in a conference room talking about a possible mascot for the station,” Hammon recalled, “and Dave had a little drop he would play on the air that said ‘wivk wivk,’ and so he said ‘well, wivk wivk sounds like a frog I think our station mascot should be a frog’ and so that’s how wivk the frog came into being so to me that’s one of his legacies.”
Funeral arrangements are still being finalized. Dave Young was 65 years old.