Houston County Courier - Local News
Stories Added - December 2008
Copyright 2008 - Polk County Publishing Company
Tumbleweed Smith Blows into Crockett
Houston County Courier - December 2008
By Sharron Randall
Thursday morning, Dec. 18, listener's heard the voice of Bob Lewis also known as Tumbleweed Smith broadcast over the airwaves. He was advertising his favorite Top 40 stories from The Sound of Texas, 1969-2009.
Clayton and Ruenett Starr of Crockett were one of the firsts to appear at the radio station to take advantage of his offer: For the price of $15, he would autograph the CD. He'd even sign Zsa Zsa Gabor's name if you wanted him to according to announcer Lonnie Hunt.
Once the message got out and a line formed, the broadcasting legend appealed to his wife Susan to "Take care of this money!"
Tumbleweed Smith started the series on Aug. 1, 1969 with his very first interview in Big Spring with Jon Voight, the movie actor who played in the Oscar winning film of Midnight Cowboy. Smith also interviewed Voight for the 10,000th broadcast of The Sound of Texas on Feb. 7.
Texas Governor Rick Perry said in a July 8 statement to The Rotarian, "Tumbleweed Smith is a real Texas treasure, whose body of work is like a time capsule of the story of Texas over roughly the last 40 years.
"Personalities like his are what make our great state unique and entertaining."
Traveling thousands of miles a year down country roads and to places not even found on a map, Tumbleweed always seems to find the most fascinating and interesting people to record their oral history, tell their stories, and bring them into the homes and hearts of readers and listeners of his syndicated weekly newspaper column and radio broadcast.
Tumbleweed Smith has actually interviewed several residents from Houston County; however, none of them are included in the new CD.
He offers advice to aspiring journalists on How to Tell a Great Story. He said, "You definitely need to get in the who, what, when, where, why and how. Define your characters well and have a strong opening to get the audience's attention." He said that he didn't use many adjectives because the stage can be set in a very few, well-chosen words."
His advice: First, edit yourself: excise unnecessary material. "Those bare bones are going to carry you through. People won't get a chance to get bored." Second, build suspense: "Keep the surprise element alive by not giving away your story too early in the delivery," and Third, practice: "Try out your story with family and friends first. Memorization gives you confidence."
For more on Tumbleweed Smith go to www.tumbleweed smith.com.