Parsons native Tom Wardle believes that country music isn’t just music, it’s a lifestyle.
Small wonder then that he would use the moniker djcowboy as his email address.
And it’s no surprise that Wardle would be a disc jockey, working to preserve and promote the contemporary western lifestyle and pure country music genres.
n early 2014, Wardle joined newly-established KTNK-AM Lompoc, California, where his shows are featured every week. Due in part to Tom’s contribution, KTNK was named 2014 Radio Station Of The Year by the AWA. A Sunday broadcast is carried on KWSP-FM www.thecowboy.org from 7 to 11 p.m.
His “Honky Tonks & Heartaches” show (also the name of his Facebook page) features only solid, pure, traditional country and honky-tonk. “This is the way country music was meant to sound,” Wardle said.
The broadcast features many independent artists who carry on the tradition of real country music as well as a country classics segment and ends with some pure country gospel. He plays music by Ray Price, Vern Gosdin, Bill Anderson, Little Jimmy Dickens, Leona Williams, Hank Locklin, Norma Jean, Ricky Van Shelton and Stonewall Jackson.
What makes a good DJ in any genre? Well, according to Wardle, “I really hardly do any talking other than historical data. I just focus on the music.”
Since 2009, he has been on the air with KSEY-FM Seymour, Texas, and KWSP-FM in Kerrville, Texas. He also served as a show host on Twangtown USA (internet broadcast), and owned and published the TopTrax Traditional Country Music Airplay Chart for four years. He has also worked as a radio promoter for independent artists.
Wardle was one of seven carriers for The Times Leader Evening Record, who won a trip to Disneyland, California, as part of a contest to sign up new subscribers in 1958. “That was my first and only trip to Disneyland,” he recalled. “Disney World wasn’t even on the map yet.”
He fondly remembers being a paperboy, noting that since department stores were only open late on Thursday nights, “the Wednesday papers carried all the circulars, and, boy, were they heavy.”