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Remember When' remembers The Ole Clockwinder' on morning radio

By Staff
special to The Star
March 24, 2004
More than a half-century ago, "The Ol' Clockwinder" was ushered in on early morning radio and kept his early risers abreast of the time between the great music he was playing. His "The ol' clock on the wall" time reference became so popular that he finally became known as "The Ol' Clockwinder."
Cicero Columbus Ferrill Jr., was his legal name, but everyone just called Cicero! He started in 1952, making his debut on WMOX radio, then broadcasting on the old 1240 KC.
Pioneer radio executive Eddie Holladay said, "I was commercial manger of WMOX then, and my friend, Joseph W. Carson, was station manager." Holladay and Carson purchased the old WTOK Radio in 1957 and changed its call letters to WOKK.
Holladay said, "Cicero came on board with us at our new station, and we had a good relationship with Cicero for over 35 years."
A memorial tribute and a pioneer radio salute will be aired on Carl Fitzgerald's "Remember When" on AM 670 WYLS Friday from 10:05 a.m.-1 p.m., according to WYLS station manager Tim Craddock.
He said a number of historical radio stories will be shared on WYLS this year, honoring the 75th anniversary of radio in Meridian
Fitzgerald, producer-host of "Remember When," said, "We taped a classic interview with Cicero in 1987, and I am blessed to have this great interview in our archives as we honor this radio pioneer and our good friend."
Fitzgerald said, "Cicero told me that he was born in 1909 at 24th Avenue and 11th Street in Meridian." In that 1987 interview, "I learned that Cicero was born in 1909 and when I told him that the U.S. copyright law originated that same year, he said I'm gettin' old.'"
A number of guests are expected to appear on Friday's program.
Cicero Ferrill Jr. died on Nov. 25, 1991, at age 82.