|3/28/2021 - A late West Virginia senator, legendary broadcaster and Fayette County native was remembered Friday on the floor of the state Senate following his death last year.|
With surviving members of state Senator Shirley Love’s family on hand, the state Senate unanimously passed a resolution, Senate Resolution 30, memorializing Love’s life which included decades in radio and television broadcasting.
“Mr. President, they don’t make them like Shirley Love anymore,” said Senate Minority Leader Stephen Baldwin (D-Greenbrier, 10).
“Shirley was a pillar of his community. He was a fixture in the Legislature. He was a golden voice in a golden era.”
Love, who served one term in the state House of Delegates and 14 years in the state Senate representing Fayette County, died in July 2020 at the age of 87.
By Bob Weaver
Legendary broadcaster and former state lawmaker, Shirley Love of Fayette County, died Friday at the age of 87.
During my high school years in the late 1950s, I managed to obtain a CB radio, erect an antenna on my high Hur Hill, very few people in WV on the air in West Virginia.
On my single-channel transceiver I could talk long distances, and one night I made contact with Shirley Love, who by then was a TV personality on WOAY-4 in Oak Hill.
Love explained to me he was doing a wrestling show, which we would watch in our village which had few TVs, the neighbors crowding into our small house to watch the action.
He started his career in radio.
Some years later I went to WOAY to meet him and have lunch, likely telling him that my broadcasting career, a dream of mine, that was short-lived. We talked about our old CB radio days.
I remember he told me that the broadcasting jobs did not pay well, which I had to learn for myself.
Love did the “Juke Box Review” for more than 20 years on radio. He was the voice of Oak Hill High School football and basketball games from 1954 until the early 1990’s.
Love was on the ground floor of the brand new technology. He hosted the West Virginia Bandstand with local high school students in the studio dancing and rating the top new music of the day. The show was a takeoff of Dick Clark’s American Bandstand.
He also hosted the Friday Night Barn Dance which featured local country and western musicians every Friday night and another show on Saturday afternoon called the West Virginia Jamboree which was very similar.
Most West Virginians will remember him for his ringside commentary on rasslin' shows from the TV studio, later to be honored by the WV Hall of Fame.
The shows often ended in a affray with the studio audience, and sometimes things got out of control, swinging folding chairs and cutting heads down.
There was always a lot of obscene language, and Love would threaten to "wash your mouth out," always concluding by advising people to go to church Sunday.
“There was no fake about the audience," Love said.
Over the past 60 years, I found him to be a fascinating and gracious man who started his Radio-TV and political career from scratch, going on to be a WV state senator.
Perhaps most important, he had heart and soul.
See SUNNY CAL JOURNAL - TV Comes To Calhoun, All You Could See On One Channel, "Wash Your Mouth Out"