He was Bill Vermillion, "The Weird Beard," and he ruled Orlando's radio scene in the 60’s and 70’s from the legendary Top 40 hit maker WLOF. Most everybody in the radio industry was aware of his keen ear for recognizing future song hits and playing them first. He would often go against a label’s recommended plug side and, instead, play the record’s B-side.
Bill played a lot of unknown artists, too, like Comstock Ltd in 1971, giving the group exposure to the masses when many other stations wouldn’t. He played local groups, like We the People, and was the first to play Bob Seger in Central Florida (“Heavy Music” in 1967). He single handedly broke many national hits back in the 60’s including Van Morrison’s first smash, “Brown-Eyed Girl” and gave exposure to a garage band from the Northwest called The Sonics (“Psycho”).
During his many years with WLOF he did and said many things that wrinkled the noses some people. One of most famous is raising the ire of the Federal Communications Commissions when he produced a singing radio jingle of the required Emergency Broadcasting System's test message.
After WLOF was sold and then automated in 1982, Bill left radio and became a recording engineer for BeeJay Recording Studio where he helped make albums for bands such as Blackfoot, Judas Priest and Molly Hatchet.
On May 24th, 2008, Bill succumbed to a long fight with intestinal cancer and passed away at the age of 71.
1966 - 1982 Other Central Florida Stations (On Air Personality)
1966 - 1982 Other Central Florida Stations (Music Director)