A Visit with Flannelmouth

Jack Fultz recalls his
early radio days as 'Flannelmouth fultz'

By Stacie Laker
Contributing Writer

HANOVER, Ind. – (October 2002) Whether you know him as “Flannelmouth” or “Mr. FM,” Jack Fultz has (more than likely) made an impression on you or someone you know.

Jack Fultz

Jack Fultz in his early radio days

His attack on the Ohio River Valley began mostly in 1967 when Fultz started WVCM 100.1 FM, one of the first FM stations in the area. With the radio station growing rapidly, Fultz became known throughout the Ohio River Valley for several reasons, and rightly so.
“I wanted to do stuff that got people’s attention,” said Fultz when asked what his intentions were with the WVCM 100.1 FM.
Getting attention is exactly was Fultz did with live interviews and a unique personality that brought radio to life. Being a DJ wasn’t the only position Fultz held at WVCM. He was also the station manager, founder and president of the corporation as well as a salesman for advertisements to keep the station running. This wasn’t an easy task, since FM radios weren’t the norm. People mostly had AM radios only; a select few had FM.
Instead of giving up on the situation and the radio station, Fultz decided to sell AM-FM radios for $20 while selling advertisements. Fultz said people couldn’t be expected to buy advertisements when they couldn’t even hear them. Even Jim Craig, founder of Craig Motors Dealership in Madison, said, “If you wanted to sell something, give it to Jack.”
That was quite a compliment, but is one of many that people have about Flannelmouth.

Jack Fultz today

Jack Fultz today

With dedicated listeners, Fultz’s radio programming gained the trust, support and loyalty from several people in the area. Another person Fultz made an impression on is Ron Greves, founder of Greves Appliances in Madison.
“If Jack Fultz told Kentucky and Indiana people to line up on the bridge and jump off at 5 p.m., they would be there,” Greves said jokingly.
With support like that, Fultz had built a rapport for which many would die. But in 1981 Fultz moved on to work at a radio station in Salem, Ind. For the next 14 years Fultz remained the Flannelmouth of radio.
Not only did Fultz work in radio, he “would do anything for the station,” Fultz said proudly, and he meant every word. Fultz even went to the extent to hitchhike to Washington D.C., to try and speak to U.S. Congress about the importance of FM radio and the ways it can help the community.
Of course, with Fultz’s outgoing personality, he ended up working his magic and getting the chance to make his statement. It was quite a venture, but it was one of many. He made his point about how FM radio could help the community himself by winning awards from NBC, CBS and many others for his work with the community.
Fultz also won the National American Legion Commanders Award for Public Service for alerting the area when a devastating tornado ripped through the area. People in the area also noticed and commended Fultz on his actions within the community and the help he provided.
“If there was a need, Jack was there to help,” said Greves about the way Fultz informed and helped the community.
Radio isn’t the only sector that has the heart of Fultz. He is also the Public Relations Chairman, for his third year, and Judge Advocate for the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) Local Chapter 55, a national organization for disabled veterans. According to the DAV website, DAV was formed in 1920, chartered in 1932 and represents nearly 2.1 million disabled American veterans throughout the United States. The local chapter has a membership of 197, “but only 10 percent attend the meeting regularly,” said Arnold Tilley, 4th Commander and Coordinator for the Van Program. The focus of the DAV revolves around efforts and fund drives toward disabled veterans.
Fultz stays active by volunteering his time to fund drives, visiting the Veterans Administration Hospital in Louisville and holding offices within the organization.
“Jack attends all meetings, and he is very supportive,” said Tilley on Fultz interaction with the DAV and support for their worthy cause.
Recognizing that he has had many experiences, Fultz chuckled, “So many good times with so many good people.”

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