The Life and Times of Coyote McCloud

Bio

Coyote McCloud, Diana Lynn, and Rhett Walker

Coyote William McCloud (born William Lehmann August 31, 1942 – April 6, 2011) was a popular radio disc jockey in Nashville, Tennessee. For over 30 years, he was a drive-time personality at several Nashville radio stations. He first became well-known in the early 1970s on WMAK-AM, then a market-dominant rock and roll station, as host of its 7 p.m.–midnight program. He was called “legendary” among DJs.

McCloud was one of the most controversial deejays of the late 1980s when he was the lead man on “The Zoo Crew” on Nashville’s Y107 (WYHY). While enormously popular amongst his target demographic, his outlandish on-air personality drew the ire of many within the community as being a “bad influence” on teenagers. He was one of the subjects of a CBS 48 Hours documentary in 1992 about “shock radio”. McCloud enjoyed his highest level of popularity while working for Y107, and had his own fan club. He worked at the station for over 10 years, from 1984 to 1995. McCloud was featured frequently in Billboard.

Coyote McCloud and Cathy Martindale

Early in his career, he was an afternoon drive personality at WGOW-AM (owned by Ted Turner) in Chattanooga, using the name Bill Scott. In 1976, his recording of “Nitty Gritty Rock and Roll” was released as 45 rpm record on the Midland South label, distributed by RCA. The song included the catch-phrases he used as a nighttime deejay on WQXI in Atlanta.

Early in 1983 while hosting the morning show at Kix 104, McCloud was selected by Country Music Television network founders Glenn D. Daniels and co-founder G. Dean Daniels to be the first on-air “voice” of the network. When CMT (originally called “CMTV”) launched on March 5, 1983, McCloud provided the first vocal announcement heard on the network under an animated “CMTV” logo with the words, “You’re Watching CMTV…Country Music Television…in stereo.” He remained the on-air “voice” of the network from 1983 through 1984.

Coyote with Clara Peller

McCloud also worked at Kix 104 (WWKX) in the early 1980s, Power Country 103 (WZPC) in the mid-1990s, and Oldies 96.3 (WMAK) in the early 2000s. Along with Cathy Martindale, he hosted Coyote & Cathy In The Morning on 96.3 (WMAK FM) and 97.1 WRQQ until late November 2006.

In 1984, McCloud, also a sometime songwriter, wrote a song entitled “Where’s the Beef?” as a promotion for Wendy’s restaurants’ famous advertising campaign featuring Clara Peller.

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