Radio station owner to hit hot seat for annual roast

Staff Reports • Updated Feb 23, 2018 at 9:00 AM

The Wilson County Library Board plans to roast Susie James, owner and general manager of the radio station WANT FM 98.9 and WCOR AM 1490, on March 27 at its annual Library Roast fundraiser.

The roast will be at 7 p.m. at the Castle Heights Elementary School cafeteria. Tickets are $35 each or $250 for a table sponsorship.  

Tickets may be purchased from James, a Wilson County Library Board member or at the Wilson County Public Libraries. Jordan’s will cater the event.  

Funds raised from the event are used to support public libraries in Lebanon, Mt. Juliet and Watertown.

Since 1993, James has owned and served as general manager of WANT 98.9 FM and WCOR 1490 AM – Lebanon’s radio station, which boosts the community in many ways. She discovered, when tallying all of the community activities her nine staff members are involved with, the total came to 45. WANT also broadcasts Lebanon High School football games, Cumberland University sports and is a supporter of the Wilson County Fair, having broadcast from the fair since “before it was cool,” she said.

A sample of James’ civic involvement includes past board member of the Lebanon-Wilson County Chamber of Commerce, past board member of the United Way of Wilson County and past board member of Prospect, Inc. 

James’ roots in Lebanon run deep. The yellow house at West Spring Street and South Tarver Avenue across from Cumberland’s baseball field, belonged to her stepfather, the late Bill Barry, since 1931. Her mother, Joyce Bobo Barry, still lives in the home. Joyce’s parents were Alex and Vera Bobo, and her grandparents were Horace and Allie Mae Ligon. The Ligon and Bobo Funeral Home on West Main Street, originally built in 1828 for Robert Caruthers, founder of Cumberland University, is still in existence.

Ed and Susie James, who were married 11 years ago, have an extensive roster of civic involvement. Together, they are members of College Hills Church of Christ, graduates of Leadership Wilson and past board members of the Wilson County Community Help Center. He’s in the Lebanon Breakfast Rotary Club, and she is a Lebanon Kiwanis Club member. 

Early on, both Ed and Susie James showed signs as go-getters in the community. At Friendship Christian School, Susie James was voted “Most Likely to Succeed,” and Ed James was voted “Most Popular” and “Most Cooperative” at Watertown High School.

The couple was honored with the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award from Cumberland University in 2016.

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