Georgia Radio Icon Byron Dobbs Passes


Known as the “Voice of Cherokee,” lifelong Cherokee County Georgia radio icon Byron Dobbs has died. In his more than 65 years in radio he worked for four-decades at Canton, Georgia radio station WCHK, 35 of those years as General Manager.

After leaving WCHK in 1998 he became a partner and owner of WLJA-FM and Tri-State Communications in Jasper where he worked until 2021.

“Byron loved the radio business and he loved teaching other people about the industry. I will be forever grateful to him for being my mentor, my friend, and my business partner over the past 25 years. He, his voice, and his wisdom will be missed dearly,” said Randy Gravley, Tri-State Communications President and CEO.

A member of The Georgia Broadcasters Hall of Fame, he had numerous colleagues and friends including Georgia Speaker of the House David Ralston. “I have had the great pleasure of knowing and having the friendship of Byron Dobbs for some 60 years. Byron spread cheer wherever he went. He enjoyed his friends, he loved being a radio guy and he loved the Cherokee County community like no one else. There will never be another like him, but I count it as a blessing that he was part of my life and that of so many others

A lifelong resident of Cherokee County, Dobbs died at his home at the age of 86.


  1. I’m gonna miss the “Voice of Cherokee,” the Woodstock native and lifelong Cherokee County resident had a long and distinguished career of more than 65 years in radio broadcasting that began in 1957 at WCHK radio station in Canton soon after his graduation from Cherokee High School.

  2. From 1969 to 1972, I had the opportunity to work for Byron as an announcer at WCHK in Canton. For 3 1/2 years. Thank you Byron for the things you taught me and for the opportunity. It was a pleasure working for you and with you. May you rest in peace. You are a true legend!

  3. For every Steve Harvey, Bobby Bones, Don Imus, and Frank Reid. There is a local legend only the local community knows, like Byron Dobbs. Us radio guys understand how small town legends impact communities more than national icons many times. Because to us, they indeed were just as important in our personal radio lives and our communities. I met Byron Dobbs for the first time as a 17-year-old promoter, trying to get a few people to show up for the concert I was promoting in the next county. Byron treated me like a significant client. Even though I was only spending $500. Through the years, When I was in or around Cherokee County, Georgia, I would always check the radio dial to WCHK or WLJA and see what Byron was up to, or even stop by his office to say “HI.” Guess what? Byron was still being Byron. Professional, Legendary, and treating me like I represented a Fortune 500 company. I picked up a significant client in Cherokee county a few years back. Whom did I call first? Ole #ByronDobbs . Why because who else could deliver a community better than Byron? In a world where big radio programs, syndicates, and sales, insert national and programmatic ads and then looks for every cost-cutting method known to man. Here is my wish! I wish “I hope the They would look and measure not only the financial impact of the Byron Dobbs of the world,” things that do not translate on a printout to Wall Street. And realize, “the impact they deliver to all of us on Main street.” Because if it wasn’t for the Byron Dobbs of the world. Many of us would have never fallen in love with Radio.
    Today they will lay Byron to rest, and part of Cherokee County, Georgias history, will diminish with his 65-plus years serving his hometown on the air. But if ever there was a radio man who impacted a community. It can be said; that it was Byron Dobbs. Rest easy, my friend. You earned your status and have impressed not only your beloved community. But the radio world! Thanks for showing the radio world what it really takes to be a true legend behind the mic, and MAIN STREET matters.


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