Marshall ‘Swap Shop’ host James Duncan retires from radio
Longtime radio broadcaster retires on 84th birthday
MARSHALL, Texas (KLTV) - After over 50 years in broadcasting, an East Texas radio legend is hanging up his headphones.
For almost 20 years, James Duncan has helped East Texans buy, sell, and trade on KMHT’s “World Famous Swap Shop.” On Friday morning, Duncan hosted his final call-in program as he retired on his 84th birthday.
Duncan’s radio career started in June of 1968, when he was hired to deliver farm news reports for KWKH-AM in Shreveport, Louisiana. A job he was offered based on his previous experience in agriculture. He fell in love with the opportunity to tell people something they didn’t know.
“That’s what a lot of radio was about back in the old days, educational type programming and so forth,” Duncan said.
Fast forward to 2004, Duncan’s friend, fellow agricultural broadcaster Jack Dillard, connected him with the folks at KMHT in Marshall, where Duncan has worked for almost 20 years doing remote broadcasts, selling ads, and hosting “Swap Shop” with Ashli Dansby.
“It has been such a fun ride,” Dansby said during the final broadcast. “I just love you.”
And it’s the people, both his colleagues and his listeners, that Duncan will miss the most in retirement.
“People ask, ‘are you the man on Swap Shop?’ Going into the Walmart or Super One or wherever and you hear a voice saying they know who you are. The relationship that you build with people is what I’ll miss.”
Just as it has for many years, Friday morning’s program ended with Roy Rogers singing “Happy Trails.” But the song hit differently as KMHT said “until we meet again” to James Duncan.
“I’ll say goodbye, God bless you, and have yourself a good and Godly day. For what good would a good day be if God wasn’t included? Bye-bye,” Duncan said as he ended the program.
Duncan looks forward to spending more time with his family and the Baptist church he pastors in Avinger.
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