Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Book "We Be Big" by Rick Burgess, Bill Bussey with Don Keith

About the Book: They are the most unlikely broadcast stars imaginable, yet hundreds of thousands of loyal listeners start their day with them every morning. They don't have "radio voices," don't spin the latest hit songs, don't do "shock jock" humor, horoscopes, or celebrity birthdays. Instead, Rick Burgess and Bill "Bubba" Bussey - collectively known as "The Rick and Bubba Show" on scores of radio stations coast to coast - share real stories about real people, inviting their vast audience into their families and circle of friends to experience with them uproarious happenings and moving events with which they can all identify. Beyond that, these two non-radio radio personalities break the biggest no-no for secular radio as they openly share in a forceful but non-threatening way their faith in Christ and their common-sense way of looking at the world.
Now, in We Be Big: The Mostly True Story of How We Became Rick & Bubba, they (with the assistance of best-selling and award-winning author Don Keith) share how this unlikely pairing came about and how the show found even higher levels of popularity, even as the two of them deliberately steered away from every accepted rule for radio success. Alternately hilarious and heartbreaking, this is also the highly personal story of two men who - like most of us - resisted stepping through the doors God opened for them, opting for the easier path when tested. In this compelling story, "the two sexiest fat men alive" share their experiences and demonstrate how, with the help of faith and family, they have become a true blessing for so many.

About the Authors: Both Rick and Bubba grew up in Alabama and were active in athletics at their respective high schools. It was at high school sporting events that they knew of each other. At Jacksonville State University, they became friends by working together at WLJS-FM, the college's radio station.
After college, Bill got a job as engineer for WQEN, a radio station in Gadsden, Alabama, and recommended Rick for the station's morning show personality. In the late 1980s, Bill was a co-owner of an AM radio station in Jacksonville, Alabama. Rick had been working at WHMA-AM radio in Anniston as a DJ. In 1989, Rick was also the host of a Friday night program called "Pigskin Roundup" that recapped high school football games and took live calls from listeners. In 1991 Rick started doing mornings at 97.9FM WKFN Oxford, Alabama. This was the first time for Rick doing mornings...It was called "The Morning Extra-vaganza" (Monday-Friday from 5A-9A). This is where Rick started doing many of the things now done on the Rick and Bubba Show. In 1993 Rick moved "The Morning Extrava-ganza" to Q104 WQEN Gadsden, Alabama.
Once Rick and Bubba formed a partnership at WQEN, they hosted their own version of this show on Friday nights during football season. The two began to work together to come up with ideas for the show. One of the ideas was to have Bill read Shakespeare in his deep Southern accent. Rick proclaimed that Bill sounded like his Uncle Bubba.
The characterization became the basis for one of their first contests called "Good Old Boy Theatre". Other contests currently featured on the show include "Drive Through Password", "Know the Good Book" (Bible trivia), "The Giant Game of Knowledge", and "It's a Country Song, or it Ain't". The "Bubba" nickname stuck for Bill. Bubba worked more and more with Rick and eventually became a regular part of Rick's show.
In 1998, the show was renamed "The Rick & Bubba Show," and moved to Birmingham when WQEN began targeting the Birmingham market to attract a wider audience.
The show moved to WYSF in early 1999. Two hours of their four-hour program were televised live on the Turner South network until April 28, 2006, which ended when Turner South was sold to Fox Sports in February 2006.
WYSF in Birmingham served as their flagship station until December 2006.
On January 3, 2007, they became the morning hosts on crosstown station WZZK.

My Review: This is a very touching book telling the real storie of two young boys from Alabama and how with God's guidance, they put together one of the most popular morning radio show, know as the "Rick and Bubba Show". The story develops with each one giving his input in alternating chapters, telling in a very personal and informal way their experiences, frustrations, hopes, joys and sorrows of an ordinary daily life and how they use it to connect to the same ordinary people that compose their audience and connected immediately with their stories. This simple formula and God's guidance was the key for their success, despite all difficulties they had in their way to reach the top. Every struggle, every battle, every victory, every doubt they had during their journey is very well described and they clearly and loudly give all the credit of their success to the Lord. If you did not know them from hearing their show every morning, even them you will get connected to those two guys, "the two sexiest fat men alive", as they call themselves. This was the first book I read from them and definetely I will look for the other titles they already published in the past. I recommend this book to any reader looking for a very well written book with tones of commedy and tragedy, but overall very entertaining. Deserves to be in my permanent library.

This book was written by Rick Burgess and Bill "Bubba" Bussey with contribution of Don Keith and it was published by Thomas Nelson in 2011 and they were kind enough to send me a copy for reviewing through their Thomas Nelson Book Review Bloggers Program.
If you are reading this review, feel free to leave a comment with your thoughts.

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