One of the funniest men in Birmingham radio is Bill Lawson, affectionately known as Dollar Bill, is a native Birminghamian and has been a staple on the radio since 1971.
Over the next few years, Bill worked at stations in various parts of Alabama before landing at WERC in Birmingham in 1979. During the 70s, WERC and WSGN were the two most listened to Rock & Roll stations in Birmingham and Bill was in the middle of it as WERC’s evening DJ.
However, by the end of the decade, FM had all but taken over the airwaves. One of the biggest stations was WERC’s sister station WKXX, Kicks 106. AM’s weak, mono signal couldn’t compete with the stereo power of FM. In 1980, WERC changed its format to Adult Contemporary. Bill talked the Program Director into allowing him to host an oldies show beginning at 10pm every night. He used his own records and those of friends. WERC switched to Talk in 1982 and Bill hosted a call-in talk show. He stayed with it until a great opportunity opened up for him in 1985. Country station, WZZK had the top morning team in Birmingham, Patti & the Doc. However, the team was shaken when Doc passed away suddenly. Bill took over the vacant slot and the show became Patti & Dollar Bill. Ratings went even higher and the pair ruled the market for close to twenty years. However, in 2002, WZZK forced Patti to “retire.” She, at first, had said she would stay out of radio, but when Bill was also forced to leave, they teamed up again, but had to wait out a 6 month ‘no-compete’ clause. They moved to WDXB, the Bull 102.5. The Bull had been a smaller regional station, but moved its tower to Birmingham to increase its signal strength and thus the market. With the powerhouse team of Patti and Dollar Bill, the station gave WZZK a run for its money. Unfortunately, in 2008, Patti was forced to leave the Bull, a replacement was hired and the team of Dollar Bill & Madison was born. The station is as strong as ever thanks to the staying power and humor of Bill Lawson.