Goodbye ‘Big Daddy’
Local radio personality dies
by Chris Cooper Managing Editor
Logan County lost one of it’s legendary radio personalities this week with the passing of Lon Sosh on Tuesday.
“Big Daddy Babaloo,” as most knew him by, was a sweet and loving man who brought music to your ears, and the love of Christ to your heart.
A 1960 graduate of Russellville High School, Lon had been battling illness for a few years, but always seemed to fight his way back to the mic and the pulpit. Unfortunately, for those who loved him, he lost that battle this time around, leaving many sad hearts behind to miss him.
Lon, whose illustrious radio career began decades ago, traded in his popular airwaves persona a few years back for preaching the word of God. Although Lon has always had a love for the Lord, it wasn’t until his older years that God had called on him to spread the word, which he was more than happy to oblige.
Before Lon’s illness took hold and wouldn’t let go, he could be heard during the week on WRUS, broadcasting for God with a ministry message. WRUS was home to the Sosh family as his father Winkie Sosh owned the radio station when it was known as WAKQ 101. Lon was drawn from the beginning to the radio and instinctively knew that was what he would do after graduating high school.
“I always wanted to be like my father,” said Lon in an interview for the News-Democrat & Leader. He ended up fulfilling his desire and eventually owning the very station his father built. Lon traveled half the United States working in numerous radio stations before finally coming home to the little station on Nashville Road, from as close as Tennessee to as far away as South Carolina, Florida, Mississippi and Texas.
Lon had a lot of experiences in his 71 years, some good, and some not so good. He lost his wife Marie to illness, but found love again with a woman named Dartha, whom he married in 2010. In 1983, he had blood clots in both lungs that almost took his life, causing him to retire the first time, but bounced back to purchase another radio station in Springfield, Tenn. But for Lon, serving the Lord was the most important to him in his end days, even though it seems it was always there right with him.
In 1990, Lon first felt God tugging at his heart and he knew right then and there what he felt was real. He told a story in a previous article with the newspaper that while visiting with a friend who preached a little church in Loudon, Tenn., God reached out to him underneath a tall tree, where he fell to his knees and began to cry. His friend had told him he thought he had the calling and needed to answer. Following his heartfelt encounter, Lon gave a sermon at that little church, which lead to a baptism of several believers in the Tennessee River, which he himself performed.
But it was the most recent ailments that brought Lon right back to where he was under that big tall tree. His heart had been giving him trouble and he has had to be hospitalized 10 times in one year. When doctors performed a procedure to shock his heart, he said he wasn’t sure he would make it out alive, and made a promise to God that if he did, it would all be for Him this time around. “I didn’t make a deal, just recognized my second chance,” he had said.
Even though Lon is gone from us here on earth, he is sure to be remembered for years to come. His tender ways, his caring heart, and his dedication to his family, friends and his community, which he loved very much.
For years while on the radio, Lon was known for singing a popular song by the Statler Brothers. He sang it almost as good as the band did themselves, in his deep falsetto voice, and as entertaining as it was then, perhaps it is more apropos today. I can almost hear him singing it now, “I’ll go to my grave lovin’ you, lovin’ you.”
Funeral Services for Lon will be held Friday, Sept. 13 at 1 p.m. at the First Baptist Church with Brother Buddy Crabtree and Brother Gary Mitchell officiating. Burial will follow in Maple Grove Cemetery. Visitation will be held at First Baptist Church from 11 a.m. until the time of service.
Lon is survived by his wife, Dartha Jo Sosh; his daughters, Christie Sosh and Londa Nau Fritz; his step-daughter, Cherrie Hays; his step-son, Stephen Felts; his sisters, Jean Reynolds and Ann Leigh; his grandchildren, Emily Schwab and William Ryan Nau, and his step-grandchildren, Abygayle Hays, Elisabeth Hays, Romney Felts and Ceeja Pillow.
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