Chester Smith a dear and life long friend of Merle’s, past away on August 8, 2008. He was known for his hit song “Wait a little longer please Jesus” and “Holiday For Tears”. “Wait a little longer ” became an international hit in the pop field. He went on to start his own radio station “Kloc” in Ceres, California. Merle’s awareness of Chester goes back to 1947, in the years he spent with KTRB Modesto as a disc jockey who called himself “Chester String Bean Smith”. He was once nearly fired for playing an Ernest Tubb record. The owner specifically told him not to play that, because it was too “hillbilly”. Some months there after, the owner came to work and found there was no place to park within walking distance of his own station, because of the crowd. He came in to see “String Bean” was on the microphone doin’ his thing. The owner walked in and said “what’s all the commotion about?” Chester replied “a celebrity friend of mine is gonna stop by”! “Please tell me, who do you know so famous?” With a slight grin Chester replied “oh, just an old “hillbilly” singer named Ernest Tubb”. Needless to say from that day on Chester had the last word on what to program on the air. From that day on he became the holy grail of country and gospel music. He was like an ambassador to the city of Modesto, California. He was a mentor and always full of wisdom and inspiration. My wife Theresa , myself and my family will miss him dearly. We are sure that Chester is in charge of programming a much bigger deal!
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