HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Friends and former co-workers are remembering a former Huntsville radio personality who died earlier this week.
Christopher Crowder, 45, had been missing for two weeks and was found dead in Hoover on Tuesday. He was a husband and father of two.
You may remember Crowder from his days in radio at WZYP and WAHR. He went by “Chris Callaway” on the air, and DeeDee Morgan had many memories about her longtime friend. She will speak at his funeral on Friday.
Morgan and Crowder worked together at WZYP from 1997 to 2001. “We had a radio divorce, that’s what we call it,” she said with a smile, saying Chris went to Alexandria, Louisiana then on to Shreveport. Morgan left radio and worked in Memphis for a time, but Chris called her and asked if she would be interested in getting back in the studio.
She said yes, and joined him in Shreveport until Huntsville came calling again. Steve Shelton, former owner of WAHR, called her and asked the duo to return to the Rocket City.
“We never wanted to leave Huntsville anyway, but our contracts were up at WZYP. We loved it here, so we came back to Star and had a great time.”
The two worked together at WAHR from 2003 to 2008, “getting into all kinds of trouble,” she said.
“The Mile of Men for Valentine’s Day — we had single men lined up and down University Drive, looking for dates. Another time, he and I were ice skating with the Channel Cats. He wore a tutu, not me, which was kind of funny,” Morgan recalled.
“I remember pulling off one of the best April Fools’ jokes I’ve ever been a part of — I’ll never be able to top it. At WZYP, we convinced the Tennessee Valley there was a killer whale in the Tennessee River.”
“We had people come down, and they brought their kids, and cameras, and said ‘we see it! We see the killer whale!'”
There was definitely something, but it was a stunt guy with an inflatable killer whale.
“It was so believable that the country station in town — their news department reported it as news. Of course, we had our news department in on it, but they reported it as news.”
Another time, Chris and DeeDee had a funeral for a stuffed hamster. “It got run over by the boombox we had at WZYP. Just stupid stuff like that, that kept us in stitches over the years.”
Bill Dunnavant, former owner of WZYP, remembered his friend from their work together.
“Chris was a very savvy broadcaster,” Dunnavant said. “When we teamed he and DeeDee together he worked diligently to make the team work, even though he had been a stand-only DJ prior. Chris was intense at times when doing his job, but full loving and great to be around off the air… especially at remote broadcasts with the Giant Boom Box.”
“It was an energetic time for Top 40 radio and Chris and DeeDee were tops in afternoon drive for Huntsville through their hard work and dedication,” Dunnavant added. I had just seen Chris a year ago at the Home Improvement Show at the VBC. My prayers go out to Melody and the two children. The prior WZYP family is in shock over his passing.”
Crowder’s funeral is Friday at Riverchase Methodist Church in Hoover.
Al.com reports Crowder’s body was found in a wooded area Tuesday, Nov. 29 off Riverchase Parkway near Valleydale Road. His vehicle was parked nearby. Police say no foul play is suspected in his death.
Prior to this, he was last seen November 11 as he left his Hoover home, Al.com reported.