Larry Shirley, the voice of Lucedale and George County radio for the past 22 years, is turning 70 years old and WRBE Radio is celebrating with a live broadcast from Carolyn’s Grocery on Hwy. 98W from 6 a.m. until 9 a.m. WRBE is providing free food and drinks for well-wishers who stop by, and of course, there will be birthday cake, according to station manager Danny Sommers.
Originally from Quitman, Shirley began pursuing his passion of radio broadcasting at an early age. By the time he was 17, he was working both on-air and in sales for a local radio station. He married Jackie Rawlings in 1970. The couple has two children and five grandchildren. Shirley went on to graduate from the University of Mississippi in 1975. He worked for radio stations in Louisiana and Mississippi, finally moving back to Quitman where he purchased a partnership in a radio station.
In 1998, he bought WRBE in Lucedale. Since that time, he has been an active supporter of George County, especially George County High School sports, coaches and athletes. He has spent countless hours traveling to and from games, broadcasting successes and disappointments to the folks at home.
Shirley has also been very involved in serving the community in other ways as well. He has actively worked for the American Red Cross and with St. Jude Children’s Hospital fund-raising activities. He is a past-president of the Mississippi Broadcasters Association and the Lucedale Rotary Club. He currently is serving as president of the George County Chamber of Commerce.
Mayor Darwin Nelson will be on hand to present Shirley with a Resolution from the City honoring his service to the community. Other elected officials, including members of the Board of Supervisors will also be at the event. Sommers said he also expects a call from Governor Tate Reeves.
Everyone is invited to stop by to recognize Shirley for his service to the community and wish him a happy birthday.