1923 - 1998
Jimmy Treston was born in New York and his first career was as a guitar player and singer. He was known as the Manhattan Cowboy and competed in a talent contest on The Arthur Godfrey Show. Jimmy didn’t win, but Godfrey like him so much he had him back on the show as a guest. He joined the Riders of The Purple Sage, a western group which toured with Roy Rogers. Treston then joined the USO and traveled all over the world. At a performance at the Bijou Theatre in Savannah he met his future wife, a dancer and Savannah native. They married and moved to New York. And Jimmy continued to travel with the USO shows until he found out he was going to be a father.
In the 40’s, he and his wife moved back to Savannah and began a show on WDAR as Jimmy Deer. He had to get sponsors for his show and sang western songs. The show was very popular and attracted the attention of Allen Woodall, Sr., who owned WDAK in Columbus, who was on his way to Savannah Beach. According to Mrs. Treston, “Woodall offered Deer a job at WDAK TV Channel 28 and offered to get us a house and send a truck for our furniture”. Deer did a popular afternoon show of western music and played a Gabby Hays type character, “Old Chiz”.
After a time Jimmy went back to radio at WGBA where he hosted The Barefoot Housewives Show. Once again Woodall persuaded Jimmy to work for him. Jimmy moved over to WDAK and worked with 2007 Georgia Radio Hall of Fame Inductees, Cuzzin’ Al and Dr. Jive. Jimmy would write and produce commercials using a number of accents and characters. Some of those commercials won awards from the Advertising Club of Columbus. He enjoyed doing remote broadcasts and emceeing shows at the Bradley Theatre.
Eventually, Deer went to WHYD where he stayed until the early 70’s, when he went to work to work at Fort Benning in educational TV. In 1981 he was coaxed back to radio and joined WDAK-FM and entertained for several more years.
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