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"I had never seen so much tan naugahyde in all my life". That's how Dave Nemo describes his first ride in a "big truck". Turns out that back in the mid 60's Dave and his high school buddy, Sydney Schraeder, were in Dave's 1958 VW Beetle on their way from New Orleans to visit Syd's home in Beaumont, TX. "We were a couple of high school kids out on the road for the first time so naturally, we ran out of gas. The very first trucker to come down the road stopped and gave me a lift to the nearest gas station. It was impressive
climbing up into that cab and I don't think he or I realized that his kindness would make such an impression in my life" Nemo remembers.
In his senior year in college, Dave landed a part time job at the legendary WWL in New Orleans. After graduation, Uncle Sam called and he enlisted in the Army. The radio career was on hold but only for a little while. Dave wound up being stationed in Seoul, South Korea and was assigned to the Armed Forces Korea Network (AFKN).
Nemo recalls "it was incredible, my show was on from 6pm to midnight. We called it ‘Nemo's Nitebeat'. The guys working at Radio Gypsy were all seasoned radio disc jockeys and we ate, drank and slept radio, radio, radio. I learned so much there that I'm still using bits of knowledge that I picked up in the Army."
Coming back to New Orleans held a surprise and his future direction. While Dave was away in the Army, Charlie Douglas, with the help of WWL program director John Pela, started a radio revolution. It was called the Road Gang - the first radio program aimed directly and solely to the over the road professional truck driver.
When Dave returned to work at WWL, he and Charlie hit it off. Nemo recalls "well, this was the early 70's and country music was almost non-existent at that time in New Orleans. I had listened to country music as a kid and played drums in a local band playing both rock and country. I was one of the few at the station who knew Conway from Twitty. Charlie needed a second host for the show and as they say the rest is history."
That was over 30 years ago. Today Dave continues the same tradition of service, friendship and camaraderie that began in that little studio on Rampart Street way down yonder in New Orleans. "Like everyone and everything else, we've had our ups and downs. The drivers have always been there for us and our sponsors have stuck with us through thick and thin" says Nemo. Dave credits his partner, Michael Burns for much of the show's success. "Working with Michael has been an incredible experience. I believe we are a great team and it's an honor to have him as a business partner but more importantly as a dear friend" Nemo states.
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