Hunt County native and Greenville High School graduate Paul R. Beane will be inducted into the Texas Radio Hall of Fame on Nov. 7. Because of COVID-19, the induction ceremony, which recognizes 20 veteran Texas broadcasters, will be virtual. Beane’s career in radio spans 63 years.
At Greenville High School, Beane played football and ran track. He graduated in 1958.
When he was a high school junior, he began his radio career as a deejay at KGVL.
“The manager at KGVL was Leo Hackney,” Beane said during a recent telephone conversation. “He was also on the Greenville school board. At KGVL Jimmy Jones delivered the news. Another newsman, who was also an engineer and sports play-by-play broadcaster, was Bill Rust. Next, I worked at KSST in Sulphur Springs. I stayed in the radio business in a number of communities including Bonham, Tyler, DeRidder, Louisiana, and Tulia. Eventually, I was the news director at KEEL in Lubbock.
“I moved to Houston and worked for the legendary Gordon McLendon at KILT. McLendon, who owned KLIF in Dallas and KTSA in San Antonio, literally changed the world of broadcasting. At KILT, I was the evening newsman and a foil for outrageous disc jockey, Weird Beard or Russ Knight. When the KEEL AM and FM stations in Lubbock got approval for a new television station, they asked me to come back and be the television evening news anchor for Channel 28. After that return to Lubbock, I stayed. That was in 1966, and I’ve been here ever since then.”
Beane began his life on a farm north of Greenville.
“I was not born in Greenville,” he said. “I was born in a little community called Stumptoe. There were a lot of small communities in Hunt County at that time. Besides Stumptoe, others were Sweatbox and Goose Neck. In the first grade, I attended Sabine School No. 9, a one-room schoolhouse in Stumptoe. My aunt Clara Beane was the teacher in that school, which was north of Greenville on the Wolfe City highway. Then I attended the second and third grades at the Tidwell school. Both of my parents had graduated from Tidwell High School. My family moved to Greenville in 1948, and I went to Stephen F. Austin Elementary School.”
Beane’s friend and classmate and now a San Antonio resident, Denny Darby, remembers when they first became acquainted.
“I met Paul in the third grade at Austin Elementary,” Darby recalled. “He came in from a one-room schoolhouse outside of Greenville. We became friends right away. In high school, he ran the high hurdles. He did a good job. I was on the track team, and all I did was chase other people around the track.
“Paul always seemed very close to his family. His mother was a very sweet lady, and he seemed to just worship his older brother. He adored his little sister, who was about the same age as my little sister.
“A couple of other guys and I went out to Lubbock to help him get married to Frances in 1960. He showed us the Tulia radio station where he was working at that time. Years later, Paul bought that station.”
Darby shared a memory that reveals Beane’s thoughtful and sympathetic nature.
“I was a pilot for Braniff Airways for many years,” Darby said. “The morning after the announcement of Braniff’s bankruptcy, the first call I got was from Paul. He wanted to know if I needed anything or if he could help in any way. That made a big impression on me. He has been a good friend for all these years.”
When he was an 11-year-old student at Austin Elementary School, Beane began delivering the Greenville Morning Herald. During that time, Greenville had two newspapers.
Another of Beane’s lifelong friends, Greenville resident Rodney Follis, was the best man at his wedding. Follis recalled their original meeting.
“When I was a paper carrier for the Evening Banner, I met Paul,” Follis said. “It was an afternoon paper. We were in the fifth or sixth grade, and he lived on my paper route. That’s when we started hanging around together. We have remained really good friends.
“I am glad to see him honored as a member of the Texas Radio Hall of Fame. I remember when he started as a deejay at KGVL. After that, he got his radio engineer’s license and worked at a station in Tyler and another one in Bonham.
“Before that time, when we were still teenagers, Paul was working at KSST in Sulphur Springs. He would sign off at midnight, drive back to Greenville and pick me up. We would go down to English’s Cafe on the west end of Lee Street, drink coffee and hang out the rest of the night. Sometimes, we would drive further for that coffee. One of our great activities was leaving Greenville and traveling to Brownie’s in Dallas on Samuel at East Grand for a cup of coffee. This was before the interstate was built. We would drink two or three cups of coffee and drive back to Greenville. If you say that it sounds like we were bored, that is probably right.”
Beane spent all of his working life in the broadcasting business.
“After being a disc jockey, I eventually gravitated to news,” Beane said. “Then my wife and I were able to buy into our first radio station here in Lubbock in 1970. We sold that station and were able to buy others. In my career, my wife and I have been partners or outright owners in six different radio stations. Even as the owner, I still was on the radio.”
Beane became involved in Lubbock civic activities.
“I became a member of the Lubbock City Council in 2008,” he said. “It was a particularly interesting four years because from 2008 to 2012, the U.S. was in the middle of the worst recession since the Great Depression. In Lubbock, tax income was low and demand for services was high. We were able to work through it. I was actually fairly proud of the service that I gave to the city.
“We acquired 200,000 acres of water rights during the time that I was on the council, and in my district alone, I was able to spend $25 million on new streets and roadways. We worked very hard. It was a tough job and I thoroughly enjoyed it.”
Beane and his wife Frances celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary in June.
For the virtual induction ceremony into the Texas Radio Hall of Fame on Nov. 7, Beane has prepared a two-minute video as well as a short bio sketch.
Besides the biographical information, Beane also listed some of his varied outside interests. He played golf and was a Rules Official for the U.S. Golf Association. He restored classic cars, and two of his remodeled vehicles won national awards. He has been involved in real estate and home building and owned an RV dealership.