“There’s so many people I need to thank, WKRG took a chance on me”, said Mel Showers as he accepted his induction into the Alabama Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame in Birmingham Saturday. He began his speech with an attitude of gratitude, and a dash of humility and humor. “I don’t deserve this…but, I’m not giving it back”, said Showers as the audience laughed.
Mel talked about overcoming critics early in his career which started in 1969. “In those early years when the hate mail would come in not quite used to and not quite ready for a person of my complexion to hit the air, but, I kept smiling”.
Mel even pulled out his file of insults, jabs he’s affectionately recorded from fellow employees over the years. He shared one of his favorites of a reporter teasing him in the newsroom. “He said ‘Mel, I see you are pulling on your wig.’ And I turned to him and I said, wig? And he said ‘a lady the other day was asking me about your wig.’ I said wig..this is not a wig. Don’t you tell people out there on the streets that I have a wig. I said this is my real hair, and our director at the time, her name was Sue Mooney. She said, ‘yeah Randy. You know that’s not a wig. If he had the good money to pay for a wig, he wouldn’t buy one that looked like that'”.
After seconds of laughter, the mood changed when Mel shared something very personal. “When my father died in 1992. I did not cry and I loved my father because he’s the reason I’m in broadcasting right now . He pushed me into it. He died in 1992. I did not shed a tear. Not because I didn’t love him or because I didn’t miss him, for some reason back then..men didn’t cry or weren’t supposed to cry. I didn’t cry”.
Though Mel Showers is in The Hall of Fame for a successful visible career, he is a very private person, but, as he ended his speech he let his audience in even more to show how much the honor means to him. He talked about losing his daughter, April Showers at just 34 years old and Linda, his wife of 44 years. “My daughter died in January 2011 and I loved her so much I didn’t cry. One year later exactly, January 2012, my wife died of cancer..just like my daughter. I didn’t shed a tear. But, today, you might see me cry because my dad, my daughter, and my wife, are not here to share this moment. I thank you all very much”.